Garbage menace, no rx public littering, deforestation, global warming, increasing pockets of concrete jungles, polluted water bodies are facts of our daily lives, here in Goa and everywhere. As a responsible person and a citizen of this world, how can you protect and conserve the environment? Dr. Charlane Pereira e Rebello, a psychologist throws in a few tips that can make a huge difference to save our Mother Earth. Each one of us can do our bit to save the planet. Be the change!
Grow plants in your garden
Plant a tree! No open garden spaces for shrubs or trees? Grow a few potted plants on your balcony or even in the living room next to a window. Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the air, making it more clean and fresh. They produce oxygen, retain water, cool overheated areas and combat global warming. Save trees! Plant more! Our Earth needs many more trees.
Unplug your phone charger after use
Feeling lazy to pull out that charger cable from its socket? Remember, all the electronic appliances we use consume electricity even when off or idle, and even when fully charged. Ponder on the number of appliances in your home that work on electricity… Refrigerator, television, bulb, microwave, laptop, water pump, geyser, phone charger, hairdryer, music system, induction cooker, etc. Unplug after use. Keep usage to the minimum level. Don’t leave any appliances on standby modes.
Use cloth bags. Refuse to carry plastic ones
In our tiny state of Goa, a few enlightened people are spotted carrying cloth bags for their grocery shopping. The vast majority still prefer to stuff all those French beans, potatoes and watermelons in their plastic bags. Blame it on poor environmental awareness! And all this despite our state’s exceedingly high literacy levels. Talk about irony.
Walk/bike to work instead of driving
A kilometer or two from your workplace? Gift yourself a good pair of Nike shoes and go for brisk walks to your office. Not only will you enjoy good health, the environment will also be less polluted from driving vehicles. You will inspire many others to do the same… Drive less! Walk or bike when you have to travel short distances. Combine your errands in one trip.
Have your own compost pit
Don’t discard your kitchen waste in one of the garbage bins. Do you have a backyard? Or a small area to dig a compost pit to dispose of vegetable waste and fruit peels? Composting works well for gardening. This saves time, money and waste management resources. In addition, the garbage menace is reduced.
Is your workplace far enough away from your home that you are compelled to take your four-wheeler? You could give your colleague a lift to work. Her house is just a stone’s throw from yours. This means one car less on the road. The less the number of vehicles on the road, the cleaner and healthier our environment. Harmful motor emissions from vehicles are one of the main reasons India’s air pollution is among the world’s worst; especially diesel emissions.
Take shorter baths
Save water! Beware bathroom singers and dreamy eyed youngsters…. Skip the half-hour-long shower sessions. Your soprano or tenor should be restricted to the garage. Day dreaming sessions about your college love can be enjoyed on the sofa listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘Forever and Always.’
Reuse and recycle
Reuse and recycling curbs littering at home and in public. From those old cartons stacked up in the attic to the empty glass bottles lying next to that refrigerator or the pile of old newspapers in the corner reuse or recycle. Plastic containers, bottles, cans, etc can be given away to ragpickers who go door-to-door to pick up such items.
Turn off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth
You can eye your pearly whites in the bathroom mirror before you start your night routine of brushing. Make all the funny faces you desire, thanks to your favourite Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Mask.’ Just don’t forget to turn off the faucet while you admire yourself.
Turn off lights when not using them
Save electricity! Cut down pollution! Switch off the kitchen lights when you are in the dining room devouring your delicious home-cooked meal. Do you need a short power nap? Switch off the lights in the bedroom. Not only will you feel refreshed, but you will be content to know that you have played a major role in decreasing pollutants.
And remember, vote green…
China, not India, has captured much of the world’s attention when it comes to griping about air pollution. But here’s a news flash. India’s levels of cancer-causing particulate air pollution are actually much higher than China’s, and studies have shown that Indians have lower life expectancy because of pollution. Therefore, we must all ask ourselves why wasn’t pollution a bigger issue in these last elections? Solution? Make it an issue. Vote green!