How consumers can influence the market and create demand for Eco-friendly products.

The problem with plastic pollution is not as simple as we think. The option of Recycling, Reusing or Upcycling all the plastic products is not possible/ feasible/available everywhere. And the most effective way to curb this issue is to stop it right at the source.

Just like when a tap is running and the water is overflowing- the best way to solve this is to close that tap first, rather than looking out for a mop to clean the mess.

Hence, the best way to solve this plastic and waste crisis is to reduce the production itself. Now, this may not be possible or happen very rapidly for all the things because plastic is essentially being used in ways more than we can think of. But it can definitely be started with the things that can be manufactured without plastic, with ease. We need to especially focus on single-use plastic items.

For this to happen, companies have to start manufacturing such products without plastic then. But how would this happen? Plastic is a cheap and convenient material for the companies, why would they want to look for an alternative?
In simple words, this can happen in two ways-

  1. Companies get a sense of environmental responsibility
  2. Companies are forced to look for alternatives, because no one is buying plastic

Today, we will look at the second way.

We as consumers can alter the demand in the market. And the Companies will quickly adapt!

Companies produce all the goods for us, and we are the ultimate buyers. And we are the ones who DIMINISH as well as CREATE the “demand” of products. So, how do we kill the demand for plastic and essentially all the environment harming products and force the Companies to change their ways?

Step 1 – Switch!

All we have to do is, stop purchasing products that are made up of plastic, or come in plastic packaging. Easy? Not so easy!
Let’s analyze it and then decide.

If we stop purchasing plastic products, we need ALTERNATIVES then! It’s all about switching. We have to start purchasing more sustainable products instead of those made with plastic.

Now there could be 2 possible hindrances in this solution-

  1. Availability- Plastic being a cheap material is so widely being used in everything from furniture, kitchen goods, personal products, stationary and what not. Hence every company is using it and it could be hard to find brands who are not following this blind, environment destructive trend.
    So, it can be difficult to find plastic alternatives at every place.
  2. Affordability- As said, plastic is cheap. Cheaper than glass, wood, metal. Hence all the plastic alternative products may not be very affordable for everyone. There are some alternatives where plastic can be avoided totally (example- a soap bar vs a plastic packaged body wash). In this case the alternative would be cheaper. In the other case, where plastic material has to be replaced with another material, it could become a little more expensive. Example- steel cutlery would be more expensive than plastic ones.

So we can’t adopt the ‘All in, All out’ approach here. Rather, according to our convenience and budget we can start eliminating the purchase of plastic products. And gradually, the problems of Availability and Affordability will also blur away. How? Keep reading to know.

Step 2 – Demand!

Imagine the scenario that we all slowly stopped purchasing plastic products. We are purchasing sustainable products and we are also start creating a demand for more such products in the market. This way, we not only support the existing sustainable brands who will now produce more, but seeing the rise of this new demand, more and more companies will also rush to fill in this demand.

There has been a big surge in Indian home-grown brands who are creating amazing products with local and sustainably sourced raw material. We no more have the dearth of options to choose from. [Read my last blog to know about some Brands that I have come across]

Moreover, this is the best time to go sustainable and support these brands and people in order to help revive our local economy and promote self-sufficiency.

Now, so many companies have also started manufacturing products without plastic- it has now become easier, more accessible to purchase sustainable products. And due to competition, there has been a decrease in prices too!
Hence the issues that we as consumers faced initially are also resolved.

Step 3 – Less Mess!

Now that we have eliminated the use of plastic from the first stage itself, we have less plastic to deal with and whatever is left, we can recycle/ reuse it with more ease. The problem with plastic is not that it is a bad material for all the goods. It is just that its uncontrolled production has made it impossible to manage it. As it is non-biodegradable, we need to have a system in place which prevents it from entering our landfills, water bodies and oceans. Plastic has to be brought to recycling units.

But since the volume of plastic is so huge, it is extremely difficult to segregate it and bring it to the recycling units (and we already do not have enough number of recycling facilities).

We need a circular economy where everything that gets produced, is later transformed to be used in making something else (example- plastic recycled and altered to be used as a raw material in other goods like furniture). And this way, very less items go to waste, and we are able to get maximum benefit out of each material and product ever manufactured because we are not adopting the “Use and Throw” mantra anymore. (I will talk more about Circular Economy in my next blog)

Hence, if we stop using plastic where we readily have alternatives present, we can reduce the amount of new plastic getting created in the world. All we have to do is, be a little more conscious of our purchases and CREATE THE DEMAND!

How to reduce your plastic consumption (A complete beginner’s guide!)

With this blog, I want to share my journey and experience with plastic. How I have been trying to reduce the consumption of plastic in my day-to-day life. It isn’t that I have reached the level of perfection where I have no single plastic item in my house or I don’t purchase anything made of plastic. That is certainly not possible because plastic is such a widely used material, that it may not be feasible for us to completely do away with it.

But what we can do is- try to avoid it whenever we can AND try to replace it with more sustainable alternatives whenever possible.

So, we have two categories of plastic to deal with-
1. Things made up of plastic,
2. Plastic packaging

I am going to share very easy and simple ways you can make a sustainable switch. I have shared my personal experiences, tips, mentioned alternative products, named some amazing brands, and some creative ways to deal with plastic. I hope to inspire you to try these ways and begin saying bye-bye to some plastic.

Let’s send less plastic to the landfills, rivers, oceans, stomach of animals and into our own bodies.

Carrying your own shopping bag

The first, the foremost and the most basic- say no to plastic bags/ polythene. I see people purchasing a packet of chips or a loaf of bread and asking for polythene to carry it, from a store next door.

Please do not ask for a polybag or just refuse to take one even if the shopkeeper offers, whenever you are buying something that you can easily carry just like that.

And most importantly- whenever you go groceries, take your own bag. It may sound small but its impact is bigger than we think. Be it a jute bag, cloth bag, or even if its a big plastic bag that you have saved from your previous shopping trips or whatever is already present at your home. Carry it. Just don’t hoard more polybags at your home.

Carry small bags separately for groceries

Also, if you shop for fruits and vegetable from a store where they have a take-out plastic bag roll at each counter to fill it with and later weigh at the counter OR If you purchase loose rice/ lentils/ flour from the local stores- do not throw away all those plastic bags. Keep it safe back in your shopping bag and use the same bags the next time too! Or just use small cloth bags for the same (you can make some from your old clothes if you want to get creative). Remember, the aim is to not take any new plastic bags.

