Somewhere along our human journey we forgot that we are not the only species on this planet, but just one among millions and millions of species on the planet. We only have one planet and we are all part of a common future…
“– Extract from the music album ‘shiva‘ concert composed by Ricky Kej
Prominent personalities and environmental activists highlight critical environmental issues facing the planet, such as air pollution, land desertification and waste generation. They offer mitigation measures to live sustainably in harmony with nature, in line with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) World Environment Day theme of June 5, 2022 – “One Earth”.
– RICKY KEJ, two-time Grammy winner, Indian music composer and environmentalist.
“Generate less waste, put your clothes back”
Every day should be World Environment Day, so this day should be no different. But nevertheless, it’s always good to have a day when we only think about the environment, we celebrate nature and also understand what the best we can do to make this world a better place for everyone and everything around us.
“My message to all city dwellers like me would be to try to consume less of everything – plastics, meat, fossil fuels, packaging for the things we buy and try to rely more on public transport. Let’s buy less stuff first. A really good way to measure this would be to try and see how much rubbish or waste we produce each day and try to reduce that waste so that we consume less packaging and less stuff that we end up throw away, and we are also encouraged to reuse anything we buy.
“The mass fashion industry is one of the dirtiest industries on the planet, and we have to try to go back to the days when we bought good quality clothes and portioned them until they can no longer be worn. So I encourage everyone to use the hashtag #rewear4earth. Wear your clothes again and challenge the global phenomenon of having to wear a different outfit in every Instagram or social media post. Let’s be proud that fashion can be trendy even when worn multiple times.
Reducing air pollution with cycling and renewable energy solutions’
In recent years, environmental crises such as air pollution have become one of the most common public health problems. Air pollution also has a negative impact on the economy. As a community, we need to take action to alleviate the crisis, and we can make a difference by walking, cycling and taking public transport. Governments should promote decentralized renewable energy solutions such as rooftop solar, build integrated public transport and non-motorized transport infrastructure, and tackle other polluters such as waste burning, construction industry, industrial emissions and biomass burning.
“We launched the ‘power the pedal’ campaign to promote gender equity in mobility. The women cyclists of the “Power the pedal” campaign advocate for all marginalized and vulnerable communities, who have the right to equal access to public facilities that help them earn a living, work, study, travel and to live their life.
Safe, accessible, affordable and efficient transport systems, which will integrate public transport networks, including infrastructure for cycling and walking, will have a positive impact on the participation of women in the labor force in addition to reducing the atmospheric pollution. Only when we are able to achieve equity can we aim for sustainability.
“A change of mentality and an efficient public transport system are necessary”
It is “we the public” who constitute the government and therefore, unless we change our minds and realize that we must stop destroying the environment, there will be no real change through policies alone.
We need to build a better system, innovate and develop alternatives to environmentally unfriendly items such as plastics, chemical pesticides, fossil fuels, etc., and then put pressure on the government – the people’s representatives – to bring about the necessary political changes. However, some positive changes are happening, albeit gradually. These days, for example, many people prefer sustainable organic products and foods. Some e-commerce portals have changed their packaging to reduce waste generation. It must continue. Moreover, in order to reduce the carbon footprint, we need a very good, punctual, clean and safe public transport system, which encourages people to use buses and the metro rather than private cars. Applications for carpooling or taxi sharing by a group of people traveling in the same direction are available in certain metropolises. Such actions should be encouraged in order to reduce air pollution.