With the growing access to media and information through technology, we have become used to hearing or reading terms like global warming, climate change, environmental degradation, etc. Most of us have also taken the effort to learn more about the issue through further research or as part of our academic curriculum. Therefore, most of us understand what the issue at hand is. However, some of us do not know either the causes of the issue or its effects. Then, many of us do not know the solutions to the challenge but certainly a majority of us do not act.
What is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of nature, or what do you associate nature with? Trees, water, animals, air, pollution, danger? One important element we forget sometimes is ‘us’. We are a part of nature and nature is not ‘them’ but ‘us’. When we dissociate ourselves from nature is when we think it is just nature that is in danger but we are safe, and apathy could rise out of it. However, when we realise that we, too, are a part of nature, we understand that we are equally at risk and thus, need to take action at least to safeguard ourselves.
We cannot completely stop environmental degradation because it is inevitable with the growing population, scarcity of resources and changing lifestyles but we can certainly slow it down. This can happen by following the 3A concept: Acquire, Act and Achieve. I believe the first step towards change is to educate yourselves and become conscious and informed citizens.
Sanjoli Banerjee is a learner and seeker working to bring both internal and external transformation in the society through her community and activism at Sarthi. She is a student, founder, director, talk show host and an international award-winning activist.