What I like to do / What you can do-

  • I keep a bag tied to my main door handle so that I never forget to carry it while going out.
  • I keep a bigger bag handy near the door (for bigger shopping). Even if I may need the bigger bag at that time, that smaller bag tied to the door will remind me of it!
  • I keep one bag ready in my car/ scooter /bike as well. I always keep one in my office bag too. I shop for groceries mostly on my way back home from the office. This way I am never without my own bag for shopping.

No more eating in plastic

As plastic items have turned to be one of the cheapest available in the market, we have ended up consuming way it way more than we require. In some cases, plastics are not even advisable, and better options already existed. But just because of the low price tag and maybe the various plastics offer, we choose plastic. One such case is plastic cutlery and food storage containers

Studies have found that plastic leaches out chemicals in our food and water. Even though single exposures to a specific chemical in plastic are small, if they occur repeatedly over long periods of time, their effects may add up, leading to a variety of adverse health outcomes down the road. Furthermore, and most importantly, we are exposed to many chemicals simultaneously (i.e., chemical mixtures) that may have additive adverse effects. These chemicals are known to interrupt the reproductive system and the proper functioning of our endocrine system (responsible for producing hormones). Read more here.

Hence, the usage of plastic, in this case, is more of a health concern along with the environmental one. So, switch to the materials we have been using for decades- iron, steel, ceramic. Not only are these more durable, but these materials are recycled and reused way more often than plastic.

And yes, remember to not simply toss out all your plastic cutlery in the garbage now, but try to use it in other ways. We have to make use of it until the end of its life. The key is to not buy any more plastic cutlery/ storage container/ cookware. Also, why buy in excess at all? We don’t really need 5 Dinner sets, 30 plates, and 50 spoons at our home. Just buy what you need, and while being more cautious and considerate towards your health and the environment.

Watch the delivery food coming in plastic containers

Avoid ordering food that coming in disposable plastic containers too. Those containers are made up of even cheaper quality of plastics (as it is for single use only). Hot food stored in those containers breaks the chemical bonds of the plastic that leaches into your food. Prefer ordering food that comes in cardboard, or wrapped in paper or just dine outside.

What I have been doing/ What you can do too-

  • I have not purchased any new plastic items for my kitchen in months. I have two steel plates, 4 steel bowls and glasses, 4 spoons, 4 forks, and 2 knives. And all other cookware is of iron.
  • I also purchased bowls and easy-to-carry cutlery made of bamboo wood from BareNecessaties India. And I think it is an amazing alternative too.
  • I prefer ordering food that comes without plastic containers- like wraps, donuts, burgers, sandwiches coming in paper/cardboard boxes.
  • I also reused the old plastic containers from food delivery. I use them to store things other than food and save money separately purchasing storage containers.

Look out for other plastic items at your home

Take a tour of your whole house and make a note of things that are made of plastic. You would be surprised to see how much plastic is being produced and consumed in our everyday life. While we may not have an alternative to each plastic item, I made another list of items for which I can easily use better substitutes instead. I am also mentioning some brands so that you can easily find the kind of products that I am talking about.

View this post on Instagram

Let's start small! 💚 This is one of my very first alternative choices that I made to reduce my plastic usage. Those fancy body wash and shampoos are bad as they not only comes in a plastic packaging but also loaded with harsh chemicals inside. By using Bar, you reduce the amount of plastic going in the landfill and the oceans. • (Think it on a scale of millions of people = millions of plastic soap/shampoo bottles in the landfills per month) • 💚Plus they are much more gentle on your skin and hair! And no, they are not inconvenient at all. • 💢Fact- liquid products need chemicals and preservatives to increase their shelf life, whereas bar soaps can be made without those strong chemicals (with 100% natural and safe ingredients) and without a plastic container of course. • 💚There are so many Indian brands out there making these hand-made bars and also using no plastic packaging. Many commercial and luxury brands have also joined the bandwagon recently. One of my favourites is @theearthrhythm They have amazing products with great ingredients too. They have no plastic packaging, not even those thin plastic film around the bar. • 💚Most importantly, they have the most eco friendly courier packaging I have seen. They use newspapers instead of plastic bubble wraps and paper tapes instead of cello tapes. • 💚The next time you run out of shampoo or body wash, I urge you to switch to bars instead! Just make sure the product you choose has no plastic wrapping either. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed and never look back at your plastic products. • 💚💚💚[Swipe to see some tried and tested products that I am using] Picture 2- aloevera soap by @theearthrhythm Picture 3,4 – Shampoo bar by @theearthrhythm and the tin container that it comes in. We can totally reuse this container! Picture 5- Their plastic free courier packaging . Another brand that I know is- @vilvah_ ( they too have a lot of products in non-plastic packaging ) I will talk about more such easy product switches you can easily make and help the environment. Share in the comments if you have also tried any such product/brand!

A post shared by It's Climate Crisis! (@greenfuturefirst) on

Here’s my list of Before || After items with which I started my journey to shun plastic-

  • Plastic Fridge Bottle || Purchased a glass and copper bottle
  • Food like honey, jams, butter, spreads coming in plastic containers || Looking for bigger size of these items or other brands that come in glass containers
  • My shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facewash in plastic bottle || Using soap bars instead ( Check the brand Earthrhythm and Vilvah. I would also recommend checking the @thebeautybutter.co on Instagram for some amazing handmade soap bars if you think bars are ‘uncool’)
  • Plastic toothbrush || Using a bamboo toothbrush ( Check the brand BareNecessaties )
  • Plastic Comb and hair ties || Using a wooden comb and hair ties made up of recycled cloth ( Check the brand BareNecessaties and @ohscrapmadras on Instagram )
  • Other essentials like moisturizer, cleansing oil/balm, serums, lip balm, deodorant in plastic containers || Purchasing from brands that use more sustainable (reusable/ recyclable) packaging like glass/aluminum. (Check Earthrhythm, Vilvah, Suganda )
Clockwise from top- my handmade soap bar which smells like cream cookies; the copper bottle; hair ties made of fabric scraps; cheese spread in a glass jar.

Wait! Don’t rush and throw all the plastic at your home

“Ok! We got it. No more new plastic. But what about the stuff that we already have in our house? ”

Now after knowing that we have alternatives to many items at our home, let’s control our excitement a little and not throw away all the plastic items right away.

The first way to look at the existing plastic should be- use it / upcycle it/ make something else out of it. Throwing away all the existing plastic would defy the whole purpose of not letting it end up in waste. So be creative, think how can you use things, and stop them from going in our landfills and oceans.

