The world has been facing a constant threat of global warming, and ecological imbalance, which has also led to frequent natural disasters, and the havoc doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon. Threats like the rise in sea level, contamination of air, and water have stirred us to the core. The smog in China that led to the complete closure of their capital city an alarm for the world. Delhi too landed in similar circumstance earlier this year when the residents of the capital city gasped for breathable air for close to two weeks.
Today, we are in a position from where we can’t afford to overlook the widening disparity caused by us. Speaking of ecological imbalance, the recent jungle fire in Uttarakhand (India), USA, and Australia could also be termed as the byproduct of hazards bred by us. The fact that these fire outbreaks failed to get the proper media attention makes me curious. Similarly, ivories worth millions of dollars were burnt in Kenya recently, 105 tons of tusk precisely. Looks like the world is paying for illegal poaching. People across the globe have already started taking a note of it, which was visibly eminent at the 2015 United Nation Climate Change Conference in Paris. It was also treated as the last warning that if we didn’t act sooner.
To avoid any more damage let’s look towards the remedy called Sustainable Living, which includes our ability comply with ecological value.
There is an antidote for every disease and so exists a solution to every problem starting from carbon emission, chemical discharge into water bodies, global warming because of glacier meltdown, whaling, oil spill, ever-increasing carbon footprint, deforestation, poaching, radiation from the electronic dump, e-waste, and the list is endless. Expansion of nuclear arsenal by all the countries out there only add our woes.
1. Reduce carbon footprint:
It is the total amount of greenhouse gasses produced directly or indirectly, to support human activities, and usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Everything that we do or anything that we use has caused carbon emission before it finally reaches us. Therefore, we must try and reduce the carbon footprint to the minimum.
2. Promotion of agrotourism:
It is an agriculture based activity that brings tourists to a farmstay. Agrotourism in India has received lots of attention lately because it also promotes sustainable travel and eco farmstays. These farm stays work on entirely different principle where they provide you all the amenities yet stays detached from the outer world. They grow food, rear their own cattle, maintain their fields and prepare their food organically. Along with it, the visitors are made to connect with nature by staying amidst it, understand agriculture and lead a life without technology and gadgets.
3. Stop deforestation:
Despite knowing the benefits that trees bring us, deforestation is the most insane thing that we are practicing right now. Pornhub was in the news recently for all the right reason. Yes, they are planting a tree for every video watched on their site. So, in a way jerking off to someone and planting a tree in the same person’s name is the same. Really!
4. Waste management:
Denmark has been in the news for all the good reasons and they are the examples that we definitely look up to. They have set up a facility that carries on the waste management which includes organic as well as inorganic waste. Producing electricity from waste is another feasible method that adds to the cause of sustainable development.
5. Initiate passive strategies:
Passive strategies could also include strategies that support innovative yet environmental friendly design. I recently read about the Green Design, which includes next level architecture & a giant step towards the promotion of sustainable design. Green Design of a building includes an efficient condensing boiler, a green roof, efficient water fixtures, high-performance lighting, and low-irrigation landscaping.
Green roof or living roof is the roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. The program has been widely used by giant builders worldwide.
Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. So when we actually think of a feasible yet killing sustainable design, the idea of Green Design is the first thing on our minds.
6. Use of sustainable products:
Sustainable materials provide, environmental, social & economic benefits while protecting public health & environment. The fact that plastic & polysubstance are nondegradable, leaves us with only 2 choices; Deal with it or refrain from using it. The use of plastic bags & bottles must stop sooner whereas, biodegradable materials like paper & jute bag must be used widely, that’s the need of the hour.
Emma Watson’s wardrobe at the Met Gala was made up of recycled plastic bottles, it was a lesson that we must recycle the plastic & shouldn’t litter it anywhere.
Hemp– The non-psychoactive cousin to marijuana, hemp has been an illegal crop for decades even though we are aware of the fact that hemp is the powerhouse of benefits. It is still illegal in most parts of the world, the reason being it contains less than 0.03% THC- the marijuana variants have a higher content of tetrahydrocannabinol.
Hemp has multiple uses as it can be refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. The USA & some European countries are already making good use of Hemp. India is yet to fight its cannabis demon before acknowledging the fact that alcohol does much harm than THC.
Clay products have become a rare sight. It must be initiated & used on a wider scale. It’s cost effective, promotes local and small-scale industry, looks trendy (to me at least) and is completely biodegradable.
Lack of dustbins is another major concern & precisely the reason why most of us end up littering the garbage at random places.
7. Sustainable health & wellness
Health & Happiness for all is the mantra for a happy life. Yoga is a habit that has kept us fit & sound since the time unknown. It not only enables us to stay in perfect shape but also opens the door to mental peace & wellness.
