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Inspiration for the New Year from a Daily Dump Composting Champion

Inspiration for the New Year from a Daily Dump Composting Champion

Niranjana Venkatakrishnan is a composting champion and Daily Dump customer from Chennai who shared her wonderful inspiration for the New Year. 

Hi All, Niranjana here. Wish you all a happy, healthy and successful New Year 2022. In this wonderful day I wish to share few of my thoughts with you all, for which I request you to spare some of your time and read the attached document. This is about the survival of humanity for generations to come. I have divided it into different sections so that all my points can be conveyed clearly. If you are ready, kindly read the below article patiently:

Humans and Nature should go hand in hand:

The COVID pandemic has hit a pause button in all our busy lives. Till 2019, we have all been very busy either studying, working, chasing our dreams, fulfilling all our desires etc. COVID19 came like a speed breaker, an invisible enemy and made the entire human race confined to their own homes. This year due to the work from home option, I had the opportunity to explore, rethink on my priorities and way or purpose of living. Time and again Nature has taught humans the need to be in line with our environment and protect our mother nature, but do we really do it ? Earth is home not only for us but for all livings organisms. We humans have become so involved in our own daily lives, our problems, our desires, our comfort, continuously revolving in our own materialistic world that we are losing touch with nature and have failed to realize that each of the deeds that we do has a great impact on the environment. Each and every individual in this planet is responsible to nourish, grow and thrive our ecosystem. What are we going to achieve without having clean air, water and soil ? Similar to right to freedom every citizen has the right to a clean environment. Why keep our homes alone clean.. Let us put our best efforts to keep our street, area, city, our country, our entire planet clean and green. By polluting our surroundings, we are not only creating harm to us, but also to our loved ones and later generations. Remember, Karma is a boomerang, what you give to nature, nature will give back to you either good/bad depends on our action. There is no planet B, only one home and that is our mother Earth. It is our children, our grandchildren, our descendants  who are going to face the adverse consequences which come out of damaging our habitat. Climate change is real. Let’s all understand, pledge and ACT NOW…
Understanding the science behind our energy needs:
Today 80 to 85% of our energy is fulfilled using carbon based sources. COAL – Electricity, OIL – Petrol/Diesel, GAS – LPG & CNG and its usage is increasing exponentially. We all know that the energy that we use in our day to day life, is got only by burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas which are all finite sources and will come to an end in a few years. CO2 is not the only gas that traps heat but it is the focus of all the climate related discussions because it is added to the atmosphere in far greater quantities than other gases and it lingers in the atmosphere for many decades. In reality, we burn carbon in the kitchen while cooking, we burn carbon in the form of petrol and diesel in vehicles, we burn carbon in the form of coal in power plants that produces electricity to all our homes resulting in a lot of CO2 emission. Post industrialization, the amount of CO2 emission has increased manifold  which has resulted in a rise in the planet’s average surface temperature to 1.18 degrees Celsius resulting in the Planet losing its balance. With just a 1 degree rise in the global temperature, we see more erratic weather patterns such as floods, draughts, forest fires, sea level rise, glacier melting etc.… Just imagine what will happen if Earth becomes more and more warmer… The Intergovernmental panel on Climate change have kept the threshold of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to reduce the challenging impacts that climate change will have on our ecosystem, human health and well-being. Thus 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming is a significant number for humanity. If this limit is breached, it will result in an irreversible change. Time left with the current CO2 emission rate is only about 10 years. We don’t have much time, let us realize the danger we are all in and figure out ways to resolve climate change, as this is not a single problem of a state or country but all over the world. It is going to affect us all irrespective of our caste/creed/religion/rich or poor similar to the Corona deadly virus.  Irrespective of our financial status, we should not misuse energy just because it is available or we have the capacity to pay our bills. Technological developments have made our lives easier, improved our thinking capability, knowledge about our universe and brought all of us very close to each other but squandering our natural resources to achieve more GDP and economy is not correct.. What is needed is good, clean environment for all of us to stay happy and healthy. Every year, we hear news about Flash floods in Assam, cloud bursts in Kerala, unusually heavy rains in Utthrakand and southern states of India, heatwaves in Ahmedabad, Air Pollution In Delhi have become the new normal now. Air, water, soil, river, forest, minerals – Everything is finite.  Following Gandhian philosophy, there is only enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed. Everything is finite in this planet and hence our consumption must also be finite. We need Drastic and immediate action in terms of energy use patterns.
Plastic – the quiet revolution:
Plastic is a miracle material as it is light weight, cheap, water-resistant, long lasting as its synthetic polymers gives it astonishing durability. The use of plastics in our lives has grown to an enormous scale. We see only the benefits of plastic, without concern for their environmental fate or their effects on human health. We all know that plastics take years to decompose and are made up of hazardous chemicals, but we still continue to follow the use and through culture for our own convenience. Even though plastics have made our life a lot easier, please keep in mind, that they take 200 to 1000 years to decompose as they are not natural. This means that the plastic products that we toss in the bin every day will hang around after you and I are long gone. Micro plastics have already polluted the soil beneath our feet, are travelling through water, sediments and air back to their point of origin – us. Even though we know all these things, we still continue to generate a lot of plastic waste which finally ends up only in the landfills or are burnt which releases toxic gases. It does not mean we should not use plastic, we need to use plastic only where it can be long lasting. Our fight is against single-use plastic which we use just for a few days or months and discard it off. This throw-away culture has to be brought down as all plastics are not recyclable. For example all the processed or packaged food, biscuts, snacks etc. that we buy are made up of multi-layer i.e. different kinds of plastic, paper, aluminium foil to keep the shelf life longer. Currently neither the industry nor the government has found a suitable replacement for multi-layered packaging. Until then a simple step that we can take from our side is, instead of buying smaller items in more quantity, we can buy a big packet which will reduce multi-layer plastic waste and also increase savings.  Lot of energy needs to be spent in manufacturing and recycling, but recycling is not given the same importance as that of production as waste is always getting collected in mixed form. Go for Reusables and not disposables.  
We urbanites have become the major cause of the pollution as with technological advancements everything has become available in our doorstep nowadays. My waste, My environment My ownership must be the mantra. Let’s not wait for the government or any third person to set everything right. There is no use in pointing fingers at others and comparing. Be the change you want to see and slowly everyone will follow. As Michael Jackson rightly said “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.” Our children will also learn how to follow eco-friendly lifestyle.  I recommend you all to watch Eco Freak YouTube channel, which tells simple steps that we all can follow at an individual level to protect our environment. Chetan Singh Solanki, professor of IIT Bombay & founder of Energy Swaraj foundation has started a 11 years long yatra in a solar bus across the country from 2020 to 2030 away from his family to educate the people on the need to adopt solar energy against conventional energy. Do refer his Solar News and Knowledge YouTube channel where he gives step by step videos on how to run your home in 100% solar energy and how to use energy in a disciplined manner. His ideology is Avoid, Minimize and Generate. Avoid use of energy, as much as possible, even if it is solar energy as solar panel manufacturing also results in carbon footprint as there is no manufacturing process with zero side-effect. Minimize the use of energy by using efficient devices as they use less power and energy to do the same job. The remaining energy can be generated by using Solar power alone. Chethan sir aim is to go 100% solar and surrender electricity connection and be energy independent. Even though it might be difficult for all of us to achieve that, we can follow avoid/minimize and try to generate few of our energy needs through solar power.

Read the other posts with Niranjana's suggestions:

What can I do as an individual?

Tips for a sustainable everyday routine


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