In what way can we effectively contribute to our surroundings?  

To be effective towards maintaining our surroundings—most importantly conserving nature’s resources—does not necessarily mean that we have to formulate or partake in grandiose schemes to transform our planet. It simply means using those very resources responsibly, and with care. If each one of us makes a little effort to preserve the environment, the cumulative impact will be enormous. 

The key to environmental consciousness is balance. Modern civilization, by virtue of being a consumer-based society, has sought to ‘take’ rather than to ‘give back’. This has led to an imbalance, which occurs when usage of natural resources outweighs nature’s capacity to replenish the deficit. For example, heavy felling of trees to suit the demand and supply of paper has led to large forest areas being depleted of the earth’s natural cover.  This, in turn, has resulted in natural disasters like earthquakes, cyclones and droughts.

The good news is that this cycle can be reversed. Responsible usage of natural resources and recycling of organic and inorganic waste, for instance, could be a first positive step towards restoring the ecological balance. Rain-water harvesting and tree plantation are other, relatively easy and practical, ways to restore nature’s equilibrium.

Making ourselves aware of little things and setting an example will cause a ripple effect. For example, if each one of us were responsible with the usage of water, it would take care of the complex problem of water shortage that many parts of the world are facing, to a great degree. Similarly, if each one of us planted one tree sapling each, the world will definitely become a greener and better place.

The best way to create an environmentally responsible awareness is to think of the legacy we will be leaving behind for our children. A polluted, garbage-infested, drought-prone planet: is that what we want for them?

Let us not wait till the ‘New Year ‘. Let us start NOW!