Deccan Chronicle

One planet and a common future

Deccan Chronicle.| Sulogna Mehta

Published on: June 4, 2022 | Updated on: June 4, 2022

On June 5, World Environment Day, prominent figures and environmental activists shine a light on critical environmental issues

RICKY KEJ.  (By Arrangement)

RICKY KEJ. (By Arrangement)

Somewhere along our journey of being humans, we have forgotten that we are not the only species on this planet but just one among millions and millions of species on the planet. We have just one planet and all of us are part of one common future…

"– From the music album ‘Shiva’ concert composed by Ricky Kej

Prominent personalities and environmental activists shine a light on the critical environmental issues that the planet is facing, such as air pollution, soil desertification, and waste generation. They propose mitigating measures for living sustainably in harmony with nature, in keeping with the theme of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Environment Day on June 5, 2022 – ‘Only One Earth.’

- RICKY KEJ, two times Grammy awardee Indian music composer & environmentalist.

‘Generate less waste, rewear clothes’

Every single day should be a world environment day so this day should be no different. But nevertheless it is always good to have one day where we only think about the environment, we celebrate nature and also understand what we can do better to make this world a better place for everyone and everything around us."

"My message to all city dwellers like myself would be to try and consume less of everything — plastics, meat, fossil fuels, packaging for the things that we purchase and try and rely more on public transportation. Let’s just buy fewer things first of all. A very good way to measure this would be to try to see how much garbage or waste we produce every day and try to reduce that waste, so that we consume less packaging and less stuff that we end up throwing away, and we are also encouraged to reuse whatever we purchase."

"The mass fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries on the planet, and we must try to return to how things used to be, when we would buy good quality clothes and wear them until they could no longer be worn. So I would encourage everyone to use the hashtag  #rewear4earth. Rewear your clothes and challenge the global phenomenon of having to wear a different outfit in every Instagram or social media post. Let us be proud that fashion can be trendy even when worn multiple times."

Curb air pollution with cycling and renewable energy solutions’

In recent years, environmental crises such as air pollution have become one of the most common public health concerns. Air pollution also has a negative impact on the economy. As a community, we should take steps to alleviate the crisis, and we can make a difference by walking, cycling, and taking public transportation. Governments must promote decentralised renewable energy solutions such as rooftop solar, build integrated public transportation and non-motorized transportation infrastructure, and address other polluters such as waste burning, the construction industry, industrial emissions, and biomass burning."

"We have initiated ‘power the pedal campaign’ to promote gender equity in mobility. The women cyclists of ‘power the pedal campaign’ are making a case for all sidelined and vulnerable communities, who have the right to equal access to public facilities that help them earn, work, study, travel and live their lives.

Safe, accessible, affordable and efficient transport systems, which will integrate mass transit networks including infrastructure for cycling and walking will positively impact women’s participation in the workforce apart from reducing air pollution. Only when we are able to achieve equity, can we aim for sustainability."

‘Mindset change and an efficient public transport system needed’

It is ‘we, the public’ who constitute the government and therefore, unless we change our mindset and unless there is a self-realisation that we need to stop destroying the environment, there won’t be actual change through policies alone.

We must establish a better system, innovate and develop alternatives to non-eco-friendly objects such as plastics, chemical pesticides, fossil fuels, and so on, and then pressure the government -— the people’s representatives — to make the necessary policy changes. However, some positive changes are taking place, though gradually. Many people nowadays, for example, prefer sustainable organic products and food items. Some e-commerce portals have altered their packaging in order to reduce waste generation. It must continue. Furthermore, in order to reduce carbon footprints, we need a very good, punctual, clean, and safe public transportation system that encourages people to use buses and metro-rail instead of individual cars. Apps for carpooling or sharing a cab by a group of people travelling in the same direction are available in some metropolises. Such actions should be encouraged in order to reduce air pollution."

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