Bilal Bashir Bhat
“In the universe are billions of galaxies, in our galaxy are billions of planets, but our Earth is the only habitable one”. Our personal activities/ actions can either improve or deteriorate the environment quality. Human actions cause many environmental problems. There are many serious environmental threats, like global warming, climate change, deforestation, air and water pollution, species extinction by which the earth is changing. All of us are equally responsible for these problems in one or other way by neglecting the environment. That means all of us can fix the problems if we understand our roles and responsibilities by protecting it. There are actions people can opt daily to protect the environment like recycle, reuse, compost, and use of green fuels and vehicles. Remember our earth can fulfill our needs but not our greeds. Human existence is quite impossible without the presence of a healthy environment. The more we understand it earlier the better it will be for us and for our coming generations in future. Remember prevention is better than cure.
If we are to respond to these problems we have to recognize that each of us is individually responsible for the quality of the environment we live in. Majority of people want a cleaner and safe environment, but none of us want to make major changes in their lifestyle that could contribute to a cleaner environment. People need clean water and block the roads during its unavailability but not many of them hesitate to throw the hazardous waste directly into these water bodies which make them polluted and unfit for use. Using of fans instead of ACs, using of public transport instead of private ones, having own water bottle instead of buying bottled water, using and carrying own recyclable bag instead of buying daily items in plastic bags, using of washable and reusable diapers among children reduces and minimizes plastic pollution. These little changes and habits among people have a great role towards environment protection and conservation. Environmental problems cannot be solved alone with quick technological fixes. Decisions and actions taken by individuals to a very large extent determine the quality of life for everyone. This necessitates that individuals should not only be aware of various environmental issues and the consequences of their actions on the environment but should also make a firm resolve to develop environmentally ethical lifestyles.
The fundamental duties enshrined in our constitution imposes duty on individuals to protect environment in order to provide each and every human a clean environment and a life with dignity and harmony. Article 51A(g) states that the fundamental duty of every Indian citizen is to protect and improve the natural environment including forest, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures”. Some of our wastes can be diluted, decomposed and recycled by natural processes indefinitely as long as these processes are not overloaded. Natural processes also provide services of flood prevention, erosion control at no costs at all.
We must therefore learn to value these resources and use them sustainably. By teaching our friends and families that the physical environment is fragile and necassary we can begin fixing the problems that threaten it. Only environmental consciousness and awareness make people realize that our actions help in restoring the damages caused by us. Every year the quality of environment is deteriorating instead of improving. But the good news is that there is a lot we can still do as individuals to change this narrative. In order to tackle the menace of these growing environmental problems, urgent steps have to be taken at not only global or country level, but also at local or individual level. In fact, the role of individuals in prevention of environmental problems is of critical importance, because it is the individuals that make a community or country. Effort by each individual at his or her level can have a significant effect on global level. It has been aptly said “charity begins at home”. Environment Conscious and inspired individuals are strongest tool to tackle environmental problems at local levels. This is because an individual can tackle environmental problems more effectively as he/she is more familiar with these problems persisting at local level and he himself/herself deals with them in his/her day to day life. It is better and more viable to prevent environmental related problems by educating individuals. Individuals should modify their lifestyle and living habits if that are not healthy for environment.
Bilal Bashir Bhat