Some of the things that I have done –

  • I wanted to purchase a toothbrush, toothpaste holder to hang alongside my sink. So instead of purchasing a new one, I used an empty cardboard box (you may use any thin/thick cardboard box as toothpaste and a toothbrush won’t weigh much) cut one opening, and pasted it on my wall.
  • I was looking for a jewelry organizer for a long time. A few weeks ago I bought the Karachi Bakery biscuits (was trying to choose as it was in a cardboard packaging, but then…) and saw that the inner tray in which the biscuits were placed was made of plastic had small compartments in it. So I washed it and turned it into a jewelry organizer in my cupboard.
My new jewelery storage box with compartments
  • I had some empty Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes which I now use to store my tiny items like buttons, pins, threads, nail paints, and even on my bedside table to keep my spectacles, hair clips, lip balm and everything in place.
  • I have 3 plastic plates lying around in my kitchen that I bought a long while ago. I do not use it for my food anymore. So I have painted them and turned them into wall decor items.

    (Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of these cool upcycled items and what more I do on a daily basis)

And if you can not reuse or up-cycle these items, find scrap dealers / kabaadiwalas / startups that take plastic material for recycling. You can google and easily find scrap dealers near you. The ones I know in Hyderabad, India are – SCRAPQ, Crapbin. I haven’t used their services yet as I am still collecting the majority of my recyclable waste (old plastic bags, cardboard boxes etc.) to reach an acceptable weight for a pick-up service.

Share and Grow

It is OK if you just start with one switch at a time. It is OK to start small. What also matters is this change in perspective which now allows you to look at your choices more carefully. Also, remember to share these tips with your friends and family too. It is the collective action of all of us that will bring the change. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to share our knowledge with more and more people for this effort to compound.

Let me know which tips you would use in your daily life. Follow my Instagram Page where I share stories and pictures of more such things that we can easily do to make a difference. Also, comment and tell all of us if you have more such ideas!

How to understand Environmental problems and accept that it’s real!

We as humans often tend to dismay another person’s views if it is different from our own perceptions, or if it something new. We are more likely to believe in what someone else is saying, if –

  • If it is backed by solid proofs and facts, which are built on our existing knowledge. For example, we know how precipitation works, and we also know there is a lot of pollution in the air. Combine the both and we now know that Acid Rains are possible and real.
  • It comes from a higher, powerful, and reliable authority. It becomes easier to accept it, as the authenticity of the concept can now be trusted. For example, the financial experts of a country, warning the government of an impending economic crisis shortly, based on their calculations and knowledge.
  • If we see it or experience it first hand. For example, a person living in a remote area, without a TV or internet, would not believe in self-driven cars

So, to accept Climate Change and other serious environmental issues, we need to first have an open mind to let the new or ‘not-so-comfortable’ information sink in.

Also, do not rely on the Media or Government to come and feed the information related to these issues to you. They are far far away from taking it seriously yet. And we need to be self-reliant now.

Now let’s go step by step covering all three points that we just discussed to learn and believe in something extremely important for our future.

Be Curious

Read articles, watch videos, talk with people about why, and how is all of this happening. Then pose your own questions

“Why did this not happen before?”
“Can sea level rise actually sink the cities? If yes, then how?”
“Are some species really getting extinct? And why does that matter to humans?”
“Will any of these things directly affect me or my family one day? If yes, then how soon?”

Why plastic is becoming such a problem?”
“Can I do something about it?”


If news about rising sea levels does not make you believe in it, I urge you to google it immediately.
Picture from CNN News.

You have got your questions. Now let’s find out the answers.
There are so many ways you can do it, thanks to the almighty Internet!

Then keep learning and building your knowledge unless you can believe or completely shun the issue, based on your research.

I have shared a list of my favorite YouTube Channels, Instagram Handles, people on LinkedIn, Twitter in my previous blog. You can go and follow all of them to keep yourself updated with all the facts, news, updates, while you are scrolling through your feed all the time

See what the REAL experts are saying

There is no dearth of scientific evidence to back the ‘realness‘ of climate change. We have Climate Experts, Scientists, Environmentalists, Global Leaders all around who have been telling us their predictions based on real data and facts.

Follow the Leaders from organizations like NASA, UN, World Economic Forum, and other reliable scientific communities who are working hard to bring forward facts and figures which matter. Also, do not forget to share such information from your friends and family so that they know that this is coming ‘REAL’ Experts.

But then we also have some powerful leaders who completely deny the idea of it, calling ‘climate change’ another gimmick and influencing the masses against it. In this case, just pause for a minute and remind yourself –

Everyone has their own set of motives or beliefs. In this case, our Leaders become the deniers for two reasons

  • (The biggest of all) For their selfish financial greed– For example- The big Corporates involved in industries like- Coal, Oil, Animal Farming, or any business that exploits natural resources extensively- will never support facts or laws that will harm their pockets. And the governments are supported by these Corporates and hence do not take any action against the tremendous harm they are inflicting on our environment.
Donald Trump, a climate change denier who is also a proponent of fossil fuel industries (coal, oil, natural gas) pulled USA out of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement (an agreement where all countries made a deal to reduce the carbon emissions and work towards a more sustainable way of development)
  • For their spiritual or religious beliefs- Some people are influenced by their higher beliefs which may cloud their vision from seeing the scientific truths and stop them from taking actions. For example- It could be difficult to convince some Leaders holding certain sacred beliefs that religious activities in and around the holy river Ganga are one of the sources of pollution or activities like immersing idols of deities made up of toxic paints and material is harmful to the marine ecosystem. And they may never think about turning these activities into more eco-friendly ones.
There is no doubt that industrial and sewage waste are big contributors to pollution in huge rivers and water bodies. And the government must produce stringent laws against these industries for environmental degradation. But in small river bodies, and even in large ones, such human activities also play a part which can be easily checked upon and converted to more eco-friendly ones. Image from UCANew

We need to identify if our Leaders have one of these reasons behind their denial. In this case, you need to think rationally and place facts over greed and beliefs. And we also need to make other people aware in order to stop them from getting influenced.

Finally, connect the dots!

Now, as a final step, look around yourself, analyze your daily life. Identify two main things-

  • What has changed?
    Do you know a huge majority of the population around the globe has already started experiencing the severe consequences of climate change already?
    Observe things like-

    “Are winters getting colder and/or summers getting hotter?”
    “Are the occasional events like storms, hurricanes, floods getting more frequent?”
    “Has there been a decrease in water availability?”
    “Have there been more and more disease spread and illnesses lately, due to pollution?”

    “Am I hearing a lot against plastic these days?”

    I know the answers to these questions will be yes. And now you know the reason why you answered yes.
  • What will change?
    Now you can answer what more will change if timely actions are not taken.

