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Women's role in reducing carbon footprint
Educating ourselves seems like the first step. Living by the example is the second
Environmental pollution is a deadly threat to all life forms on a global scale.
While there are natural phenomenon on Earth like volcanic eruptions and wind erosions that release pollutants into the atmosphere, the major source still is human.
In a third world nation like India, the open incineration of waste is one of the largest sources for the release of toxins like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, furans and mercury among many others. India is the third largest in the emission of greenhouse gases after China and the United States.
According to a survey conducted in 2018, 70 per cent of the total plastic consumption in our country is discarded as waste.
Around 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated per annum, which is roughly 15,342 tonnes per day and about half that number is contributed by the female population.
With the amount of waste that comes from our cosmetics to our menstrual hygiene, we play a crucial role in the destruction of our surroundings.
How can we, as women reduce the negative impact we leave on our planet? What can one do in their power to reduce this toxic footprint? "Women, anywhere in the world are major contributors to pollution, right from our menstrual hygiene products to our tendency to hoard on stuff.
However, in a country like ours, adapting to a sustainable lifestyle is quite easy. We have always been a prudent nation. All we need to do is look back and learn from our ancestors -they managed to get by quite well without any modern inventions.
Sustainable lifestyle is not built in a day and all it takes is awareness. I personally swear by "refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle" as my mantra. I have gone on 12 months of "no buys" in the past three years and I constantly work at consuming less.
Furthermore, when I do purchase, I choose products that have the least impact on our environment," says Sahitya Madabhushi, a doctor who is also an environmental enthusiast.
Educating ourselves seems like the first step. Living by the example is the second. "Be the change you want to see in the world" said Gandhi. Now seems like as good a time as any, to live by that statement.
Every single step, whether big or small counts in creating a better world.
Here are 10 little things that all of us, irrespective of our sex can do in our daily lives that will definitely have an impact on protecting our environment:
♦ Stop excessively using plastic. Reuse and recycle as much as possible.
♦ Insist on biodegradable cutlery. Refuse plastic straws.
♦ Buy your produce from local markets. Locally sourced produce always offers healthier options.
♦ Make yourself and your family go vegan for a month every year. Or reduce meat and dairy consumption by 9% every week. Not only does that have health benefits but reduces the greenhouse effect significantly. Studies show that the greenhouse gases released from livestock farming contribute to 18% of the manual causes.
♦ Rely on walking, cycling and public transport wherever possible. Carpooling is another great option. This could bring a significant reduction in air toxicity.
♦ Plant more trees. Have at least one small plant in every room of your respective homes. Take inspiration from The Chipko Movement and The Greenbelt Movement that have played a significant role in preserving the environment.
♦ Reduce the usage of water, electricity and fossil fuels. Switch to smart devices that optimize consumption of energy.
♦ Change your beauty regime to a sustainable one. It's an easy thing to do. Use natural scrubs like sugar and chickpea flour instead of liquid body wash.
♦ Buy your child traditional toys made out of wood, straw and cloth. Reduce the usage of diapers. Alternatives for conventional diapers are easily available these days.
♦ Women can look for biodegradable pads, reusable cloth or menstrual cups for feminine hygiene.