Going Green

Invest in Our Planet

Hands planting a sapling in earth
Image by Freepik

From the known history of humankind on this planet, what could be observed is that our relationship with Planet Earth had been one of dependence, extraction and exploitation. A few decades ago, it was a standard usage in development discourses and in geography lessons to speak about the ‘exploitation of natural resources’. However, these days, that term is very rarely used in terms of utilising the resources of the planet. Earth Day 2023 comes with a call to ‘invest in our planet’, setting aside the paradigm of extraction and exploitation. 

Earth Day brings to us a fiery tradition of environmental concerns with its origin in the United States of America. January 1969 saw the blowout of an oil well of Union Oil, resulting in a spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, which spread beyond 800 square miles and killed more than 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals and sea lions. It triggered initiatives like ‘Get Oil Out’ and the inauguration of an Environmental Rights Day, with a Declaration of Environmental Rights drafted by Rod Nash, a pioneering environment scholar and educator. This declaration, which came out before the concept of sustainability gained acceptance, starts with a mea culpa, accepting human crime linked to the planet, and stresses the need for an ‘ecological consciousness’ comprising of:

  1. Acceptance of humans as members of a community of living beings that share the environment,
  2. Ethics to concern relationship with all living beings and environment,
  3. Individual responsibility towards the environment,
  4. The right to private or corporate ownership to be so limited as to preserve the integrity of the environment,
  5. The tremendous human power to impact the fragile earth,
  6. The need to redefine progress from the angle of long-term quality, rather than immediate quantity.
Cover of the April 2023 issue of The Teenager Today featuring Prabhat Koli, the world's youngest oceans seven swimmer

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J. Prasant CMI, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Development). He served as the Principal of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, for many years. An environmentalist, his work focuses on environmental education, organic farming, bio-diversity and waste management. In 2021, he travelled across India on a motorbike as part of the Trust-Green-Peace campaign.

J. Prasant

J. Prasant CMI, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Development). He served as the Principal of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, for many years. An environmentalist, his work focuses on environmental education, organic farming, bio-diversity and waste management. In 2021, he travelled across India on a motorbike as part of the Trust-Green-Peace campaign.