    “Drastic changes in the climate will severely impact the agriculture sector”
    “Frequent storms, hurricanes, floods will hugely impact human life and the economy”
    “If water tables keep depleting, we might have to pay high sums for having a minimum supply of water”
    “Rising pollution level will damage the health of everyone from young to old, in unimaginable ways”

    “Microplastics will be present in everything from drinking water to food that we eat if plastics are not controlled”
India and many other regions of the world experience flooding every year due to extreme weather conditions and changing patterns driven by climate change. These floods hamper the lives of millions and not to mention the economic impact of such events.
Picture by Indian Express.

And there are hundreds of such questions we can ask ourselves every day. And the ultimate answer will remain the same- WE NEED TO ACT NOW. I will be taking up all these questions in my future posts too and understand them more deeply.

After performing these steps, pat yourself on the back as you have completed the first step towards solving any problem, that is to accept that there is a problem.

Remember this-

You don’t take medicines unless you get aware and accept that your body is sick, and how sick.

And, do not forget to share this knowledge with your friends, family, and network and help them understand these problems too. Everyone needs to know this!

Locust Plague 2020- Yet Another Consequence of Climate Change

Nature is not stopping. Indicating that it had probably reached a tipping point after which we all are just witnessing a Domino effect in play.

In the middle of the Pandemic, struck by the worst economic crisis and caged by the lockdowns, we can not afford for things to go worse. The poor of our country are already suffering beyond comprehension with people losing jobs, migrant laborers struggling to go home and farmers finding it hard to harvest and sell their produce.

Then comes another series of devastation- cyclone Amphan (which by the way is also a result of climate change, as rapidly warming oceans are intensifying such storms). Again, leaving our poor in misery and in tremendous loss.

Now, we have another monster coming up to haunt us.

The Locust Plague

Locusts flying over the vegetation. Picture by theprint.in

Let us know about Locust, Locust Plague and what is happening right now.

What are Locusts?
Locust is an insect that belongs to the family of grasshoppers which are usually harmless.

When do they become not-so-harmless?
When these locusts meet suitable environmental conditions (warm and wet), they become gregarious and start breeding abundantly. Their numbers increase so much that a swarm of locusts can contain as many as 80 million locusts.

So what do they do after forming an army?
Locusts have an insatiable appetite. They form swarms and attack crops.

Should they be taken seriously?
Yes. They are the world’s most destructive migratory pest, can travel up to 90 miles a day, form 80 million-strong swarms and eat the same amount in vegetation as what large cities eat every day. They have the full potential of devastating the entire agricultural economy of countries.
Locusts have formed plagues since pre-historic times. The ancient Egyptians carved them on their tombs and the insects are mentioned in the Bible and the Quran. Swarms have devastated crops and been a contributory cause of famines and human migrations.

So how have we tackled them till now?
Since the 20th century, because of the changes in agricultural practices and better surveillance of locations where swarms tend to originate, we have been able to put control measures at an early stage.
Several organizations around the world monitor the threat from locusts. They provide forecasts detailing regions likely to suffer from locust plagues in the near future. Countries have been using various biological and chemical methods (pesticides) to control locust populations.

What is happening right now?

Experts say that the world is facing one of the worst locust situations in decades and will give a heavy blow to agriculture. In February, eight east African countries experienced the worst outbreak in 70 years. The insects have threatened the food security of 25 million people across the region. In Djibouti (a country in Eastern Africa), a few weeks ago, it is estimated that over 1,700 agro-pastoral farms across the country and nearly 50,000 hectares of pastureland have been destroyed by the swarms.

The scale of the locust outbreak, which has affected seven East African countries (and reached other nations like Iran and Pakistan too), is like nothing in recent memory. City-sized swarms of the dreaded pests are wreaking havoc as they descend on crops and pasture-lands, destroying everything in a matter of hours.

What about India?
After devastating Iran and Pakistan, the locust swarm has entered India– Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh. It is majorly threatening the standing cotton crops and vegetables.

India has been hit by locust plague several times between 1812 to 1997 but has not seen any locust upsurges since December 2011. But this year the situation would be worse. Amidst Covid-19 pandemic, dwindling economy, and lockdown, damage to our agriculture on this scale could be disastrous. In favorable conditions, a locust swarm could cover an area from less than one square kilometer to several hundred square kilometers and moving ahead rapidly in search of more, when their food supply (all the vegetation that comes there way) gets over.

Considering the seriousness of the situation, India has already proposed a coordinated response to locust control to Iran and Pakistan. While Iran has given a positive response in accepting India’s supply of malathion and helping with other pest control operations, Pakistan hasn’t (till now). Our states are also prepping up and adopting various means for controlling the swarms. But no matter what, a certain degree of destruction is inevitable.

How are these insects related to Climate Change?

Locust plague on the move. Picture by India.com

The countless human activities that have given rise to Climate Change has disrupted the sensitive ecosystem of our planet. Everything in our world is interrelated and any disturbance made at one point can create ripples affecting many phenomena. The one at play here is the ocean circulation pattern which is now misbehaving due to rapid warming up of the oceans—triggering a weird confluence of events for the whole world to behold.

To understand this in a fairly simple manner, here is what happened-

  • Desert locusts are usually restricted to the arid deserts of Africa that receive less than 200 mm of rain annually.
  • In normal conditions, locust numbers decrease either by natural mortality or through migration.
  • But the last five years have been hotter than any other and studies have linked a hotter climate to more damaging locust swarms
  • And a prolonged bout of exceptionally wet weather, including several rare cyclones that struck eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula over the last 18 months, is responsible for creating the perfect breeding grounds for Locusts.
    Here you can see visually the series of weather events that occurred in the region-
RILEY D. CHAMPINE NG STAFF; SOURCES: FAO/DLIS; NCAR. Picture taken from the National Geographic

These abnormal rains, cyclones, extreme weather conditions were caused by the Indian Ocean dipole, a phenomenon accentuated by climate change. This sudden change in the ocean climate has also been linked to the devastating Australian bushfires.

And yet again nature has made us realize that we all are connected. Doesn’t matter if we are living in different countries or even continents, everything on this planet functions in harmony. No person, no country, no region is in isolation but a very part of this system, which has to be taken care of together.

No matter how much we try to deny climate change and pretend that humans are causing no damage to the planet, we can not escape reality. Nature will keep knocking our doors with disasters and the only ones who would be left suffering ultimately will be humans.

Remember- The earth will thrive without humans, but we can not live anywhere but here. It’s high time we stop fooling ourselves and start acting and behaving in a manner less destructive to the planet!

Sources- wikipedia.org, the guardian, unenvironment.org, nationalgeographic.com, India.com, theweek.in, worldbank.org

Selfish (and beautiful) reasons why you should care about the environment!

As I talked in my previous blogs, one of the strongest reasons we do not believe in something is if we have never seen or experienced it. And how are we supposed to take action about something that we just don’t believe in?

