Uswa Hafeez | Hyderabad, Pakistan
"The Earth is what we all have in Common" - Wendell Berry
The 21st century no doubt has been a century of dynamic contribution from people for numerous civil liberties, including gender equality and women rights changing the face of the world and welcoming a new era of strength and courage. Up until now, people have been actively advocating for human rights on multiple platforms. We have promised to fight for each other until we have achieved fundamental freedoms like our freedom of speech. Yet, we have to realize that there are other rights we are meant to fight for, and that includes the right to live in a safe, healthy and clean environment. Many young activists have taken this cause into their own hands and are standing up for their future, but we need to support their call and take action ourselves too. It is visible that we are facing countless issues such as global warming, and an escalation of air, land and water pollution, some of the causes being:
● Usage of plastic
● Not recycling goods
● Industrial chemical wastes being drained in rivers
● Accumulation of Garbage
● The Greenhouse Effect
Whether you are familiar with the phrase “Nothing Lasts Forever, Except Plastic", or not, it is true. Plastic has proved to be a calamity, blocking drainage systems and flowing into the ocean and consequently becoming fatal for aquatic animals when swallowed.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle make up the three R's, which are essential in maintaining a balanced environment. Industrial wastes are often drained into nearby water sources, since factories and power plants require water in their manufacturing process. Some countries have technologies which prevent the waste from flowing into their rivers, but most countries are devoid of such facilities. The waste can be reactive, toxic even radioactive, negatively effecting aquatic life. Terrestrial animals face the danger too, when drinking that water.
Waste management can be a serious issue when not handled properly. An effective system to dispose of garbage through garbage collection trucks or other waste management systems is useful. However, many developing nations lack effective waste management methods.
As a result, people end up throwing the trash on the streets, and create garbage dumps there. This can negatively impact nearby neighbourhoods as the waste decays, and can lead to the development of health problems. A garbage dump is home to many flies, carrying germs and bacteria which are easily spread and people are soon probe to infections.
As global citizens, we are responsible to fight for a clean Earth because we only have this one planet; so what can we do?
● Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags. Reducing our consumption of plastic can make a huge difference in our waste production
● Apply the three R's. The real change starts from you!
● If you have old furniture at your home and you want to throw it away, sell it or recycle it instead of letting it take years to decompose in the landfill.
● Encourage your local government officials to take concrete climate action. For example, in countries where drainage facilities do not exist, the government needs to facilitate industries with a proper drainage system so that the toxic substances are beyond the reach of animals.
● Do not throw garbage on the streets, co-operate with your society in keeping the streets clean and use organic material for composting in order to use the by-product as fertilizer for plants.
● Lend a hand in making the earth greener by planting many trees and plants - this will reduce the greenhouse effect to much extent
Despite being small steps, if they are taken, they can make a big difference. By keeping the Earth clean, we are giving it life, so let's fight for a healthy and greener Earth.