En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Be­gins at My Home

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

There is a pic­ture of Abra­ham Lin­coln, which, if seen closely, seems like in­di­vid­ual dots, but if you see it from a lit­tle dis­tance the im­age of Abra­ham Lin­coln is vis­i­ble. Many of us are caught up in the mi­cro­man­age­ment of our lives and are un­able to see the con­nec­tion between dif­fer­ent dots and the emerg­ing chal­lenges on ac­count of eco­log­i­cal de­pre­ci­a­tion on a plan­e­tary scale.

It is the ten inches of soil blended with sun and wa­ter on which the food se­cu­rity of hu­man­ity rests. The soil ero­sion world over, on ac­count of de­vel­op­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties like build­ing of dams, roads, bridges and di­ver­sion of rivers, is lead­ing to loss of vast quan­ti­ties of fer­tile top soil. Fur­ther, soil degra­da­tion on ac­count of overuse of fer­til­iz­ers, in­sec­ti­cides and pes­ti­cides is lead­ing to com­pro­mis­ing the food qual­ity and health.

With the back­drop of the above, can it be pos­si­ble to re­ju­ve­nate and re­vive the qual­ity of the soil through our ur­ban cen­tres, which gen­er­ate vast quan­ti­ties of waste ev­ery­day as per the min­istry of en­vi­ron­ment, for­est and cli­mate change?

It is im­por­tant that we are not in­tim­i­dated with large chal­lenges that need to be ad­dressed with sim­ple ideas and big pos­i­tive out­comes.

Green­ing Solutions

Wet waste or or­ganic waste con­sists of 50 per cent of home waste. Most cities are un­able to cope up with the daily stream of waste. In many cities land­fill sites are over­fill­ing, while many smaller towns do not even have the so-called land­fill sites (hence the

op­por­tu­nity to keep the land­fill site free, which is an im­ported prac­tice and can be done away with bet­ter re­source man­age­ment).

It is be­cause of this rea­son that the Sil­i­con Val­ley of In­dia – Ben­galuru – is drown­ing in garbage ly­ing on the street. Where the garbage was be­ing dumped ear­lier was near a vil­lage. The vil­lagers are now up in arms and have re­fused dump­ing of garbage near their homes. This story will be re­peated in many parts of the coun­try.

It is im­per­a­tive that in­di­vid­u­als re­al­ize that the gov­ern­ment will not be able to cope with all th­ese chal­lenges on its own. In­di­vid­u­als must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for man­ag­ing their waste in an el­e­gant man­ner lead­ing to a pos­i­tive out­come.

There are sim­ple tech­nolo­gies for im­ple­ment­ing the ideas men­tioned here. There is the three-bin com­poster for or­ganic waste, which can fit into a small bal­cony (most peo­ple do not have the luxury of a gar­den to­day). Sim­i­larly, leaves can be com­posted ex­clu­sively in a bam­boo com­poster in gated colonies, spe­cial economic zones (SEZs) and cam­puses of many large en­ter­prises.

It is ob­vi­ous the out­put of th­ese two pro­cesses can­not be used by in­di­vid­ual homes and can be re­dis­tributed to friends who have a gar­den, or the mu­nic­i­pal­ity for their needs. Houses in the out­skirts can give the same to a nearby farm­ing com­mu­nity. The op­tions are in­nu­mer­able and peo­ple will find ways and means of han­dling their or­ganic waste re­spon­si­bly and tak­ing back to the earth, from where the or­ganic waste has em­anated from. (Views ex­pressed in the ar­ti­cle are that of the au­thor Ni­ran­jan Kha­tri, gen­eral man­ager, En­vi­ron­ment

Ini­tia­tives, ITC Ho­tels)

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