8. Living off the grid:
It has been in practice lately. People, who are tired of the bustle & the chaos of a city life full of pollution, escape into the peaceful retreat. They flee to a secluded place that’s located in the countryside or maybe the woods. Those who have already lived that life have spoken high of it. Imagine yourself waking up to a mild & mystic environment, perspiring leaves lit up by the bright sun and your aspiration taking a leap into the valley of tranquility. Who doesn’t want to draw breath in such locale! Well, it’s time you started looking off the grid!
9. Protecting Livestock industry:
Animals are the beautiful creation of the almighty and beneficial to us in multiple ways. They yield food products and help us with our every day needs but we aren’t realizing it. We maul them for the beautifully textured skin that they have. Poaching for skin & horns certainly address our short-term economic concerns but it’s only going to pose a security threat to the particular species in the longer run, thus creating an ecological imbalance.
10. Look out for sustainable transport
Pollution, and below par air index! Yes, they are choking us to slow & painful death. Automobile giant Tesla has already initiated the complete electrification of cars and, they have launched a couple of models on the same lines.
Rechargeable roads are being tested by the British government that would automatically charge electric cars while it’s being driven over it. The aim is to help drivers with electric and hybrid cars avoid frequent stops to recharge their vehicles.
Cycle Super Highway is being used by people living in Greater Copenhagen. The country’s first Cycle Super Highway in Denmark is among the few in the world – which gives cyclists a safe, smooth ride and eliminates as many stops as possible, is now open, connecting central Copenhagen with the suburban town of Albertslund. It must act as a lesson for people across the globe. Cycling must be promoted on a wider scale. It certainly decreases our over-reliance on fossil fuel, thus spreading less pollution
Carbon Mono-oxide gas emitted by the vehicles is on the rise with each passing day, which contaminates fresh breathable air and there is no stopping it. The best we could do is inventing more vehicles powered by solar, geothermal, wind and electrical energy. Vehicles that would use sustainable energy source & make the world a better place to live.
India along with a few European countries’ initiative for complete electrification of transport by 2030 looks good. Yes, that way the environment could also be decarbonized & fresh breathable air would be a treat.
11. Control over e-waste:
E-waste is being generated on a large scale every day and most of us aren’t even aware of it. You certainly have no idea where all these scrap phones & gadgets go after we discard them. So, when you change your smartphone once in a year, the obsolete version lies around us uselessly and emit harmful radiations. Yes, the heavy metals used in the phones and other electronic gadgets emit radiation that can cause serious health hazards. As a matter of fact, many African countries and parts of coastal India are the favorite places for developed nations where they send for waste scrapping. Another reason behind the widespread of deadly diseases in these places.
12. Over-reliance on renewable energy:
The primary objective behind the advent of sustainable design is to make it sustainable and environment-friendly. Which means that they don’t cause a negative impact on the environment. The increase of Co2, vegetation in the Arctic & Antarctic region is another major concern that has led to the depreciation of ice caps, which leaves us with the limited option to use the renewable source of energy. Thus reduces our dependency on fossil fuel, which ultimately leads to ecological balance.
13. Wide usage of eco-friendly products
If there would be the third world war, it would be for water. So conserving it is not just a responsibility, it’s an utmost necessity. We must protect & conserve water thinking at least of our future generation.
Among others, the basic objective of sustainability is to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environment. Truth be told, if we don’t pay attention to this now, the day is not far when earthquake and landslides would be termed as man-made disasters.
14. Work on enhanced indoor environment
Let there be light but limiting it according to the need never hurt anyone. Try brightening up your living spaces with Led bulbs and 5-star rated appliances coz they reduce the electricity consumption marginally. Every unit of electricity saved could light up some other place.
Tesla is working towards a sustainable world powered by rechargeable batteries. They broke ground on the Gigafactory in June 2014 outside Sparks, Nevada, and they are expected to begin cell production by 2017. By 2020, the Gigafactory will reach full capacity and produce more lithium ion batteries annually than they were produced worldwide in 2013.
In cooperation with Panasonic and other strategic partners, the Gigafactory will produce batteries for significantly less cost using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. I see Tesla’s Gigafactory as the next big transformation in the world, which would take care of our necessity, keeping sustainability in the mind.
15. Stop whaling:
We are aware of the fact that killing & trading of the giant mammal is very much in practice in East Asian and island nations. What we aren’t ready to buy is the fact that when a whale is killed thousands of gallons of its blood is spilled in water, which spreads & contaminates it. It ultimately leads to the demolition of aquatic habitats. There are several NGOs and volunteers seeking justice for the same but justice looks far fetched here.
16. Check oil spill:
The oil spill in the Gulf is another grave concern that needs our attention. Call it accidental or the casual approach devised by those trading in such water. The oil spill is highly contaminating and has the potential to demolish the complete aquatic life in the region. The fact that marine life accounts for a chunk of nature’s ecology, we can’t afford to neglect this threat.
Nature has been engineered in such a way that tampering it & meddling it is only going to create an unbridgeable gap which will only widen with the passage of time. Let’s make sustainability a way of life before things become irreparable.