Your Planet Needs You- But How Much Do You Care?

Posted on June 11, 2009 in unEarthed

Apurva Desai

The theme for World Environment Day (WED) 2009 is ‘Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change‘. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and links to overcome poverty and improve management of forests.

This is the theme for the World Environment Day, 2009. Is it, you might ask? We all, by now have managed to register, that 5 June is World Environment Day, but do we actually celebrate it? Celebrate not like Diwali, Christmas, Id or Holi.

Environment needs a life-long celebration. Do we actually go out and do our little bit for the bleeding environment around us?We humans are becoming so selfish, that we have stopped caring for anyone, except, ourselves. Well, let me remind us all, no environment means any of us.

Concentrating on the WED Issue — 2009, I feel it is a pretty sensitive, yet easy to follow issue. How many times do we just leave the lights, fans switched on, even when we’re not using that room? How many times have we just thrown the water down the drain, when we don’t want to drink it?
Why couldn’t we think of sharing that water with the plants? Why?
Why does it happen that when it’s the Earth Hour, we don’t feel like switching off the comforts of our lives, for just an HOUR? Why does the silly sitcom seem so important then? Even though loads of us preach about how to do this-how to do that, learn papier-mâché; read about the bamboo houses, why do we never implement it? Why do we always have a tailor-made formula for failing to do it?
Why not, just get out of your cozy blankets, and face the brazen world outside? Why not choose the harsh, challenging way?
Climate change does not mean, going out, and cleaning the air, literally. It can start from your home. Yes, look no further. Plants in pots, non-mercuric bulbs, all count!

Here I am, enumerating various ways by which you, as a citizen can combat climate change:

At Home:

-When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.

-Unplug seldom used appliances.

-Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals.

-Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.

-Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label; old refrigerators, for example, use up to 50 more electricity than newer models.

-Plant trees to shade your home.

-Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.

-Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.

-Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5.

-Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.

In Your Garden:

-Leave grass clippings on the yard-they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.

-Use only the required amount of fertilizer.

-Minimize pesticide use.

-Put leaves in a compost heap instead of burning them or throwing them away.

At Office:

-Copy and print on both sides of paper.

-Set up a bulletin board for memos instead of sending a copy to each employee.

-Use e-mail instead of paper correspondence.

-Use recycled paper

-Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.

-Car-Pooling- Saves everything!

-Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.

Water Consumption:

-Check and fix any water leaks.

-Turn off washing machine’s water supply to prevent leaks.

-Turn off washing machine’s water supply to prevent leaks.

-Check your car for oil or other leaks, and recycle motor oil.

-Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.

-Use water in buckets, not the hose.

-Don’t wash dishes with the water running continuously.

Create Less of Trash:

-Revegetate or mulch disturbed soil as soon as possible.

-Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33 of what we throw away is packaging.

-Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones. (That means no new mobiles every term.)

-Buy used furniture – there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.

-Reuse packaging cartons and shipping materials. Old newspapers make great packaging material.

-Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.

You will not believe me, when I say that even doing half of these things reduces your carbon footprint! Yes, it does. I hope, I have enlightened, and motivated you to do something about the ailing environment.
Mexico has already vowed to become a Climate Combating country. What are we waiting for?


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