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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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?
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 (email@example.com), comment on facebook.com/FridayMagazine or @Friday_Magazine. Answers may be edited for clarity and/or length.