It’s time to act!
More than 15,000 scientists from 184 nations have penned an open letter to humanity, politely asking their fellow bipedal primates to stop destroying the planet. They have apparently been concerned about the wholesale destruction of Earth’s biosphere for a little while now. Regrettably, it seems that we are still doing these things.
One of the questions I receive most frequently from readers is whether our individual actions truly make a difference. If you choose to recycle, compost, carpool, reduce consumption and refuse plastic bags, are they going to make an impact? Does it matter at all? The answer is yes. Now, is choosing to stop purchasing plastic going to single-handedly ensure that no more plastic finds its way into the oceans? Of course not. But remember that you didn’t create it single-handedly either. Our actions are cumulative: together we created this mess, so we must fix it together too – both by changing our behaviour as individuals and by demanding change from corporations and government.
One way we draw attention to these issues is by celebrating Earth
Day on 22 April. Apparently, I have mixed feelings about it. At times, I think Earth Day celebrations look a lot like Valentine’s Day in a failing relationship. We perform certain rote gestures to appease expectation, only to return to the same disappointing status quo when the clock ticks over to 23 April. Sure, it’s nice, but is one day truly enough? To combat this anaemic approach, we’ve put together a list of eight cool ways to go green and save the planet ( P.28) – not just for Earth Day but forever. These aren’t big-ticket changes, they’re not going to drastically alter your lifestyle or change your life, and that’s exactly why it’s possible for each and every one of us to do them.
Moving on to this month’s spotlight story on P.24 find out how Jisha Krishna, an Indian homemaker based in Doha, has successfully converted her barren rooftop and backyard of the house into a beautiful vegetable garden. She grows about 80 different varieties of vegetables under a single roof and it produces all the vegetables her family needs almost year around.