So, what are we doing to save the world? Are we making any meaningful contributions? Or are we sitting idle, dependant on environmental activists and ignoring our individual responsibilities?
As someone inhabiting planet Earth, each of us is liable towards our share of chores to keep the planet out of danger. Trust me when I say this, it does not take much effort. We can easily embed a few simple practices in our lifestyle and do our part.
We can start small within the comfort of our very own homes. Everyone knows the usual; avoid plastic usage, use LED lights, do not use polythene bags, etc. But what should you do instead, you ask? The spotlight will be on matters that are very simple but unknown to us. First, it is important to impose effective practices at our homes. Waste management and proper waste disposal are cogent issues. We have the habit of dumping all our waste, starting from used batteries to leftover food, in one trash bag.
We can start using DIY compost bins instead. These are easy to create with minimum cost and can be kept in a small corner of your house, but the efficiency is impressive. DIY compost bins or worm composters work by feeding kitchen waste to worms.
You can throw in most food waste such as vegetable scraps and leftover food for the worms to feed off of. Afterwards, a compost is created as a by-product, which can be used as fertilisers for houseplants. It is an eco-friendly way of getting rid of organic waste that would rather end up in landfills.
Other simple household practices include not draining fluids down the sink. Often times, we unknowingly bring back the waste we dispose into our food cycle. Greasy fluids flushed down the sink interferes with a clean sewage system and often end up in rivers and ponds. This, in turn, effects natural water bodies and fish populations, the repercussions of which recoil at us through the food we consume. It is a calamitous loop.
Another practical step can be teaching young children about the detrimental effects of climate change at school. Getting to know about these pragmatic issues from an early age will instil good practices in them.
Schools can introduce innovative campaigns such as ‘Plant a Tree Sundays’ or ‘Clean the Pavement Mondays’ where they can do such activities once a month. After all, they are the forthcoming generation for whom the damage has to be repaired.
Do we not all love the clean streets of Dhaka during Eid-ul-Fitr? What makes them immaculate during that time is the absence of people to contaminate them more than the effort of street cleaners cleaning them. So, can we not take a collective decision to always keep them in that condition?
Of course! This also involves simple practices such as keeping a little trash bin or bag in your vehicle. Whenever you feel the urge to throw something outside the window, just drop it in there. Keeping a tote or jute bag in your car at all times is also a good habit to avoid using polythene bags during those impromptu shopping sprees.
These simple practices done collectively can pile up to make massive changes over time. It is no longer a matter of raising awareness but taking action. Do your part, because every bit counts.