When I got up this morning I didn’t exactly remember it was World Environment Day. I simply walked up to my mom and wished her happy bday (her big 40th). Only after I finished my morning ablutions and set down for my diurnal task of squeezing every bit out of the newspaper, I realized it was WED (except it was THURsday- sorry for the pj). Well, it wasn’t a big realization and I couldn’t have missed it for too long. Every single page was covered in some sort of ‘green’ drawing or stats (vital?). Every page was trying to teach me ‘ways towards low carbon lifestyle’. For the uninitiated the slogan for WED 2008 is “KICK THE HABIT! TOWARDS A LOW CARBON ECONOMY”. It’s a different thing altogether that I am aware of all these ‘ways’. All of us know energy saving lamps are better than the typical bulbs. We have all been taught (made to cram- I remember my tenth standard science!) the advantages of renewable sources of energy over the conventional ones. How many times are we told (too many in my case) to switch off unnecessary lights and fans?
I didn’t think I needed to be reminded all this. I was pretty sure that I don’t live a wasteful lifestyle. And as it always happens, just then my mom told me to switch off the TV as I was reading the paper, I was pulled back down to the ground. Man I hate it when this happens! To avoid more such realizations I went straight to the sports section. Ah! Peace. Safina won. Delhi daredevils’ Asif caught with drugs. EURO 2008. Nadal for the semis, on bday. Paes- Bhupati to play together in Beijing. By this time I had forgotten all about the WED. Slowly I progress to the editorial, both convoluted and simple ‘messages’ catch my eye. I overlook it and turn the page. I am already bored of all this. On the corner of the next page (or the previous one, as I am reading it back to front), an article with a web- page background interests me. I read, and I read on. Believe it or not (I blame my stars!!) this one too was about WED. The opinionated writer was after orkutters and bloggers in that there are very few communities existing on orkut, facebook (etc.) voicing ‘the young generation’s concern’ for nature. Further on, the ‘few’ communities were listed with a description of the mottos, and in a single piece the youth was (once again) maligned. I could have entered into a fight with the writer had he been there. But, good for him, I had to be content with spilling my fuming thoughts here. I wanted to know how joining an online community helps in improving the environment. If Mr.Writer was so concerned about nature, he could have done better by appealing to the government. Instead of wanting the ‘young and vibrant’ to stage protest against the government for not making efficient plans for cleaning Ganga, why doesn’t he go and sit outside the Chief Minister’s office? Better still he could have told the newspaper guys to reduce the amount of utter nonsense published every day in the papers, to decrease the number of colors used, to cut a couple of supplements, to reduce in size or remove altogether pictures of ‘celebrities’. I thank you for reminding me of what I have not done for my environment, but I think it will be good if you took heed of your own advice. We are not irresponsible as is often thought; we are, as much concerned as you. And to prove this, I emulate your act of penning down thoughts. Guess, I have done my part.
Ah yes, the paper was- Hindustan Times. It wasn’t that bad after all. I did get reminded of the benefits of public transport (new low floor ac buses run by DTC are awesome!!-no kidding), car-pooling (with oil price hike this seems to be the key) and switching off the computer (I DO have this ONE bad habit (yes, stop smiling) of leaving my comp on or putting it on stand-by). As a small beginning, from my side I have decided to switch off my laptop when not in use and also to take a bus when possible. See what you can do for the environment.
When did it all begin?
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of UNEP.