It’s not unusual for us to wake up to news of yet another instance of the environment bearing the brunt of human negligence. The latest being reports of a whale dying in southern Thailand after swallowing over 80 plastic bags.
It shouldn’t be news to us that the use of plastic poses a major threat to the environment. Plastic bags have been banned time and again in several countries, including India, but the problem is far from resolved. United Nations has declared “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, which is celebrated across the world on June 5. This time around, people from various walks of life have joined hands and pledged to beat the plastic bully. Celebrities Alia Bhat, Arjun Kapoor, Prakash Raj and Dia Mirza have been tagging their friends on social media, asking them to take up the #BeatPlasticPollution challenge and stop using plastic. Arjun and Alia have even posted pictures of themselves using environment-friendly water bottles.
What makes today even more special is that India has been selected as the global host for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations, and Hyderabad is leading the way in raising awareness about the cause. United Nations India has acknowledged as much in its tweet — “India is on track with cities like #Cochin, #Hyderabad & #Nagpur leading the way towards sustainable #SmartCities. I encourage India to keep this momentum going: @ErikSolheim, Head, @UNEnvironment with @HardeepSPuri. #WorldEnvironmentDay #BeatPlasticPollution (sic).”
The Government of Telangana is committed to protecting the environment from further damage. Talking about its plans and initiatives in this regard, K.T. Rama Rao, the Minister for IT, Industries, Municipal Administration, Mines and Geology, and NRI Affairs, says, “Apart from hiring 20 electric vehicles, around 45,000 lakes in the state are being cleaned and restored. The government is determined to make Hyderabad a plastic-free city by 2022.”
But there’s only so much the government can do on its own. It requires the cooperation of citizens to bring its plans to fruition. And people do seem enthusiastic about the #BeatPlasticPollution challenge. Ravadi Kantha Rao, the man behind Shubhra Hyderabad, is organising a special clean-up drive on World Environment Day. “Our whole movement is in sync with this year’s theme of #BeatPlastic Pollution, and we are all geared up. 30 volunteers have already registered for the June 5 drive, and that number will increase, for sure,” he says. Rupam Kumar, another environmental activist from the city, plans to do seed bombing — throwing seeds at random places and allowing nature to take its course.
Water conservationist Kalpana Ramesh has come up with an indigenous way to contribute to the protection of the environment — by only using recycled water for her rooftop garden. “My family uses over 150 litres of water every day, and we make it a point to recycle every drop. My house is also equipped for rain-water harvesting. So there’s no wastage and no need to source additional water either,” she says.
These are just a few of the simple things that people are doing to create a positive impact. What change are you promising to make today?
courtesy Deccan Chronicle