“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Humming and enjoying one of our favourite songs when our tour bus took a sharp turn and proceeded further. The bumpy road reminded me of the route to my granny’s village. I peeped outside the window to have a look; I saw the dark lane ahead with huts on side of the street. Pity, I saw a girl reading a book in dim light of the lantern. That view touched my heart. The funds from government are reaching the rural areas but at a snail’s pace.
Life on earth is depended on natural resources. Vast majority of natural resources are exhaustible and hence the need for its management. Fresh water is likely to become scarce in the next 100 yrs. Conserving of natural resources is of utmost importance as its degradation is making the eco system unstable. Mere speeches and themes on WED – World Environment Day cannot help the remote villages. The core hard work has to begin in rural India. From roots to leaves.
When I get water in my tap once a week, I can imagine the plight of the remote villages where people walk more than 5 km to fetch water. People are not willing to get their daughters married in villages where there is scarcity of water. Farmers depend mostly on rain from sowing the seeds to yielding the product. Deficient rain plays a spoil sport and wreaks havoc in the farmer’s life. Unable to pay back the debt they commit suicide. Farmer’s suicide rate in India is to a steep rise.
Three R’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle constitute the management of natural resources.
Natural resources were abundant. As the population started growing, degradation of Natural resources began. Over population has given rise to water crisis. Educating the people about rain water harvesting will be effective in the near future. Each individual is equally responsible. Every drop of water makes a mighty ocean.
- Reduce – Taking a shower bath increases usage of water. To reduce usage of water, use a bucket filled with water.
- Reuse – Wash vegetables/fruits in a bowl containing water. This water can be reused for watering the plants or washing vessels.
- Recycle – Sewage water is treated to remove impurities and it is used in industrial cooling and toilet flushing.
Industries should come forward, lend their hand by adopting a remote village and helping them to see a never seen before sunrise. The natural resources like sunlight and wind can be used to generate electricity. Wind mills exist where there is no obstruction, like fields and oceans. Our villages should have wind mills and the electricity generated can be used to pump water to the crops.
Forest maintains the balance of oxygen and carbon-di-oxide. Deforestation in the name of human habitat and industrialization has been a cause of worry. Afforestation has to be the word of the nation.
- Reduce – Print if and only if necessary and use both sides of paper.
- Reuse – Buy recycled paper for your printer. Share/borrow books it saves money and paper.
- Recycle – Waste paper is turned into new paper.
- Plant more trees- Go-green, eco-green.
Minerals are finite and non-renewable. Extraction of minerals from earth’s crust is resulting in imbalance of ecology. The byproducts during extraction go wasted and are dumped on land or in water which causes the environment to become polluted.
- Reduce- Extraction has to be done but in moderation. Of course! When People Put the Environment First, Development Will Last.
- Reuse – Mining byproducts can be reused as fuel for power plants and in construction material.
- Recycle – Reduces the usage of fresh raw material.
The exhaust from automobiles is harmful for the environment. Human beings inhale the polluted air. If we want our kids to enjoy a long car drive in fresh and cool breeze then we have to save petrol today. Every drop is precious. Use carpooling and public transportation, it reduces traffic congestions. Imagine 12 cars occupying space, compared to that of a bus. Walking and cycling is the beauty of life and a way to sound health. It reduces carbon foot prints.
- To reduce the power consumption at home/office – Unplug/Switch-off the appliances when not in use.
- Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
- Solar powered lights – to reduce the consumption of electricity.
- e-waste management – recycle electronic goods rather than dumping.
If the natural resources are not managed properly the day is not too far when my grand kid might ask me, granny what is the colour of water? Off white or pale yellow.
Act before it is too late.
Zuha Belgaumi has a B Tech degree in computer science and is currently working as a senior software engineer at an MNC in Bangalore. Contact her at zuhabelgaumi(at)gmail(dot)com
Do you have a flair for writing? Interested in environmental issues? Why don’t you submit an article for the GreenCleanGuide 2013 contest? For contest rules, please visit this link.