Current Environmental Issues that Our Planet is Facing

Population explosion (1)

There is no denying fact that our environment is constantly changing so does the need to become aware of the problems surrounding it such as change in warming and cooling periods, weather pattern changes, massive influx of natural disasters and much more. As we are indiscriminately using our natural resources and fail to manage our waste, environmental condition is heading towards much worst. The events of heat waves, glaciers melting, floods have been extreme during past few years.

Our environmental condition is deteriorated to such an extent that its effect can be seen on our daily life and yet we are not concerned to save ourselves from its effects. Due to pollution, different types of natural calamities, extinction of many species create imbalance to food chain.

It is also true that only human beings are responsible for polluting environment.

Here I have listed some megatrends which present major global threats for planet earth-problems that must be solved if the world is to remain a supportive habitat for humans and other species.

Population explosion: The first and foremost emerging problem in the world is population explosion. Increased population growth results in overexploitation of our natural resources indiscriminately posing negative effect on environment and its vital elements such as air, water, fuel, food etc. Intensive agriculture to meet the requirement of food are also damaging  environment through use of chemical fertilizer, insecticide and pesticide.

Global Warming and Climate change: Huge carbon dioxide production due to increased human activities resulted in climatic changes like Global warming. Global warming leads to rising of earth surface temperature causing melting of polar ice caps, rise of sea level and unnatural patterns of natural calamities like flood, drought , change in seasons and occurrence of new diseases.

Waste Disposal: Production of an excessive amount of waste (Including nuclear waste) and garbage and its disposal into oceans, open places has tremendous health hazards. At present situation is so dangerous that not only the land area but also the sea land area is highly polluted posing harmful effects to human beings and sea living species. Mismanagement of industrial waste is the main reason for area and water pollution.

Deforestation: Destruction of forest results in increase concentration of carbon dioxide in our environment that create several types of natural disaster every year. At present frequency of disaster are increasing per year causing irrecoverable economical loss and destruction of thousands of human lives.

Not only do natural forests act as biodiversity reserves, they are also carbon sinks keeping carbon out of the atmosphere and oceans.

Urbanisation and Industrialisation: Due to increase population and need of workplace huge amount of residential area and industries are growing everywhere. The ever growing demand of land displaces natural environment consisting of flora and fauna instead of being replaced. Now a days excessive industrial set up is the main cause for air and water pollution.  A proper management of industrial growth can provide us a better output for our economy and environment.

Genetic Engineering:  Genetic modification of organism and food using biotechnology is called genetic engineering. Genetic modification of food results in increased toxins and diseases as engineered genes become dominant and resistant to antibiotics.

Invention of new viruses are now a common phenomenon. As we all have heard about Ebola virus and Jika viruses, at first are created in nature and then predominate in human body and took several lives.

Loss of biodiversity and species extinction: Human activity is leading to the extinction of species and habitats. The loss and destruction of habitat are major factors contributing to a wave of extinction of species. For example recently the death of last male northern white rhino was all over news and social media.

These species inherently deserve to exist, they also provide product and services essential to human survival.

Few mindful people are focused how we can save our planet in 2050 or how we are going to escape it and colonize another world before earth becomes inhabitable. Maybe they are getting too far and have to focus on something else. If we work hard on new technologies and change our daily lives routine and movements that have power to save the world before its too late.

There are still so many things that we can do to put a dent in what we have already done. By raising awareness through social media, advertisement, verbal communication in local community with family members, friends about the environmental issues, you can contribute to a more environmental friendly and vigilant place for you to live.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed: Mahatma Gandhi

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Condition of farmers in India- Condemnable

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More than an estimated 30,000 farmers protest march from Nashik to Mumbai, travelled an arduous 180 km in the summer heat over six days. The major demands of AIKS (All India Kisan Sabha) are complete loan waiver, profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agricultural commodities, allocation of forest land under cultivation and compensation for crop destruction.

The government has not done anything to relive them from financial burden as promised so they are left with no option but to express their torment through the protest march.

“ Incredible India” that is how we proudly brand our nation internationally. Indeed, it is truly incredible in lot of ways with people of different religion, beliefs, values, professions living together.

