Earth Day 2020 Network

Earth Day 2020: A wake-up call to protect the blue planet

The COVID-19 lockdown that led to restricted human movement has revealed the real healing power of nature.

Global warming, the melting of glaciers, air and water pollution, and the depletion of the ozone have been a matter of discussion for decades. At first, these discussions were confined to hypotheses and theories; nothing more than an unconvincing and fictitious sketch of the fate of our planet drawn by some scientists. Years went by. The marches became louder and prevalent; researches became more convincing and detailed; pacts like the Paris Agreement were signed; teenagers were becoming activists—the fight to save the planet had begun from all global fronts. But was it too late? No one knew for sure.

The year 2019 started with a fire in Australia so massive, it had its own weather. Millions of acres were turned into ashes, species were pushed to extinction, air quality dropped to a hazardous level, and thousands of people lost their homes to the evil, bushfire of Australia.

In the opposite corner of the world, icy Greenland was facing a dire issue of its own. Its ice was melting faster than ever, making the world’s largest island, possibly the biggest contributor to the rise in sea level in the years to come. The same year another research came to the fore—rising oceans can affect three times more people by 2050 than previously believed. Millions of lives will be affected by these catastrophic changes.

Looking at what the future has in store for us, it seems chickens are finally coming home to roost. All human neglect and the unchecked emissions of poison have begun to cripple our environment.

Who would have thought it’ll be not us but a global pandemic that will come to the rescue of the environment?

The lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak that led to the restricted human movement has brought to the limelight the real healing power of nature. NASA’s pictures taken from the satellite have revealed some extraordinary before and after photos of China, Italy, and other countries with significant changes in the atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide. India recorded the lowest one-day traffic emission during the lockdown period, while noise pollution has reduced by huge margins too. Rivers and canals have become cleaner and clearer again.

The conditions can go back to worse once the pandemic is over if we don’t take conscious actions to protect the earth. Everyone has to do their bit. Earth Day Network—an NGO that spearheads the events associated with Earth Day—has set the wheels in motion by organising the first-ever digital movement to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, where millions of people around the world will join together to discuss how as an individual and as a society we can save our planet.

Jumping on the bandwagon, Soulveda brings conscious actions and measures that can help an individual contribute to the global movement of saving the earth. This Earth Day, let’s mark a new beginning.

Change the way you commute

It doesn’t take a genius to tell that the pollution levels can drop if we use vehicles that don’t emit hazardous gases. The lockdown has shown us that if there are lesser vehicles on the streets, the pollution levels can come down almost immediately. So, once the lockdown is lifted, chose to cycle to work or if your workplace is near enough, walk. If the commute is long, carpooling is a better option. These simple measures will not just keep the environment clean and clear, but keep you healthy as well.

Choose solar

Our world cannot run on fossil fuels like coal forever. Some countries and a handful of organisations have realised this truth and have chosen a better, clean alternative—solar energy. But climate change cannot be avoided until the whole world puts an end to greenhouse gas emissions. We have to start from our homes. Using solar panels to generate electricity is the cleanest, cheapest, and most efficient option. In the future, millions of people will have a solar plant for their household’s electricity. But this transition shouldn’t come at the last minute, where we are not left with any other options. Shifting to solar and wind energy that do not produce by-products while converting energy is the way for a brighter future.

Reduce paper usage

Paper is a part of our daily lives—newspapers, printouts, books we read, sticky notes. It takes about 12 trees to produce one tonne of non-recycled paper; each year billions of trees are cut to fulfill industrial needs. This need will only become deeper and wider if we don’t take the necessary steps in our individual lives. For instance, while taking a printout use both sides. Use e-books to read, and shred fewer papers as they are the most difficult to recycle. Make a note on your phones instead of a diary.

If we keep our irresponsible actions in check and be more mindful of what we eat, our world, our only home will not have a dystopian future in its destiny.

Be a responsible shopper

Clothes when left to decompose produce methane, a harmful gas for nature that increases global warming. And in today’s times of fast fashion, clothes are thrown away faster than they are bought. Here is where individual responsibility comes into play. If you want to contribute to the planet’s safety, start by shopping smartly. Don’t buy more than what you need. Don’t use plastic or paper bags while shopping. If possible, avoid apparel made from non-biodegradable fabrics like polyester and viscose.

Use electronics responsibly

Keeping a computer desktop on 24/7 for a year can emit carbon dioxide equal to an 820 miles long car trip. Imagine the number of desktops in the world that run every day, from every corner of the world—how much greenhouse gas we release every year through our irresponsible actions. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we have to be mindful of our electronic usage. All the extra parts like the scanner, printer, speakers should be turned off when not in use. Use power-saver mode to reduce power consumption by almost 75 percent. Always remember to unplug and switch off the switches when not in use.

Indoor plants for clean air

Having a plant inside your home or in your office can do wonders for you, especially if you are used to staying in the AC for long hours. Indoor plants increase the humidity of the place that tends to become dry when ACs are operating for long hours. This will help you breathe more fresh and clean air while also retaining the much-required moisture in the air.

Eat more mindfully

A study by the Oxford University has proved how consuming less meat has a bigger impact on the environment. The study says, a vegan diet produces the least carbon dioxide emission, and a heavy meat diet produces high carbon dioxide. We can reduce up to approximately 49 percent of greenhouse gas emissions if we chose to eat healthy food. Another research has revealed that we waste around 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year that leads to harmful gas emissions—not to mention how bad wasting food looks on our community when the world is filled with people dying from starvation. If we keep our irresponsible actions in check and be more mindful of what we eat, our world, our only home will not have a dystopian future in its destiny.


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