Mahatma Gandhi had said that “nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need but has not enough to satisfy man’s greed.”
Serious ecological imbalance and environmental changes are occurring as a result of increasing population and industrial growth in India. Industrialization led to urbanization which started the problem of pollution. Then we as individuals are contributing to this problem of pollution, like garbage is dumped in vacant plots, though plastic bags are banned yet we use these or never say no to it when vegetable vendor put vegetables in these bags. As per the World Health Organization, Ludhiana is the most polluted Indian city followed by Kanpur, Delhi, Lucknow and Indore. There are many laws to protect environment and control pollution in different states but all of these lack strict enforcement.
Air pollution is the biggest concern of the day and is leading to many diseases like asthma, lung infection and even cancer. Greenhouse gases are seriously causing climatic changes and global warming. Air pollution is directly related to population, number of vehicles and smoke emitted from the factories. Bleak monsoons since 1950’s are also the reason of increasing air pollution in India. We always say that it is not me but industries that are causing the major problem. Here is an example to prove you wrong. All of us are aware of the fact that water logging leads to mosquito borne deadly diseases and to control mosquitoes we burn different makes of mosquito coils at home. But do you know that a single coil after burning produces hazardous smoke which is equivalent to 100 cigarettes. We are doing nothing but yet contributing to pollution and ill health. Then the discarded lead products like batteries etc are dumped in a very hazardous manner. Thousands of poor people get affected by the toxic dust and gases when they collect secondary lead from used batteries in heap of waste.
Many unplanned areas still lack proper sewage system, hence every home has s septic tank to collect waste. Toxic waste of body and human excreta get mixed with underground drinking water and contaminate it. Again we are contributing to the pollution. Drinking water is contaminated to a great extent by industrialization as untreated waste is dumped in river water, like 70% of waste discharged in Yamuna River is untreated. Also due to the congestion in the pipelines carrying industrial waste, leaking happens, and contaminates underground drinking water which earlier was so pure for drinking.
Noise pollution is causing madness, hearing and metabolic disorders and badly affecting our nervous system. This is happening because we are continuously hearing sound of horns and at home it is the sound of television. There is no peace of mind. Then our activities are also contributing to soil and electronic pollution.
It has been found out that after blood pressure, malnutrition, smoking, and indoor pollution, air pollution is the fifth chief reason of death in India. Also, there are many premature deaths because of air pollution. Delhi is the fourth largest polluted city in the world. The condition was very bad between 1947 and 1995 but progressive efforts made to protect environment has improved the quality of environment to some extent. There was a huge air pollution problem in Delhi few decades ago, but with CNG buses and autos the problem has been lessen to a great extent.
The problem can be solved to a great extent by using green resources. Green measures and the related concepts are the need of today as environment has all kinds of pollutions affecting health of every living organism. So taking into account the concept of green building and adopting green measures at home can no longer be considered as a fashion. For residential sector, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) had launched the Green Home Rating System. With the help of this rating system you can easily rate your home whether it is a green or not. For rating many factors like conservation of natural resources, how the domestic waste is handled, how healthy are its occupants, the way building has been constructed etc are taken into account. With such green homes both tangible and non tangible benefits are associated. In green homes 20-30% energy is saved and 30-50% of water is saved. Then you can have excellent air quality, day lighting, health of occupants, and there will be huge conservation of national resources.
Saving environment is our responsibility and must include from common man to bureaucrats, politicians, industries etc. The cumulative effect taken by everyone will make the difference. Some suggestions
- Whenever possible use public transport instead of your vehicle
- Go by foot to nearby places rather than on bike or car
- Plant trees or bushes close to your home to keep the air clean. You should also plant indoor plants but make sure not to keep water in the pot as this could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes which cause many diseases.
- Use eco friendly cleaning products at home for laundry as well as dishwashing.
- While brushing teeth, or doing cleaning work, open the tap whenever required otherwise turn the faucets off.
- Do not litter here and there
- Switch off all the lights and electric appliances when not in use or when you are in other room.
- Replace you incandescent light bulbs with CFLs as these consume less energy
- Buy green products which have Energy Stars on them.
- Limit the use of air conditioner, LCD, microwave oven, geyser.
- Use solar cookers to cook food as India gets enough sunshine even during winters
- Also instead of geyser, solar panels can be installed at roof of a home to get hot water.