The majority of our country’s population depends on Agriculture. Its first culture, making India unique in its own way.

The life of a farmer is very tough though they feed entire humanity, their life conditions are far from satisfactory. They work very hard day and night in all seasons to fulfil our basic need of Food and clothing (Food, shelter and clothing are three basic needs of human being).

The purpose of writing this article is to highlight some major issues faced by them.

  • Lack of fair pricing mechanism: there are a lot of fluctuations in the pricing and this is the basic shortfall in the system. if a fair price was ensured to crops then no farmer will suffer. for instance if there is abnormal increase in production(tomatoes, onions etc.) homogenously at all places  then the selling price of the corps goes down and the excess crop gets wasted.

       Implementation of pricing mechanism will also solve the loan waiver problem.

  • Unscientific cultivation methods: another reason for bad crops is that farmers are still using traditional methods without factoring in climate change. for example sugarcane a water guzzling crop is grown in areas where scarcity of water and rainfall is present. So the government needs to suggest crop strategy for kharif and rabi cultivation.
  • Dependence upon nature: for agriculture adequate monsoon is required if rain fall is adequate, agricultural output would be good, otherwise drought situation would lead to negative effect and result will be acute shortage of food.
  • Literacy: since they are uneducated so often cheated by money lenders which force them to suicide and also they are unware of their legitimate rights such as Minimum Support Price.
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation: due to illiteracy they have little awareness about the benefits of good hygiene. Also there is Improper sewage disposal system in villages.
  • Inadequate medical facilities: there is lack of trained doctors, nurses and medical facilities in rural areas.
  • Absence of integrated farming system
  • Bad politics and bad economics
  • Lack of proper irrigation plans

  • Expensive fertilisers

  • Easy availability of pesticide for poisoning

Some wonder if the farmer issue is as grave as is being pointed out. In my point of view yes it is.

Most of the farmers are simple, hardworking and honest they always remain at the mercy of god. These farmers are like seeds who rot themselves to give fruits and flowers to others.

how sad our feeders die for want of food and justice.

Our government has started many schemes for the benefit of farmers . Let’s hope that these benefits will actually reach them.

when a farmer supplies and fulfils our need, it becomes our duty to make sure his needs are equally met.

jai jawan jai kisan

Watch What You Eat

Few days ago while reading newspaper, came across an article stating -vegetables export from India banned by many countries due to presence of higher concentration of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Concern arises when Saudi Arab banned the export of green chilli from India due to its higher pesticides content.

Report submitted to the government officials informed that pesticide loaded fruits, vegetables and other food items are all over Delhi and NCR region and also to other parts of our country. Finding shows the presence of dangerous chemicals (banned pesticides) in quantities thousands of time more than the permissible limit.

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Facts you should know: A healthy diet begins with fruits and vegetables but some of our favourites may contain startling amount of harmful pesticides. there are 1000 different pesticides  used to grow crops. They include combination of insecticide, pesticide and herbicide. Our plates are overloaded with them ex. heptachlor, Aldrin, chlordane ( banned pesticides) in quantities more than the permissible limits.

Cause? The promise of higher yield in a shorter period of time is the selling point of these chemicals. Effects? There are many health issues linked to pesticide exposure such as cancer, infertility, reproductive and developmental effects, brain damage, birth defects, skin irritation. Many insecticides are neurotoxin exposure to them is linked with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

In developing children, pesticide contributes to neurological problems which impair learning, memory and attention.

So,  now we just need to be more careful in how we approach them.

how to reduce the effect?

  • Rub your produce under running water before eating, it will reduce some of the pesticides but not all of them.

  • Peel what you can.

  • Dry with cloth or paper towels.

  • Discard outer layer of leafy vegetables before washing.

  • Buy organic whenever you can- (could be costly and hard to find)

  • Buy from small vendors rather than supermarkets.

  • Smaller the vegetable in size more organic it is.

  • Be vigilant of getting carried away by glossy packaging.

  • Spotless produce may not be healthy as they appear.

  • Kitchen gardening is another option to explore.

