Taking care of Mother Nature
Forty four years ago the world was put on notice. It was time to take affirmative action to protect Mother Nature.
World Environment Day (WED) began with the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, by the UN General Assembly in 1972. Two years later, in 1974, the first World Environment Day on the theme “Only One Earth” was held. Today, more than a 100 countries have joined the campaign to raise awareness on saving the environment. WED falls on June 5th each year and is hosted by different countries. India is the host this year on the theme “Beating plastic pollution.”
WED is meant to be the “people’s day to take care of the earth.”
Despite all this, we continue to pollute our environment in more ways than one. In Sri Lanka it took the collapse of a huge mountain of garbage, which killed 32 people and destroyed a large number of homes for the government to wake to the disaster staring us in the face. Until then and even today, despite a ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastics, and hefty fines for offenders, Sri Lankans continue to strew garbage everywhere. Be it government offices, businesses or private residences, taking ownership to arrest environmental pollution is painfully slow.
Our wildlife is in danger, our forests and mountains denuded, waterways polluted; no amount of fines or bans seem to be working. How many of us carry a cloth or reed bag when we go shopping and say no to plastic bags? What happened to boiling and filtering water at home instead of grabbing bottled water off a shelf? And simply remembering to re-cycle, compost and placing any waste in the correct bin?
Our Municipalities must take the lead in placing appropriate bins in easily accessible places throughout their jurisdictions, so we will have no excuse for littering.
Or we may just have to go with Robert Redford when he says, “I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?”
The people’s day to take care of the earth must be every day, not just one day of the year!