A page for read­ers to share their views, thoughts and sto­ries.

We in­vite read­ers to share thoughts, anec­dotes, views or sto­ries on a par­tic­u­lar sub­ject. As Earth Day is be­ing marked to­mor­row, last week we asked you what you are do­ing in your life right now to help the en­vi­ron­ment.

Friday - - Contents -

En­vi­ron­men­tal groups have been try­ing to take dif­fer­ent steps and ini­tia­tives to im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment. How­ever, we can also in­di­vid­u­ally take small steps in our ev­ery­day life, which are easy to do and will yield good re­sults later on.

Some of the few things that I do in­clude try­ing to use my car as lit­tle as pos­si­ble, to save money and stay fit. It is also a way of de­creas­ing the re­lease of dan­ger­ous green­house gases. A small step goes a long way. Se­condly, I am al­ways care­ful about what the fam­ily eats and I make sure that there is no wastage of food. The ex­piry dates are al­ways checked and I use any­thing be­fore it ex­pires, if not then ex­cess food is do­nated, since the wasted food that is thrown away turns into a green­house gas called meth­ane. Although I live in an apart­ment I have my own in­door and out­door plants be­cause I believe that they keep the en­vi­ron­ment healthy and re­duce pol­lu­tion in the air as well as help with noise pol­lu­tion. If we look around we can see that there are many other ways to keep our en­vi­ron­ment clean and pro­tect our planet from fur­ther dam­age. Let us all promise to at least try and bring one small change and pro­tect the only home that we have.

Sa­dia Mohsin

I make sure all af­ter­noon that no bulbs or tube lights are on, and in the evening only nec­es­sary lights are on. For me, ev­ery day is Earth Day.

Faiza Sal­man

Char­ity be­gins at home. I’ve tried to in­cul­cate ev­ery­thing my par­ents taught me about re­duc­ing, reusing and re­cy­cling. I guess grow­ing up in In­dia – where In­dian mums re­use al­most ev­ery­thing, or that pocket money dad gave me from sell­ing the used news­pa­pers to the scrap dealer rather than throw­ing them away – helped us un­der­stand about do­ing our bit for a bet­ter to­mor­row for our off­spring. My youngest, who is only five,

has watched us prac­tise these in our daily lives and once rep­ri­manded our maid be­cause she left the tap run­ning. I have made him elec­tric­ity mon­i­tor, to en­sure no lights are left on when not needed, and his el­der brother checks all gad­gets are turned off. These are sim­ple steps but if you catch them young they will be role mod­els for their chil­dren and this way we can help save the en­vi­ron­ment.

Sand­hya Shetty

‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world,’ said Ma­hatma Gandhi. Earnestly abid­ing by this quote, I have sub­stan­tially min­imised the us­age of plas­tic bags fol­low­ing our gro­cery shop­ping. This thought­ful act was in­spired by my French teacher, who made us re­flect about its ef­fect. Farah Shaik

I walk in­stead of us­ing the car and buy fruit and veg­eta­bles from lo­cal sup­pli­ers. I keep to the speed limit, The more you speed, the more petrol you use, mak­ing the pol­lu­tion worse. I turn off un­used sources of power, such as tele­vi­sions and heaters.

Ver­noica Jill

As a Gulf News sub­scriber, we keep all our news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines for a week and then send them to a re­cy­cling agency in­stead of throw­ing them away. My aunt and mum are also in­tent on main­tain­ing the plants we grow, which is a hard task due to the op­pres­sive heat of Dubai. Our school premises are be­ing re­lo­cated and my brothers and I have taken it upon our­selves to cy­cle to school ev­ery day in­stead of us­ing the bus or car. It is only these lit­tle ef­forts that can help the en­vi­ron­ment.

Sarah Ronad

Switch­ing off lights that are not needed, wa­ter­ing plants with the wa­ter that was used to clean veg­eta­bles, us­ing frozen food less of­ten to save both en­ergy and wa­ter at the same time. To main­tain a bal­ance with Mother Na­ture, I have planted many in­door as well as out­door plants. I re­cy­cle a lot of use­less ar­ti­cles. For in­stance, I make the best out of waste, like a wa­ter bot­tle into a beau­ti­ful vase. This kind of art­ful trans­for­ma­tion can be used as a show­piece at home. I have trans­formed many un­used milk cans into sapling pots and cre­ated a hanging gar­den on my bal­cony wherein each pot rep­re­sents a smi­ley. I keep seeds and wa­ter on the bal­cony for the birds to feed on. I have taken very small steps to help the en­vi­ron­ment. What is any ocean but a mul­ti­tude of drops?

Tanuja Keshkar

My fam­ily is very eco-friendly and quite con­scious about min­imis­ing wastage. We try our best to follow the rules men­tioned be­low:

Be wa­ter wise. I used to spend a lot of time in the shower. Thanks to my wife’s sug­ges­tion, I spend less time in the shower with a low-flow shower head.

We have started us­ing tap wa­ter for cook­ing, and leaky taps are im­me­di­ately re­paired.

Save elec­tric­ity. We use en­ergy-sav­ing bulbs. We make a point of switch­ing off lights when we exit any room. De­vices are turned off when not in use and also be­fore go­ing to bed, and air con­di­tion­ing is turned on only when re­quired. My wife cleans out the re­frig­er­a­tor be­fore we go on va­ca­tion, so the mains power can be turned off.

Gen­er­ally, we try to walk as much as pos­si­ble. My wife goes for an evening walk daily and picks up gro­ceries on her re­turn. We try and use the Metro when­ever pos­si­ble. My wife cooks as per our re­quire­ment so that there is no wastage of food. When we visit restau­rants, we or­der only the re­quired quan­tity so food is not wasted. Some­times, if the quan­tity served is more than our re­quire­ment, we ask them to pack the ex­cess food to be taken by us and con­sumed at home later. We de­posit all used clothes and used items in the re­cy­cling bins pro­vided by Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and try to keep our sur­round­ings as clean as prac­ti­cally pos­si­ble. Shankar Subra­ma­nian Ev­ery day I try my best to re­duce wastage, mak­ing sure my garbage is re­duc­ing. My part­ner is help­ing me and each day we are try­ing more and more to save the en­vi­ron­ment. Fa­tima Ali As­ghar I use only as much wa­ter as I need, and avoid do­ing any­thing to en­dan­ger wa­ter sup­plies. I eat re­spon­si­bly. Eat­ing re­spon­si­bly also means eat­ing less meat and fewer an­i­mal prod­ucts, such as eggs and dairy prod­ucts, or per­haps none at all. I walk, bike, use pub­lic trans­port more, and drive less. I turn off equip­ment like tele­vi­sions and stereos when not in use. I let clothes dry nat­u­rally. Mag­gie Veron­ica

This week’s ques­tion… Ak­shaya Tri­tiya, the festival of new begin­nings, is com­ing up. Is there some­thing on your to-do list that you haven’t started on yet? Email your replies (fri­day@gulfnews.com), com­ment on face­book.com/Fri­dayMagazine or @Fri­day_Magazine. An­swers may be edited for clar­ity and/or length.

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