Steps to eradicate the problem from roots:

  • Educating the farmers for the optimum use of chemical fertilisers.

  • Promoting organic farming techniques

  • Natural methods of cultivation such as crop rotation.

  • Use of compost as fertiliser.

  • Regulating authorities should banned the selling of harmful pesticides and take action on the people who violate the laws.

I have tried to threw a lot of information in this article any comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world- Nelson Mandela

Eco-friendly Options When You Decide to Go Green

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In last few years term eco-friendly and go green have become buzz words on every commercial, product ads, listing of houses and vacation homes. The simplest way to define being eco-friendly is having a lifestyle focused on not creating harm to the environment and prevent as much harm occurring to it through our interactions and help conserving resources like water and energy.

It’s important to become environment friendly because not only shifting to sustainable lifestyle is good for planet but also beneficial for human health, budget and life quality. For this reason, we should take step to greenify our surrounding and daily life as soon as possible.

Here are tips below to tweak your lifestyle environment friendly if you are short on ideas:

1. Say no to plastic: plastic bottles and bags are everywhere, every year there are more and more filling up our oceans and landfills. To cut household plastic waste try to opt for paper bags, cotton bags, reusable and recyclable bottles, furniture’s, containers etc.

2. Conserve water: fix leaking pipes, close the running tap while you brush your teeth, use RO waste water for mopping, cleaning bathrooms.

3. Conserve Energy: Few simple ways like turning off lights when not in use, using maximum day light, purchasing energy efficient gadgets. Try renewable energy twist for example install a small solar power plant on your roof for additional power supply (electricity may still be the mainstream), switch to solar water heater, its benefit will not be only for environment but for finances also.

4. Change Travel habits: try car pool, use public transport instead of private vehicles, if your office is near ride a bicycle instead of car, get your car serviced whenever necessary.

5. Say no to Littering: one of the ways to keep our surrounding and environment clean is to stop littering. Instead put trash and garbage in dustbins.

6. Plant trees: don’t cut them unless it’s necessary and plant small trees around your home, educate others about its positive aspects.

7. Go paperless: 35% of landfill sites consists of paper waste. Going paperless is an option that will cause an average person little hardship. So, be digital it will not only protect what remains of our forest but is a cheaper option overall.

8. 3R’ of waste hierarchy: (reduce reuse and recycle) can reduce the amount of waste generated and improve the waste management process.

Other potential solutions are cordially invited

I gave you Life now it’s your turn to reciprocate- Earth

Exposure to Urban Air pollution Affect Growing Fetus

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Nothing else can produce the joy , love an incomparable feeling that Motherhood allows. Being a mother is the most beautiful emotion in the world. It is something that has to be felt and can never be described in the words.

When baby comes to a women’s life starting from day first she came to know about her pregnancy, she tries to keep baby happiness and well being ahead of her own. Being a mom I understand that for our babies we do everything to keep them healthy and safe.

My motive of writing this article is to provide information how little negligence can affect developing fetus. As we all know pollution affects are indeed many and wide ranging. There is no doubt that excessive level of pollution are causing a lot of damage to human, animal health and environment.

Many of us already would be aware of fact that air pollution exposure to expectant mother’s can affect growing baby’s lungs and respiratory system but our concern doesn’t stop here.

The evidence that air pollutants can alter chromosomes in womb is troublesome since other studies have validated  this type of genetic alteration. Exposure to high level of pollution in  womb may lead to a type of DNA damage associated with ageing called telomere shortening.

What are Telomere? Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes like the plastic tip at the end of shoelaces. Without telomeres DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t perform their functions.Telomere length represents our biological age. Scientific studies have confirmed the strong connection between short telomeres and cellular aging.

Affects of telomere shortening? Causes age related breakdown of cells and linked with cancer, heart disease and premature death and also contribute to behavioural and cognitive problems later in childhood. “An individual’s telomere length at birth is known to influence their risk for disease decades later during adulthood,” said Deliang Tang , Professor at the Columbia University  in the US.