For some, science is boring, the facts look untrue, scientists are always saying something or the other, people and animals have always been dying. And hence, nothing rings a bell and they have no reason to even think about these issues.

Some people argue that our technology and scientific advancements will save us from everything, save us humans from perishing and save this planet from becoming inhospitable. This planet and the humans will just EVOLVE with these changes.
But will that gradual new world have –snow mountains, clean beaches, forest get-aways, and all beautiful animals that we see? Will we be able to sunbathe, jog, walk, trek, swim, play in open?
If all of this doesn’t seem worth saving then I guess we will just have to start liking to live on a planet just full of humans, concrete buildings, artificial spaces mimicking the natural ones, machines, technology and that’s it!

So, let me try to put down some relatable, convincing, and beautiful reasons why we should be a little more considerate towards the environment and take the first step.

For the love of beaches!

Plastic garbage washed ashore on Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai
Picture by Brett Cole

The picture says it all! This is what has started to happen at all the beaches. We don’t want to stop planning our Goa, Kerala, Thailand trips just because those beaches aren’t beautiful anymore! Because there is just trash coming out of the water and it’s no fun swimming and surfing amidst heaps of plastics. Let’s not take our beautiful oceans for granted and take action today. Unless you are OK with vacationing at human-made indoor beaches in the future.

Mesmerized!
Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash


For the dream of scuba-diving in the Reef

Corals dying due to rising temperatures in Australia.
Photo by DW

These are dying corals. From seeing it in my GK textbook, to watching it in HD on National Geographic Channel, the corals never failed to amaze me. I mean who can not fall in love with these super colorful and mesmerizing creatures! My mom is scared of water and yet she told me one day while watching an Australia Tour show on TV-

“You have to take me here some day. Although I am scared of water, I still want to see these corals and fishes. You have to figure out how to take me underwater safely” ( and I don’t know how would that happen 😛 )

And it is possible that we may not be able to witness these creatures again in real. This is a part of a bigger problem- global warming. So, please take action now! I really want to take my mom there!

A photograph of how they really are and how we want them to be!
Photo by Q.U.I on Unsplash

For the bucket list which says- visit the Antarctica and see penguins!

Melting ice caps in Antarctica posing existential threat for all the native species.
Picture by Yale

Damn I want to go to this icy land, live in igloos and see penguins! I want to live my childhood dream of seeing the Pingu sliding on their stomach in ice and do the same 😛

The ice sheets are melting. Let’s do all that we can to not destroy their habitat! I really don’t want these majestic creatures to go away.

Do you know some penguin species are monogamous? They spend their whole life with one partner and raise off-springs.
A picture from oceanwide expeditions

Why just Pingu? I want to see all the beautiful creatures in the world

Large scale deforestation for agriculture and animal farming is destroying the habitats of animals forever.
An image from @lffanimalrights twitter

It is heart-wrenching to see millions of animals losing their natural habitat. I don’t want them to get extinct not I want to see them in the zoos where I read on the description boards “This lion/elephant/giraffe/rhino/bear/orangutan is one of the last few hundreds left in the world”

I want to see them living and thriving in jungles where they are not threatened by humans. Do you really want these beautiful beings to die?-

Oh look at these beauties!
Individual pictures from upsplash, independent.co.uk , sciencephoto.com, britannica, secure.wsc.org, worldeconomicforum, pinterest, wallpaperaccess.com

Apart from travelling around the world, there is so much I don’t want to lose closer home!

I want to enjoy every season!

I want to enjoy the summers eating Popsicles, see the rains coming at their due time making everyone happy, and then snuggle in the cold winters.

What I don’t want is to be living in a giant hot oven where I can’t step out of air conditioners even in the evenings and caged inside helplessly. Do you know- more than 1.2 billion people in India would live in places as hot as the Sahara within a few decades if the greenhouse gas emissions keep rising.

Happy summers mean enjoying coconut water ❤
Picture by Telangana Today

I don’t want the rains to be a cause of misery for farmers whose crops get destroyed or see people dying in floods every year because of too much rainfall. Or even worse, not see rains at all.

In 2019, parts of Maharashtra were under heavy floods while the other part struggled with drought leaving farmers in despair.
Picture by new Indian Express

Neither do I want to see winters full of extremities- smoggy and utterly chilly at one place, and warming up the ice covered mountains on the other side of the globe.

Do you know the places world famous for skiing are turning into patches of land with no snow with the rising temperatures? And this is just the beginning. We may stop receiving adequate snowfall in regions that were known for it.
A picture of Squaw Valley Ski Resort, in Olympic Valley, Calif., in 2015

LOOOOOONG Drives!

We love long drives on the weekends, outside the city, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. We want to breathe some fresh air, see greenery, sit in the peaceful lap of nature. I find that to be the best therapy!

Weekend getaways from Mumbai
Picture by Truebill

But there won’t be any serenity left if we continue to graze off the trees and open lands and construction everywhere.

There’s no fun driving on barren roads.
Picture by Flickr

The most important- freedom to go wherever I want

I wouldn’t want to live in a world where I am constantly reminiscing about how good my childhood was, when everything was peaceful and beautiful, with no complications and no restrictions.

Those were the days :’) Would our children be playing out like this?
Picture by Indian Express

All of this would not make sense if we stay indoors. So we have no choice but to make this world healthy and safe for us, for these animals, birds, fishes and everyone to able to move freely in our territories.

Let’s not create an imbalance again and let everyone embrace the beauty of nature.

Comment and share with everyone what more reasons can you think of, to save the beauty of our nature.

Glaciers and polar ice melting will cause much more than just rising sea levels

Global Warming is increasing the temperature on earth which is, in turn, melting our glaciers and polar ice. This would lead to an increase in sea-levels which could submerge low lying areas. That is what we learned in school or largely heard in “science” talks. But is that it?

(Well this known fact alone should scare you out of wits, because it’s not some faraway cities or areas which will drown. As per predictions, our beautiful cities like Mumbai and Kolkata could be well under the sea by 2050. Yes, just 30 years from now!)

Is that ice nothing else but a huge mass of frozen water that would just melt away and merge in the oceans?

I am afraid we have been informed so less about how that ice does much more than sustaining Polar Bears and destroying Titanic.

More water!

Glaciers (like the Himalayan glaciers) give birth to our rivers which are the main source of freshwater (for countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh). Rapid melting of the glaciers would result in the shrinking of the size of these glaciers over time which will dry up our rivers. This will directly impact the availability of freshwater for drinking and majorly for agriculture. It may not seem significant right now, but drying up rivers will be havoc for a population of millions of people. And this shrinking is taking place at a pace faster than ever. These glaciers have taken thousands of years to form and the melting which would have taken centuries is now taking place in just a few years.

