“It’s World Environment Day?” asks Sanju. He, with a few others of Volunteer For A Better India, have been busy implementing rainwater harvesting in a few houses they identified at the Malayinkeezhu Panchayat. For these young volunteers, every day of work takes them closer to making the environment, a better place.
“It is an Art Of Living initiative that prompts individuals to devote one hour every day to the nation. It works in several areas. And in the environment area, we started this project called Jalam. For two months, we have been working to create awareness on rainwater harvesting among the residents of Malayinkeezhu, where there is acute shortage of water.” They managed to convince three houses to install cheap plumbing facilities to implement rainwater harvesting.
Like Sanju and his team, other environmentalists too are working every day of their lives to make the world a better place. Harish Vasudevan, a young lawyer from Kasargode, is one such activist. “I am not fascinated by the idea of World Environment Day when one is working for it every other day,” he says. “On World Environment Day, I will be taking classes on environment at a local school or institution, wherever I am.”
This year, he will be talking about the chosen theme — Think, Eat, Save. Harish has always believed in promoting this message through his life. He can afford a car or bike, but relies on public transport. He avoids unwanted shopping and carries a cotton bag with him whenever he does. “My biggest concern is the changing lifestyle of people. In earlier days, we had three or four people living in a house, today it is a different house or two for every individual.” He is also concerned about paddy fields making way for airports in Idukki, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta.
Anand Narayanan, an eager participant of environment-related campaigns, has been involved in a campaign to plant trees along the sidewalks of Thiruvananthapuram city. “I believe that individuals can find solutions locally to environmental problems by collectively acting, within our spheres of influence. The starting point of this is to change our own attitudes and lifestyles. I have been trying to do this by doing things in ways I think least impacts the environment, like reducing the use of plastic at home, not littering when I am in public spaces, choosing public transportation whenever possible, avoiding wastage of natural resources and so on. Small steps can take us a long way if we act together, as one society.”
Source: Deccan Chronicle
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Creating the right environment