Technically speaking, Global Warming refers to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere as a result of increase in the concentration of one or more green house gases. A green house gas is a gas which traps heat in the atmosphere near the earth’s surface. For example, carbon dioxide, methane and chlorofluorocarbons, to name a few. If the atmospheric concentrations of these gases rise, the average temperature of the lower atmosphere will gradually increase, leading to Global Warming. And enough has been said about the after effects of global warming and how devastating it would be for life on earth.
Everything on this earth is made up of carbon and has some carbon content. Each and every activity that we undertake adds to carbon emissions by the means of green house gases. Green house gases are emitted by almost all activities where there is any form of energy utilization and energy is the essential ingredient for all the activities on earth. Some of these activities might not cause pollution, but they certainly add to carbon emissions. For instance, in urban areas, electricity, water, coal, petroleum, cooking gas etc. are used in all activities, be it in industries, office, transportation and homes. Thus, the more the consumption, the greater is the need of energy, leading to more carbon emission by green house gases and consequently, a rise in global warming.
It’s impossible to live without consumption, but we can certainly reduce it. For this, one needs to look around in the environment and be sensitive to how we can contribute towards reducing carbon emissions by lowering our consumption and thereby energy. Let’s see how we can contribute to the cause of reducing carbon emission.
As a teacher, one can ask students to submit soft copies of assignments and projects. This will not only save money, but will save paper also and reduce ink consumption, which is pure carbon.
As a fitness freak, one can go for morning walk instead of the gym, where electricity is also consumed on almost all equipments.
As a health conscious person, one can eat what is required; it won’t only reduce the burden on scarce food resources, but will save money as well.
As a student, one can reduce the burden on environment by using both the sides of paper. For instance, recycling pens and using refills, instead of buying new pens.
As a homemaker, one can utilize compost by using kitchen waste in a kitchen garden. Thus, reduced burden on earth and lowering petrol consumption by less frequent visits to the market for buying vegetables.
Corporate and big companies can collectively decide not to waste resources on packaging, because in order to make any packet look attractive, they not only spend lot of money (which adds to the cost as well as price), but also increase the burden on environment by using more plastics, color pigment, paper cardboard, energy and these all increase the burden on environment. But this is possible only if all corporates take it as corporate social responsibility. Even if one corporate will spend resources on making packaging attractive, the rest will follow, as market dynamics are such. And if few will reduce expenses on it, then they will become trendsetters. Rather than doing branding via packaging, they should focus on ingredient branding.
As a responsible citizen and consumer, one can discourage products that are not eco friendly, and can stop using those brands which ultimately spend a lot on making their product look attractive via packaging. As ultimately, increasing the market share by attracting more consumers will lead to fierce competition in markets.
As an architect, one can design eco-friendly buildings, where there is no need to use electricity at least during the day and discouraging construction of glass buildings, because it adds to green house effect and greater use of air conditioning. And how damaging it is for the environment, one need not mention.
I am not saying something new; all this has, been said and it will be said again but are we willing to do our bit for the environment, for us, and for our future generations?
It might sound unrealistic to some, but then one needs to look around in the environment, how one can contribute towards reducing consumption and then carbon emissions which lead to global warming. Ultimately, one it is up to each one of us to take our call.
Discussions for reducing emissions, among the intelligentsia, corporate and governments have been going on and will continue to. There have been seminars, conferences and debates on this issue of reducing the burden on environment. Millions have been spent on it, but what will make the difference is one’s personal contribution, by changing our own lifestyles and minimizing wastage. Good disposable income doesn’t mean that one has to spend it only on environment polluting activities.
As Mahatma Gandhi has very rightly said, “I think it’s necessary to emphasize this fact: no one need wait for anyone else to adopt a human and enlightened course of action. People generally hesitate to make a beginning if they feel that the objective can’t be achieved in its entirety. It is precisely this attitude of mind that is greater obstacle to progress- an obstacle that each man, if he only wills it, can clear a way himself and so influence others.”
After all, every drop in ocean counts, so let’s take a pledge to make our personal contribution. Let’s not wait for another New Year or new dawn to take this resolution to save our environment. Let’s start it now.