The gifts provided by the natural environment are bliss for mankind as well as for the other living organisms. These natural resources including air, sunlight, fresh water, fossil fuels etc. are so vital that life can never be possible without them.
However, with the increase in the greed for material goods by the large population, these resources are being used and misused beyond their limits. This, rather than ‘economic development’ is proving to be more hazardous for human health, which has been discussed below.
Reasons to Save Environment to Save Life on Earth
Following are the points describing pollution due to Misuse and Wastage of natural resources and their effects on life of living beings on the earth, thus we must save our environment to save life on earth:
- Air Pollution: The increase in the use of petrol and diesel for transportation and the burning of fossil fuels in industries to produce energy make a terrible contribution in polluting the air. This results in an increase in the levels of sulphur oxides, hydrocarbons, chloro-fluoro-carbons, carbon monoxide, etc. These hazardous gases negatively affect human health causing chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and various other respiratory diseases. Also, causing the depletion of ozone layer, making mankind vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, air pollution not only accelerates ‘global warming’ but also weakens the immune system.
- Water Pollution: The suspension of water soluble inorganic chemicals from industries, release of untreated human and animal wastes in fresh water and draining of fertilizers and pesticides during irrigation in rivers lead to water pollution. This not only makes the water unfit for drinking, such that its consumption causes gastro-intestinal diseases but also causes cancer. Moreover, by affecting the aquatic life negatively, water pollution makes fish unfit for consumption.
- Soil Pollution: Use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in soil not only kills’ bad but also good pests, thereby providing us with less nutritious crops. Also, the exposure to chemical infected crops due to soil pollution over several years causes mutations, produces cancer, etc. Soil erosion caused due to excessive deforestation and construction aids in the frequency of floods, which results in the destruction of human life on a massive scale.
- Noise Pollution: Excessive noise emanating from factories and vehicles can cause physical damage to the ear, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss. Amongst Homo sapiens, noise pollution also has negative effect on mental, emotional and psychological health, causing stress, anxiety and irritability, thereby adversely affecting the performance at work.
Methods for Saving the Environment
Pondering over the pages of history, it can be observed that our ancestors were more concerned about saving our environment, than we are today. This can be witnessed in the contributions of Sunderlal Bahuguna, who through Chipko Movement guarded the forest resources. Similarly, Medha Patkar effectively saved the environment of the tribal people, which was negatively impacted due to the construction of dams on the Narmada River. We as the youth of today can take small steps, to similarly save our natural environment:
- We should promote and also apply to the concept of 3R’s, i.e. reduce, recycle and reuse in order to prevent the excessive use of non-renewable resources. For instance, metal scrap can be used to make new metal products.
- Use energy efficient tube lights and bulbs that save energy.
- Reduce the use of paper and wood products wherever possible and go for e-book and e-paper.
- Reduce the use of fossil fuels by opting to walk or using car pool or public transport.
- Use jute/cloth bags instead of plastic bags.
- Use rechargeable batteries/ solar panels.
- Setting up compost bin to produce manure to reduce the use of fertilizers.
Though government has formulated various schemes and established laws in favour of saving both nature and wildlife. It is still the duty of each person individually to protect the environment for our future generations, as we are the people consuming its benefits. This can be very appropriately connoted in the words of Lester Brown, “We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers: we have borrowed it from our children”.