While shuffling between numerous classes, scraping through timelines, and managing home work and peer pressure; being concerned about the environment isn’t anywhere on the “to-do lists” of a majority of the students. And I can hardly blame them for this lack of concern for the Mother Nature. In a country like ours, where topics/subjects related to environment are only taught as electives, you cannot blame the students for this lack of interest. Drastic steps are needed to be taken. And celebrating “April 22 as Earth Day” isn’t enough. Consequently, the time is ripe and every effort should be made by us to ensure that students start making a meaningful contribution to tackle the environmental degradation. After all, it is they who will be most affected if a disaster is to happen.
It only takes a few simple steps to alter the course of environmental concerns. Also, saving the environment will have a positive impact on the economy of the country. But how does a student play a consequential role to tackle this systemic and international issue? Here are the 5 to-dos which students can do for the planet.
To-Do #1: Recycle
Well, yes. It is one of the easiest and effective solutions for the environment. Just think about how many rough sheets, cans, bottles, and books you have thrown away in all these years. What if you had used them in some or the other form? Making these small alterations to your lifestyle can go a long way in conserving the environment. Also, ask your teachers to initiate recycling campaigns in the school. Another thing that recycling does is that it helps reduce waste, thus directly impacting the environment. For instance, utilizing even the last bits of paper before throwing it can be a small but very significant step in the right direction.
To-Do #2: Demand alterations in Curriculum
Lately, a majority of students have become environmentally-aware. Students have realized the importance of sustainability, conservation, and reuse. Challenge your teachers and school authorities to bring incremental changes in the curriculum. For instance, reading about the environment and conservation of energy and fossil fuels is something which should be regularized rather than offered as an elective course. It isn’t to say that you should stop pursuing courses like engineering, medicine, or anything which you may want to do. But, including the study of environment will not hamper your regular studies.
To-Do #3: Eat Healthy
What you eat will directly or indirectly affect the environment. Growing your own food is good for sustainability, great for your health, and a win-win for both you and the Mother Nature. So, the next time you and your friends get some free time in school/college, go out and plant some organic vegetables and fruits. Not only it helps build a strong ecosystem, but will also guarantee you a better, healthy lifestyle.
Did you know that cooking meat, especially red meat, requires more energy than cooking green vegetables? So this is another reason why you should go green.
To-Do #4: Stop Consuming Bottled Drinks
It is easier said than done. Plastic is one of the deadliest wastes for the nature. It takes ages for a plastic container to decompose. These bottles not only take hundreds of years to decompose, but they are also hazardous for animals that graze in the fields; thus indirectly affecting those who consume animal meat and milk. ‘Nalgene’, can be a better solution to using plastic bottles. Bottles made of this compound are kinder to the nature as well as the animals who feed on the plants. Using plastic products is a vicious cycle which has to be contained by the consumers. So junk your plastic lunch boxes and use cloth bag, or reusable boxes!
To-Do #5: Conserve Fossil Fuel
The rate at which we are consuming our fossil fuels isn’t just alarming, but it is one of the greatest threats to our civilisation. Ask your school to divest money from the illegitimate fossil fuel industry. Rather, focus on renewable forms of energy like wind energy, solar energy, water conservation, and much more. Building sustainable alternatives for the present resources can go a long way in shaping the fate of the economy as well as the environment.
Yes, these issues cannot be handled by only a section of the society. These necessitate major collaborations and better student awareness campaigns to bring about any meaningful change. Students, the baton holders of tomorrow, have to play a significantly important role in this. Ultimately, these are only a handful of suggestions, which can help you connect with the global movement for sustainability.