Ways to minimise the risk of exposure:

  • to be moms can’t easily change the place where they live or work but can avoid directly inhaling exhaust (PAHs) from cars on busy streets or smoke from fireworks.
  • pay attention to the outdoor air quality warnings. if there is warning in your area stay indoors.
  • air quality is worse in the afternoon.  refrain from any physical activity at that time or plan for alternate times.
  • avoid areas of burning fuels.
  • use mask wherever possible.
  • talk to your doctor if you live in high risk area.

even the reduction of exposure from moderately high to moderate level would have a positive effect on developing fetus.

There is need of policymakers at central, state, local level to take appropriate steps to protect our children from these avoidable exposures.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ― Gautama Buddha

Bleed red: never too late to go green

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Menstruation is a topic close to every women’s heart. The wonderful life giving process is as natural as breathing still the subject is so taboo like having it is a crime.

With changing time, women’s role in society has changed so the period management methods.Our granny’s may have used cloth pads but today periods are unimaginable without disposable sanitary napkins.

How to buy a pad? Ask a shopkeeper he will wrap it in a black polythene and give it to you like it would be a sin if someone sees it. How to dispose of the pads? Use it wrap it in a plastic bag or paper and throw in the dustbin sometimes it directly goes out of the bathroom window rather than in dustbin.

Being an environmentalist my main concern is to create awareness about where does it go after disposal? It doesn’t go anywhere it remains in the system. However what doesn’t occur to most of us is staggering amount of sanitary waste generated every month are making their way into water bodies, fields and sewerage system polluting environment along with negative consequences on our health. The non biodegradable materials are used to make sanitary napkins are mostly plastics, polymers, super absorbents which lead to  accumulation in landfills and due to its chemical cocktails burning causes harmful toxins to be released into atmosphere.

The biomedical waste rule, 1998 says that items contaminated with blood, body fluids, dressings are biomedical waste and should be incinerated, microwaved or autoclaved. But in India lack of concern for sanitary waste management can be reflected in the fact that there is no reliable statistics available on the subject.

Women’s have a huge role to play here by making periods shame free and environmental friendly.

1.Wrap the soiled napkins in plastic bag or leak proof bag.

2.Discard in trash cans that is out of reach of pets and animals.

3.Do not mix it with wet, household garbage and don’t flush it.

4. Most important is use of disposable pads and menstrual cups.

Government needs to take initiative to promote use of eco-friendly pads, menstrual cups, proper menstrual waste disposal by creating awareness through workshops, social media, TV, radio and promoting research to find a biodegradable alternative to sanitary napkins and also asking manufacturers to take responsibility and strive to find a biodegradable sanitary solution.

The life giving process of menstruation needn’t make mother earth a trash dump. Saving of earth is the first and foremost responsibility of everyone, just do it!

You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Let the Future breathe

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Tuesday 17 January The Supreme court warned that the problem of air pollution is very serious and solutions need to be found urgently, rather than in year.

According to WHO survey 90% of world is breathing bad air, silently killing more than 6 million a year, which is more than 11.6% of all global deaths. In general 9 out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air and Delhi ranks the 11th most pollluted city in the world.

Recent air pollution data derived from satellite imagery suggests that the severe levels of particulate matter seen in Delhi are also found throughout the 22 districts of the National Capital Region (NCR). These findings raise alarm about potentially serious adverse effects on the health and livelihoods of NCR residents outside of Delhi. Air pollution levels in other Indian cities such as lucknow , Varansai have been equally extreme in recent days. It emphasised that the country needs stronger measures, plans, coherent policies and its implementation to cut back the air pollution sources as air pollution moves across borders and cant be contained.

The green body said that India’s pollution levels have been rising at an “alarming” rate as coal consumption almost doubled and oil consumption increased 60 per cent from 2005 to 2015. The situation goes worst as most of the cities in India lack real time monitoring means government is unable to warn the inhabitants about the rising pollution so that they can prevent themselves. We can conceive its severity from a analysis which says “India’s air is more deadly than china”.

Most effected category from rising pollution level are childrens. With every breath, they are suffering. Due to their physiology as they breathe twice as fast as adults taking in more pollutants adversely effecting the growth rate and immune system.

I can only hope that time for talking would be over soon and there will be stringent actions and its implementation.

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it- robert swan