- There's more we can do beyond just recycling.
- Plastic is just one of many pollutants.
- Household chemicals, to the food we consume, all have an effect on our environment.
- The Earth is a living planet, one that nourishes and sustains us. We must reciprocate accordingly!
When asked about ways to be environmentally-friendly, most people immediately respond, “Well, I recycle!” There’s a lot more to living an eco-friendly lifestyle beyond recycling. Moreover, only a very small fraction of what we designate for recycling, actually gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills. The National Geographic estimates that 91% of plastic is not recycled and ends up in landfills and our oceans.
And there’s much more to pollution than plastic. Household chemicals like cleaners, detergent, dishwasher soap, air-fresheners, and personal hygiene products like soap, shampoo etc., all contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. These enter our groundwater, rivers and lakes, and ultimately affect our health.
Plastic remains a huge problem for our planet. From the top of Mt. Everest to the depths of the ocean, there’s plastic waste everywhere. While there’s no doubt that it has enhanced the quality of life for many, what we have not been good at foreseeing is the devastating effect that its waste is having on our planet. From bottled water and straws to plastic wrappers and grocery bags, there’s plastic everywhere. Companies are only now beginning to understand and focus on the life cycle of their products, beyond just the point of sale. Environmentalists and engineers are racing against the clock to find ways to clean our oceans off the plastic that is pervasive.
The metals in our electronics, such as lead, nickel and zinc, linger in our landfills and seep into the soil and the water. Many people are not aware of the proper way to dispose off of electronics, batteries and other e-waste.
To help understand the many dimensions of pollution and waste, I created an eco-survey. It asks some very easy to answer questions and calculates your eco-score and rating. Along the way, it gives many tips and suggestions on how to reduce waste and shrink one’s carbon footprint. It attempts to address many aspects of your relationship with our environment and planet. I have also launched a social-media campaign on Facebook and Instagram, to create broader awareness and to start a meaningful discussion on other ways to help. I believe that we can all start with some very simple and easy-to-implement lifestyle changes that have a big positive impact on the environment.
As humans, we have relationships – parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, children, uncles and aunts – and we do our part to keep each of those relationships healthy. We call our friends, we wish them well on special occasions, we console them in dark times and laugh with them in good. We all need to realize that we have a special relationship with our planet. It is the only home we know. It nourishes us, provides all that we need and more, and sustains our species, among many others. We live in a symbiotic relationship with Earth. When we hurt our planet, we are only hurting ourselves in the long run. It is time we nurture this special relationship that we have and do our part to save our planet.