• Aashay Bhogte

Do we need World Conservation Day?

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

Martin Luther King Jr.



History is what makes us and what shapes us into who we are. And as Indians, we should commemorate this fact all the more, for we are blessed with glory. Despite being called "Sone ki chidhiya" or The golden bird (surprisingly, not because we had gold, but because we were blessed with Raw Material), our emperors believed in conservation- in passing on the rich heritage that India has to us. The Great emperor Ashoka and the Mauryas, believed in the preservation of life and nature. They ensured this by reinforcing laws that prosecuted offenders for assaulting animals or for carelessly exploiting the woods. Yajnavalkya (he was a Vedic sage and has been mentioned in our Upanishads a lot) condemned deforestation and mentioned so in his scriptures. Our culture has also taught us to worship rivers as the providers of life, a raging example: Ganga.

For who we are, as a part of this society and the proud successors to our glorious emperors, I want to draw your attention to our bind today, on this World Nature Conservation Day, 2021.



World Conservation Day
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

But that's our past, Here is where we stand in the present

India ranks second when it comes to population with 1.38 billion in 2020 (that's probably not including the pandemic). Hence, we as Indians, pose a greater responsibility to use our resources judiciously. On the bright side, we must applaud ourselves because despite contributing almost 20% to the global population, we only generate about 3 percent (overall) of the total garbage generated every day.

But, these numbers are low not because of our efforts in conservation but because we are a poor country. We are on route to becoming a powerful nation, but with that will come its own disadvantages. So we have two options here, we get together and figure out a way to keep that number constant, if not reduce it. Second, we forget who we are to win this rat race and let the environment take the toll for our ambitions. Although, I really hope it's the first option.



Annual municipal solid waste generated per capita (kilograms/capita/day) by different countries
Annual municipal solid waste generated per capita (kilograms/capita/day), Courtesy: World Bank

Although, this article is aimed at Indians, when it comes to conservation, let no geographical boundaries or political parties divide us. Our Earth needs us united, as the citizens of this world and as the budding generation to inherit the future.

This is the time to wake up. This is the time to open our eyes.

Licypriya Kangujam, youngest Child Activist from India.

It isn't really surprising that we are in the worst ecological state as compared to all the previous generations. Waste that is dumped every day keeps piling up. We are running short of ways to dispose of waste without damaging the ecology. For example, the garbage that is dumped in the Pacific, floats, and travels along with the ocean currents is now an actual landmass. This mass of garbage is called the Great Pacific Garbage patch. The fact it has great in front is not really good news. It measures more than the size of many countries. This must remind us humans of the toll that our planet is taking.


The ocean currents that lead to the formation of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (sourced*)

The good news is, we still have time. We can still take steps to reduce the impacts that we’ve caused. When it comes to conservation, even the smallest effort counts.

One such small step we can take is to start maintaining a diary or a journal to log entries of our day-to-day consumption. On day zero, the entries must consist of small things which measure the amount of water used, electricity consumed, plastic wrappers or bottles, papers, stationery used or thrown, and so forth. From the next day, your aim must be to reduce each of these entries. The results of this exercise will be evident in a couple of weeks.

If people can spend a wholesome twenty-six years of their lives replanting the forests, this is the least effort we can put to conserve our nature. Like we always say at Khakhed, you are not alone, as long as you are ready to take the first step, we are ready to back you up.

Many corporates are doing their bit towards the preservation of resources. Apple, a popular consumer brand, intends to reduce massive amounts of E-waste by not supplying in-box accessories as most buyers are upgrading their previous products.

“70% more boxes to be shipped on a pallet. Taken altogether, these changes will cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to removing nearly 450,000 cars from the road per year”, according to Apple.

This action was taken so the company can go Carbon neutral by 2030. This not only reduces footprint but also reduces package size thus improving transportation efficiency. Moreover, they also lay a strong emphasis on recycling parts and products from older lines by reintroducing new lines.



Design Credits: Apple Inc


Such examples not only inspire us to conserve our limited resources but also instill a glimmer of hope in a sustainable future. Hence, I sincerely urge everyone to do their piece to make this tiny world of ours, and even more so beautiful place for the generations to come!



 

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*http://nakedmaninthetree.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/trash-vortex.gif



#world #conservation #WNCD #WNCD2020 #nature #savethearth #planet #greenplanet

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