The Sky is Blue
I’m sure you all would have felt it, the sky is blue in the day and the stars are bright in the night, you’re breathing better, rivers are cleaner, the Himalayas are visible from Amritsar and Mother Earth is expressing her natural beauty as best as she could.
Dhurv Rathee explained the concepts of why, in detail, in the following video.
The irony? we cannot even witness it live, as soon as we step out, it’s back to aching lungs and grey skies.
However, within this sad inference, there is also an opportunity. An opportunity to change. No, I’m not talking about the industrial reforms and government funding and environmental Acts to bring about massive change. I’m talking about you, yes you, and I’m talking about me. I’m talking about making changes, small and insignificant they may seem, but they aren’t.
Take a Break
Let’s pause and take a breather for a moment. After all, that’s what brought out the beauty in nature, us taking a break. I’m sure you have watched Avengers: Endgame (Go watch it if you haven’t, what are you doing with your life?), you can imagine everybody in the world just vanishing from existence. Please take a moment after you read this and try to really imagine a world, your surroundings, everything that you see and observe daily, without any human existence. What are we leaving behind for Earth? The desk you’re working on? The device you’re reading this on? The bed you’re lying on? The house you built? The books you read? The books you wrote? Ideas? Imaginations? Feelings? What is it? Take a moment, think about your vanishing, from existence.
Think about what would happen in 30 days, a year, 10 years, 1 million years. In 30 days, there would be dust, in a year, there would be rain, more dust, maybe some dried up leaves, maybe insects & animals would take over the house. In 10 years, everything you leave behind would be consumed by nature, through either of the Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Space. If you’re struggling to imagine, here’s a video. The point? Okay, I’ll get to it.
How did you feel while imagining this? I’m sure it was uncomfortable, but it was also true, our problems, our ideas, our innovations, our devices, everything that we interact with on a daily basis is actually not going to last. What will last is Nature, in all its beauty but again, we won’t be there to witness it.
What I want is a world where we are there to witness it, I want to be there when I can breathe the aromas of nature, and I want nature to breathe me. I want to be there to see the mountains, the beaches, the rivers, in all their glory, and I want nature to see me. I want to feel the leaves, the soil, the water, and I want nature to feel me. I have a major fear of missing out.
You know nothing, Jon Snow!
What do I do to make sure I’m there to witness a world like that? Well, unless I can find a portal to another dimension where the Earth is not as polluted as this one, I will have to make changes. I will have to develop some habits that I’m not very used to, and hence are hard to develop, but they can have major positive implications on the Environment.
Now a lot of you may be thinking that you are concerned about the environment and are already doing your best for it. Well, research says otherwise. A study at the Ghent University in Belgium shows that Individuals are not able to assess the actual impact of their behaviours on the environment when their self-assessment of the impact was compared with the actual impact.
To have a reference point though, I would still recommend taking a survey to find out your Ecological Footprint. A quick way to get an idea about how sustainable our lifestyle is, can be found at Footprint Calculator. It also shows you if all the people in the world did start living the way you do on January 1st of a Year, all the resources in the world would finish on an Overshoot Day. Mine was 4 Earths and 31st March, respectively. Find out yours here.
So what can we do?
Treasure Hunt, Anyone?
Well I might have an answer. This is how I would do it. Whenever, I’m interacting with an object which is not natural (so, a device, let’s say), I would trace the history of the device and its components to the source. Let’s try to understand this with an example.
I’ll use a Hamburger simply because the research is already done by the UN, see the image below.
83 litres of water for the bread, 408 litres for the meat, 151 litres for cheese, and so on. Around 3,140 litres of water is used in finally delivering that burger to you. Don’t forget that water is coming from the very limited freshwater available on Earth (Only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 7.8 billion people.). Now, add the transportation for each of those ingredients (the heavy-duty land transfer to the port, the ship to the destination port, the heavy-duty land transfer to a distribution facility and finally the transportation to the restaurant outlet). How much fuel must have been burnt during all of that transportation polluting the environment all the way.
The device in front of you has several small components (screen, processor, ram, battery, buttons) and all of them have been shipped from a different country, the environmental cost of the materials used as well is huge. The electricity used to power that object is likely to be generated using a nonrenewable resource.
Tracing the source of the objects we interact with, or use, could help us decide whether to use it or look for an alternative. Perhaps while shopping for a mobile phone, or a hand bag, or a shirt, you could research about the company to find out if they care about the environment and if they take any green initiatives to minimize the negative impact.
There has to be a list, right?
Now while I was doing the research for this particular article, I found a great list at Greatist and you need not go further than that. I am going to keep this list in my notes as a pocketbook to remind me of the environment in everything I do. Go ahead, check it out.
One thing they did not cover in the list of scaling back travel was considering moving closer to work to avoid travel altogether. There’s enough of us who travel more than 1 hour one-way to work, it might be worth considering moving closer to work to avoid travel altogether, reducing travel stress and save some valuable time.
Had to include Liverpool FC Somewhere
I’ll end the article with the famous Liverpool FC Song by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
“At the end of a Storm, there’s a Golden Sky!”