Consequences of Himalayan glaciers melting

Not to forget, before the rivers dry up, those rapidly melting glaciers will throw in huge volumes of water in the rivers ( yay?), which is no good news for us, as it will lead to enormous flooding. It would destroy the cities, people’s homes and the crops. That would mean a huge economic loss along with an extreme food shortage over time. To give you a scale, the agriculture and all other water needs in Northern India depends on these freshwater rivers, on which closely half a billion people depend upon.

White Reflects!

Starting with the easier concept first. We all know black color absorbs light and heat where white color reflects it keeps stuff (like outer walls of houses) cool. This is exactly what those GIGANTIC masses of ice do. They are like a huge white sheet covering the surface of the earth which reflects the sunlight out and prevents the heat from trapping inside the atmosphere. This process is a key component in the whole system of our planet, working towards maintaining the temperature on Earth.

Without those ice caps, we will have nothing to reflect the sunlight and all that heat would remain in our atmosphere, contributing to the rising temperatures

Trapped in Ice!

This is a very interesting phenomenon and easily understandable. As we know, lower temperatures (and ice) help preserve things for a VERY long time. But how long?

The scientists have found micro-organisms from the Jurassic Times, trapped in the deep layers of ice from the glaciers.

An illustration by Vox

Well, it like ice does an extremely good job. This ice has been able to keep intact traces of primitive viruses, bacteria, plant life, fossils, animals and everything under the sun, which existing during the times when that ice froze. Frozen permafrost soil is the perfect place for bacteria to remain alive for very long periods of time. (Permafrost is by the way a term used for land being frozen for more than 10 years).
Not-so-fun-fact- To give you a scale- the number of micro-organism trapped in all the glaciers of the world is 1000 X the biomass of all the humans on earth.

The scientists have been constantly studying about this, and one such research near the Tibetan glaciers revealed astounding results. They were able to revive such “dead” or “inactive” micro-organisms again from the frozen ice. ( By the way, this also leads to the possibility of being able to revive extinct animals back to life. I see all the ICE AGE fans rejoicing! Sit back, as it is just a theoretic possibility as of now 😛 )

But why should we care about the frozen stuff coming back? We are certainly missing out on a very basic fact here- Those viruses and bacteria have high potential to cause diseases in humans which have never been seen by the human body nor known to our scientists.

So wait! Just ask those scientists not to bring those monsters to the world again. Well, this is what is scary. Even without human intervention, such a case has already happened. Here’s the story –

In August 2016, in a remote corner of Siberian tundra called the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic Circle, a 12-year-old boy died and at least twenty people were hospitalised after being infected by anthrax.
The theory is that, over 75 years ago, In early 20th century, millions of reindeer died because of anthrax disease and got buried in the soil not very deep. So, those frozen carcasses became trapped under a layer of frozen soil, known as permafrost. There it stayed until a heatwave in the summer of 2016, when the permafrost thawed.
This exposed the reindeer corpse and released infectious anthrax into nearby water and soil, and then into the food supply. More than 2,000 reindeer grazing nearby became infected, which then led to the small number of human cases.

 And not only that, scientists have discovered fragments of RNA from the 1918 Spanish flu virus in corpses buried in mass graves in Alaska’s tundra. Smallpox and the bubonic plague are also likely buried in Siberia.

Imagine all those eliminated diseases coming back to the world.

So letting these glaciers melt is like opening a tank full of primitive organisms and diseases!

But some of my friends here would think ‘I don’t live near glaciers or cold regions‘. Well, you didn’t have to be in China to get affected by the consequences of Covid-19!

There’s carbon too!

When this ice melts, the threat is not only from these deadly micro organisms. The melting also exposes that old (very old) frozen vegetation and animal bodies which were frozen until now. But now- Now, all of that stuff starts decomposing in the presence of air. The decomposing microbes come into action and start decaying all that matter. And that old vegetation and the no-more frozen dead animals contain carbon.

An illustration by Tim Haslett’s Blog

And that decaying means a lot more methane going into the atmosphere which is the leading cause of global warming.

The decaying also expedites the process of thawing of the ice. And this whole thing becomes a circle, which once started, would not be possible to control.

Let’s not forget the animals!

Image by Britannica

The adverse effects on the animals, vegetation and marine life on the poles and near glaciers is inevitable. The rising temperature is already making the survival of these species difficult. Moreover, the dependency on ice ranges beyond habitation, ranging from living in those areas permanently, coming for food, coming for mating, raising the young ones. There is a whole ecosystem and a food web existing in these icy areas for millions of years. The popular and some of our favorite animals- polar bears, penguins will no longer be able to cope up with these changes and our next generation may not be able to call them their favorites.

So what do we do?

We certainly can not go and cover the glaciers to prevent them from melting. It is a consequence of the bigger problem– GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE.

When we take action collectively to target the bigger problem and its causes, all these catastrophes will eventually be controlled. But for that, we need to ACT!

The purpose of this article was not to scare you about a whole lot of diseases, especially if you are reading this during the COVID19 situation. The idea is only to spread information, be aware, so that we know that all of these issues are not as simple and straight forward as we think. The reality is much much more than just the rising temperatures or glaciers melting.

It is just like you will not take a medicine unless you get aware that your body is sick, and how sick!

So, don’t be oblivious to the facts and reality!

You can read/watch more about these issues here-
BBC’s article on diseases trapped in ice
Article on melting glaciers
Scientists Wake Up Ancient Viruses Unknown to Medicine
Why Siberia’s permafrost could be a huge carbon problem
What Diseases Frozen in Ice could be Hidden in our Glaciers? 

Instagram accounts to follow to keep yourself up-to-date with Environment news

Keeping yourself abreast of the latest news on the environment, not only helps you know what is going on around the world, but it bolsters your beliefs in the problem and the fact that there is no dearth of solutions; it just needs to be implemented vigorously. You get to know about so many famous, million-dollar companies, startups, NGOs investing in, and prioritizing sustainability. It also encourages you to do your part as well, when we see so many other people making dire efforts for our future.

We are scrolling through our social media accounts all day. Be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn. So the easiest way (something which I rely on too), to keep yourself updated with the latest news on Environment, Climate Change, Pollution, Animal Protection, Conservation Laws is to bring all of this to your feed. So that even when you are just passing time spending hours on your phone, you are up-to-date with all the new happenings around the world. And the most important thing- always share an interesting piece of information that you come across, with your network

I spend my time mostly on Instagram or LinkedIn. I have followed numerous accounts on both these platforms and they have been so helpful.

In no particular order, here is the list-

Share this with your friends and family too and enhance their Instagram feed with more valuable information.

