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Seven Everyday Things We Can Do To Fight Climate Change

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Yes, a greater impact on the environment is only possible if corporations and governments revoke those detrimental environmental activities. But there are some incredible things we can do as responsible citizens of the planet earth. If one of us throwing plastics affects the environment, a personal decision to stop the throwaway culture would also help save nature. If air and sound pollution from one vehicle is bad for nature, taking public transport or walking whenever possible will help reduce pollution. Every action to change the climate crisis matters and will help save the planet.

Spread Awareness 

Awareness is the first thing one should take to fight climate change. Make yourselves keep up with everything that happens around, which is directly or indirectly connected with the environment. Educate yourself and then those around you. Make people aware of energy deficiency, forest fires, overconsumption, natural disasters, temperature rise, resource depletion and so on. If it’s only one person attitude you can change or if it’s only you that changed, that is surely a desirable result. 

The Three Rs for Nature

From seminars, social media sites and magazines, we hear about the three Rs to preserve the natural system — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  Do you know that when we start reusing and recycling products, it makes a considerable difference in climate change? It conserves energy and limits the exploitation of resources. If people practice the three Rs and change the purchasing pattern of people, then companies will be urged to stop over-extraction, resulting in a decline in greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

Save Water

Studies by the World Economic Forum suggest that this generation is going to face an unprecedented increase in water scarcity. We know that failure to rain, drought and overuse of water is the reason behind the shortage and we should be aware of the measures to protect our water sources too. We can stop the world from running out of the water by being more responsible. So, stop throwing wastes to water sources, and halt unnecessary use and overuse. Also, we can limit the usage and stop water runoff by increasing storage methods like rain harvesting and take advantage of modern-day technologies to avoid water leakages. 

Sustainable Shopping 

Let’s face it, what we buy has an immeasurable impact on the environment. This is the point where we seem to stumble upon because for many, shopping is a hobby and sometimes an addiction. A lot of products we buy are harmful to the nature. Therefore, our decision on shopping what and what not is of grave importance. Again, as responsible individuals, we shouldn’t buy animal-tested products, those mined out of environmentally vulnerable areas or from companies that over-extract natural resources, plastics and non-reusable commodities. For sure we should switch to recyclable products. 

Go Green!

One must grow one’s own garden, I didn’t say this, Voltaire did. He sure meant it more in a philosophical way, but it is significant in every way for the present generation. If it’s possible, we should grow plants and vegetables of our own, which will give us chemical-free, healthy food and the more people make it to practice, the more it will bring down corporations that over-extract land for production. Essentially, we must try to purchase locally produced organic foods, thereby helping reduce pollution out of transportation and advance local productions. Also, taking up veganism or limiting meat intake is a big step toward tackling climate change. 

Lights Off

Switch off the lights when you are not in the room! How many times did our parents yell at us for this one? Energy-saving might not be their best intention, but the results are of course good for the environment. Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by less usage of light bulbs. Energy-efficient bulbs like LEDs are better power-wise and last long. Switch to energy-efficient and high power bulbs that consume much less compared to others and are the best sustainable choice. 

Plant Trees

Want more rain and water, want less heat, less pollution, and more fresh air? Plant Trees. A list on saving the planet cannot be written without telling about reforestation. It is the foremost thing to save and keep the biodiversity of the earth. Trees are the habitat of several different species. They store carbon dioxide and gives us amble fresh air, clear up toxic air from the atmosphere, pull down temperature, and give us rain. We know all the benefits of trees, but their significance right now is mightier than we can imagine. 

Let’s not be the people who know the ways to save our earth but don’t do anything about it. Let us be the people who step up for a greater good for all including the generations to come.

About the author: Nivya Jayan is a graduate in Economics and a passionate writer. She is a reader for life, who is interested in politics and diplomacy. 

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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