There is no denying that human beings have upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world now faces the greatest rate of extinction of species since the disappearance of dinosaurs millions of years ago. With an objective to spread awareness on the importance of environmental protection and the hazards of pollution, and to encourage healthy and sustainable living, Earth Day is observed in nearly 200 countries April 22. Ahead of this event, Orissa POST spoke to some women to know their thoughts on protecting the environment.
Poonam Nayak of Bhubaneswar said, “My friends and I have planned to plant trees in our locality as they not only bring the temperature down but work as air purifying agents and release oxygen into the atmosphere creating better living conditions.”
She advocated the involvement of more women in projects related to issues like global warming, afforestation and protection of endangered species.
Bibhusita Das of Rourkela said, “Earth Day is not only a day to celebrate, we should be on mission mode to save our earth before it is too late. Rapid industrialisation has ruined the environment, and emissions from petrol or diesel run vehicles have increased the level of air pollution. It is high time we thought of alternative sources to run vehicles so that we can reduce pollution or check it. For example, if you live close enough to school, encourage your children to use cycles to go to school instead of sending them in motorised vehicles. This will not only contribute in reducing CO2 emissions but will also help in maintaining the good health of your kids. The fewer use of motor vehicles on the road means less carbon dioxide.”
Sumitra Bhuyan of Cuttack said, “Don’t hesitate to raise your voice against environmental pollution. If you face environmental issues like cutting of trees, setting up of unauthorised manufacturing plants or excess use of plastic, share your concerns without fear by shooting off letters to your local representatives. This will encourage others to follow suit. Also, we need to attend local events on maintaining a clean neighbourhood and plantation programmes. Such events will give us more ideas to save the environment. We should not always look to the administration to make a move; it is our duty too to take up environmental issues.”
Pragyan Pattanaik of Berhampur said, “The day is not only meant for switching off lights for an hour. It’s a reminder to everyone to think about the earth. This year, I am planning to use only recycled bags for shopping and non-plastic water bottles. It’s a proven fact that plastic bags and water bottles are prime causes of environmental pollution. Dumping plastic bags and bottles into the recycling bin doesn’t mean they are always recycled. We should take initiatives to stop the pollution at our level.”