INSTAGRAM

  1. worldeconomicforum, unitednations, nasaclimatechange– Some top official agencies to follow for the news around the world
  2. oceana , sealegacy – For news on the impact on oceans and marine life, their conservation and their posts are beautiful too
  3. cnnclimate– For news on climate, the looming threats, latest policies and laws being implemented across the world and innovative solutions to tackle these problems
  4. zeroxplastic– For facts and news on plastic pollution
  5. ecocentrik– For sustainable living ideas and technology that solves environmental problems
  6. greenpeace– An Internation NGO working towards conservation
  7. 350org– This organization is creating a movement to fight climate change
  8. ubuntoo– The most amazing page for latest tech and innovations
  9. theoceancleanup– This startup has found a unique tech solution to collect ocean garbage
  10. earthalliance– An organization chaired by Leonardo Di Caprio doing incredible things
  11. zerwasteemy, wastefreeplanet– For zero waste ideas
  12. sustainabilitymatterstoday– For news on innovations in sustainability
  13. ecoasia– A search engine that helps plants trees from their profits
  14. earthlinged– This page spreads awareness about the cruel reality of Animal and Dairy Industry
  15. doitfordavid_ – Campaign against the plastic menace
  16. letmebreathe_in – An Indian creator bringing news on climate change and pollution
  17. climemechange – A fun page full (funny, dark, real) of memes on climate change

    Some People to follow who are doing a great job –
  18. lionardodicaprio– He is funding and leading a huge organization aiming at conserving our planet
  19. gretathunberg– The famous child climate change activist
  20. paulnicklen– He is a NatGeo photographer, also leading an organization to conservation of the oceans and marine life.
  21. lucalocatelliphoto– Another NatGeo photographer who’s pictures speak a thousand words
  22. diamirza– In association with UN, she participates in various conservation initiates as well

Some more incredible accounts to follow- infobeautiful, Ecowizard, hideourbad, ecocentric, amazonfrontlines, plantflo, chintan.india, natgeotravellerindia, bbc

Adding a few of my favorites from LinkedIn as well
LINKEDIN

World Economic Forum– This organization is a MUST follow for all kinds of informative news and innovations from around the globe
Mike Barry– He writes amazing articles and posts around climate change, sustainability, and economy
David Katz– Founder of an organization called ‘Plastic Bank’ which is helping prevent plastic from reaching our oceans. The ask people to bring in plastic and in exchange take essential items or a form of digital currency with which they can buy goods and services.
The Better India– They bring amazing news in innovations and solutions from all across India
Kate Brandt – Sustainability Officer at Google
Manik Thapar – For news around plastic, waste management and impact of our garbage on the environment

If you are more on TWITTER, you can find these organizations and people on twitter as well!

These are the ones that I am following currently, and I will keep updating this list with my latest finds. Comment down and share if you know about more such accounts to follow!

Surprising things you never thought were bad for the environment

Let’s first look at what we learned in school, what we have been taught, and what we already know.

What are the things or actions that we do are bad for the environment?

Wasting water YES
Our vehicles pollute the air
YES
Throwing out litter
YES
Not turning off our electrical appliances and waste electricity
YES
Using plastic YES

These are, what we can call- basics of harming the Environment?

But there are a LOT of other damaging things and activities derived from these basics which simply go unnoticed in our daily lives. Let’s learn about some of these things, after which you would be much more aware and conscious and take better decisions not just for the environment, but for your pocket as well.

So, here it goes-

Share this summary with your friends and family and help them learn too!

1. Fast fashion

This one is probably one of the most unsettling facts that I have known, for which I really had to force myself to get out of this habit. By fast fashion, I mean the clothes which are meant to last just one season at a cheaper price tag or will probably be out of fashion in a year or two. This pushes you to keep buying more and more clothes while discarding your old ones. Here are some facts which you DEFINITELY should know about the garment industry-

  • The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide.
  • It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt. That’s enough water for one person to drink at least eight cups per day for three-and-a-half years.
  • It takes about 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans. That’s more than enough for one person to drink eight cups per day for 10 years.
  • The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions.
  • Polyester fiber (a plastic found in an estimated 60% of garments) produced releases two to three times more carbon emissions than cotton. And polyester does not break down in the ocean- becoming microplastics.
  • 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.

    You can check more such facts and figures here – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/fashion-industry-carbon-unsustainable-environment-pollution/
Some of us just love shopping and buying tons of stuff every now and then (I have been there too). Let’s break this habit knowing that it affects not just our pocket, but our resources too.

So, what can we do?

Shop wisely! Purchase only the things that you actually need and which would last you through seasons as well as trends. I have been guilty of mindless shopping and purchasing things that I rarely wear. So, just sit one day and assess your word-robe. Take out the pieces that you no longer wear or hardly wear and consider donating. And before going out for shopping, be clear what exactly you want to purchase. And while shopping- think whether you would actually wear that piece of cloth often or just invest in classic and versatile clothing which you can wear more frequently, on multiple occasions, and would stand the fight of ever-changing trends!

2. Not Eating Local

Our basic three needs for survival- air, water, food. While the air and water have evolved only to include pollutants in them, but our food production and consumption have changed drastically over the past century. With better availability of resources and scientific developments, the agriculture industry has boomed with our productions sky-rocketing. Coupled with the transportation industry, we can import/ export food all over the world. While this may be a blessing for countries with limited natural resources to support their agricultural needs, but this vast network of importing and exporting of food (I am talking about raw, unprocessed food like- grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.) comes at a cost.

First, the transportation of food across the countries or even continents leads to a huge carbon footprint.
Secondly, it also leads to a huge amount of food wastage as the food gets spoiled in a long supply-chain. Think of it in terms of not only that food getting wasted but also the resources like water, fertilizers, land consumed by that food, which is also going in the trash.

Quick Facts-

  • Approximately 14% of the world’s food gets wasted between the stage of harvest and reaching the retail
  • If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter next to China and the United States.

Eating local food can have enormous benefits for the environment as well as your own health.

  • Local Food is richer in nutrients and healthy as the food hasn’t traveled thousands of miles before reaching your plates. Hence, freshly picked food is much more healthy and tasty.
  • Locally grown food is safer. When food is imported and out of season, fruits like tomatoes, bananas, and pears are often picked unripe. And then, they are then artificially “ripened” with chemical agents.
  • Buying locally you contribute to our your local economy and also support small scale, local farmers who have much fresh produce than the packed imported ones available in supermarkets
Let’s eat what grows around us and not get lured by imported food!

So what can we do?

Simple- Buy local, fresh, seasonal food!
India is blessed with all the natural resources required for a huge variety of local crops, fruits, and vegetables. So, [for all the Indians here] eat those mangoes and watermelons in summer and ditch those “exotic” imported fruits like kiwi and avocados. Eat your local greens rather than going for the heavily packaged, imported broccoli!

