June 5, the day dedicated to spreading awareness of our planet preservation. The responsibility is getting worse when our environmental reality is seriously polluted. And each of us is responsible for our Earth.
It is a sad reality that when it comes to the environment vs development debate the latter gets the preference almost all the time. This is leading to a number of catastrophic problems like depletion of forests and forest species, pollution of land air and water.
It is high time that we start acting and make others aware of the impending dangers that await us if we fail to do so.
Globally there is a growing conversation around global warming, climate change, etc and its impact on our lives. But in India, despite extreme weather conditions like hot summers and massive floodings becoming too frequent we have failed to talk about it.
Aman Sharma, a Class X student from Delhi has started an online campaign to create awareness around it. In his petition to Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Aman has demanded that India should declare a National Climate emergency and recognize it's shortcomings in providing to us a safe environment. He also demanded that India should commit to the Paris Agreement which seeks to limit the Earth’s warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and work towards meeting the goal of a green cover of 33% in the country as proposed and accepted in it's National Forest Policy.
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One of the biggest environmental concerns is the increase in plastic pollution. We Indians are so addicted to single-use plastic, that we cannot even think of a life without it - be it buying vegetables from your neighborhood market or buying something online there is always a plastic carry bag or wrap accompanying it, which will never be used again and is thrown to landfills where it will remain as it is for the next thousands of years. One effective way to reduce the ever-growing plastic waste pile-up is to discourage the use of them. Today, online being the chosen mode of shopping, e-commerce companies have a large role in reducing plastic waste. Through her camping on Change.org Pracheta B is appealing to online shopping companies like Amazon and Flipkart to reduce the use of plastic. One way these companies can help is by reducing the amount of plastic used for packaging. She suggests that the companies should do an assessment of all the products and ask the vendors to not use plastic packaging for non-breakable items. Another interesting suggestion by her is to provide an incentive to customers who are ready to say no to plastic by offering them a discount and charge extra in case they opt for a plastic wrap of their deliveries. Another interesting recommendation she has made is for the companies to establish a reverse supply chain that ensures all packaging material is returned at the source.
In a similar campaign, Amrita Prakash a TV Celebrity is appealing to Air-India to phase out plastics and to switch to bio-degradable cups, bowls, and cutlery.
India is a country where a significant portion of the population still goes hungry, but wastes enough food to feed a state the size of Bihar for a whole year’. This means that just the amount of food that we waste can feed over 11 crores or 110 million people every day for 12 months!
Through her petition on Change.org Shruti Shankar from Bengaluru is appealing to grocery chains to end food being wasted. Many times, foods that are perfectly safe to consume (even if past best before dates) and fresh fruit and veg that are not 'looking perfect and fresh' get tossed into the garbage bin or returned to the vendor for destruction. This can be avoided if the company creates a policy and implements steps to donate such food.
Foods that are unsafe to consume (those that are past their expiry dates) can always be sent for composting instead of sending them to landfills and further burdening the environment.
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The landfill in Gahzipur in East Delhi has now become infamous for the sheer size of it. According to recent reports by 2020, the garbage dump could be taller than Taj Mahal by 2020. According to reports, 2,000 tonnes of garbage is dumped at the landfill every day. Despite its health hazards, little has been done to address this issue which is a ticking time bomb. Through their petition, Delhi residents Seema Mishra and Parul Mathur are appealing to the authorities to clean up the landfill before it is too late.
Trees, often become the unfortunate victims of infrastructure development. Be it the construction of a road or a building more often than not the trees in the area will be cut to make way for the project. Despite the threat of air pollution and the availability of techniques to translocate them, both government and private companies involved in these projects rarely do pay attention to it. Uday Peddireddi a resident of Hyderabad has launched a campaign to save over 900 banyan trees believed to be between 80 and 90 years old by translocating them.
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