You can read more here-
https://www.globalagriculture.org/whats-new/news/en/33821.html
https://www.loaddelivered.com/articles/the-shocking-truth-about-food-loss-waste-in-the-supply-chain/
https://foodrevolution.org/blog/why-buy-local-food/

3. Not Segregating Waste

This one small activity can put in place so many subsequent waste management steps. A basic level of segregation would be simply having two different dustbins one for organic waste, and other for inorganic waste (like plastic, metals, etc).

Each type of waste needs a different approach to disposing of it. Organic waste like food waste can be converted to manures if segregated properly. Materials like metals, rubber, glass, plastic need a different treatment. We can extract so many items that can be recycled and reused. Waste-to-energy plants then help us dispose of leftover waste. (We’ll cover this topic in detail in a separate post)

Doing this segregation right at the source makes it easier to recycle, reducing the amount of recyclable waste going to the landfills. Plus it cuts the cost of segregation at a later stage where already tons of garbage is dumped together.

This is what should be happening ideally. But in REALITY, the waste management system in India is below par. Here are some quick facts-

  • Of the total collected waste, only 20 percent (27,000 MT per day) is processed and the remaining 80 percent (1,08,000 MT per day) is dumped in landfill sites.
  • India generates nearly 26,000 MT of plastic waste on a daily basis
  • Nearly 15,000 MT of garbage remain exposed every day, resulting in almost 55 lakh MT of solid waste disposed of in open areas each year, which leads to a “severe” pollution level.

    (where 1 MT= 1000 Kgs)
A picture (from businessinsider.com) of a garbage mountain in India,

Moreover, it will not make any sense if we segregate our waste into two bags at home but it gets collected in the same garbage truck, mixing everything again. This is the case with every other city in India.

So what can we do?

  • If you have a lot of plants or have a garden at your home, you can create your own compost at home. And it is super simple and requires no special equipment or setup. You just have to separately collect your kitchen food waste and give it time (and it’s not smelly, I promise!). Here is a simple video guide – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFlhYS-_tpY
  • If you live in a residential complex or society, you can propose having a compost bin for the whole society where the organic waste can be collected and the compost can be then utilized for the community garden and plants.
  • If none of these options apply to you, like in my case, I live in a standalone building where only a single garbage truck comes for collection. Hence I try my best to throw away only biodegradable waste. I have been trying to reduce my usage of plastic. But for the rest, there are startups who can come and collect recyclable waste from your home, but there is a minimum weight requirement. So, I collect all the plastic bags, containers, and cardboard boxes in a spare cupboard in my kitchen so that I can get it collected later. You can also encourage your neighbors and your society to do the same and have a monthly pick up done.

    One such startup is CrapBin in Hyderabad. Check them out here- https://crapbin.com/

There is more…

I hope you found this post informative and useful. There are so many other things that are so detrimental to our environment, but we are unaware of it. There is just so much to know, so much to learn and so much to change.

I will share more such topics in my second part of this post. So, stay tuned!

And remember, something is better than nothing. So, start with what you can, whatever you are comfortable with. We don’t have to be perfect. We just need to start DOING. And don’t forget to share your knowledge with your circle!

Other sources- https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-s-trash-bomb-80-of-1-5-lakh-metric-tonne-daily-garbage-remains-exposed-untreated-1571769-2019-07-21


Let’s create the hype!

Nearly half of the population in India lives in places that are likely to become moderate or severe climate hot spots by 2050, according to a World Bank Study launched very recently.

And one Yale University research on climate change communications pointed out that 65% of the Indian population is not aware of climate change.*

I remember talking with a friend some time ago, when I started mentioning about carbon emissions and the scale of plastic pollution. I was telling that we should not be purchasing plastic packaged things like drinking water at least, refuse to take a polythene bag from the grocery shop, supporting local organic brands etc., etc.

And it wasn’t the first time I got this reaction-

“What difference would it make?”

Actions of 1 or 2 or even 100 people won’t change anything!”

The government should be responsible”

“Nothing can be done now! We are doomed anyway”

“Let’s just live our life to the fullest. The world is soon going to end”

And the one that I hate the most-

Nothing will happen! It’s all hyped up. We will survive just like we have been doing from the past hundreds of years”

So, why do some people think it’s all meaningless? Why do people don’t take climate change, pollution, environmental issues seriously?

Despite of having solid scientific evidence, data, and even consequences that we experience first hand, still a majority of the people really just brush away these conversations and make no effort of understanding it either.

But Why? It’s a lack of awareness. Or, in other words, I would say, the answer is- lack of publicity and popularity! It may sound funny, but it is the harsh reality. We wouldn’t have known how great of an actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is until we started seeing him in mainstream movies and shows. Otherwise, he would have ended up being a hidden gem, known only to a few. And the world would have missed on so much.

I like this analogy! Let’s build-up on this.

Just like an extremely talented actor has all the skills needed to be successful, climate change too, has all the characteristics to be the prime time news. It is real; it is extremely urgent; it is something that will impact not just one country or one continent but the entire world and every single human being. Moreover, we have all the evidence; we know the culprits; we know how to make this right; what actions must be taken. But still we don’t see it on TV; it’s still not everybody’s favorite topic of debate.

So what can we do ?

Simple. Create the much-needed hype!

We have to publicize climate change as much as we can. Make it the trending topic on social media. Just like you would share your favorite actor’s pictures, videos, articles on your social media accounts, do it for our underrated Climate Change too. Let’s make it famous so that every news channel, print media, famous TV shows always talk about it and compete to bring the best and the latest news around it every day.

Let’s just talk about it. With our friends, family, neighbors, colleagues. Share what you know, learn what they know. Think of creative solutions, discuss new ideas.

“One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.”
– Linda Lambert

So, let’s be the publicity managers for climate change!

And the first step to being a great publicity manager is to know in and out about the entity you want to publicize. (Just like you have to watch numerous works of Nawazuddin Siddiqui to know his talent. And then be 100% confident that he is one hell of an actor, before convincing others).

So, first YOU need to know what is this all about, and why do we need to do this. We have to be determined that together we can make Climate Change top the charts everywhere. We have to make it through our competitors (every other news on religion, politics, celebrity gossip, etc) and not lose our momentum.

We can do this together. Let’s keep doing our part while making everyone around us aware!

Read my next articles to know how to have top-notch knowledge on Environmental issues and how to have conversations with people around it!

*Sources-
https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/0FVi6JI6LjMwzM9aJ5IJON/The-need-to-invest-more-on-climate-change-education.html