Sustainability: A Thought For The Future Generations!

Graphic by Himanshu Vaidya

Amidst these changing times in this fast-paced world, have we ever given a thought about our future generations with respect to the resources they will be needing? Firstly, will they be left with adequate resources and necessities in about a thousand years from now? Will they be facing any shortages then? In this article, I am going to answer all these questions, and enlist possible solutions for the same, which come under the broad concept of ‘Sustainability”.

The concept of Sustainability deals with the principles and policies, wherein we must utilize our resources effectively, in such a way that we aren’t compromising with our present needs, and at the same time, conserving the resources for our future generations. For example, the world’s freshwater resources are being depleted drastically. This is due to numerous reasons. Firstly, we often see people leaving their washroom taps open while brushing or bathing. Also, the increase in population has led to the demand for unlimited food grains and basic necessities. In such a situation, a large amount of water is spent by the farmers for agricultural purposes. Thus, we must realise that if we don’t start conserving our resources from now itself, there wouldn’t be any of them left for the generations to come.Non-Renewable resources like crude oil and petroleum are available in limited resources, and if they are exhausted due to misuse or overuse, it will be very difficult to obtain them. Thus, we must use our natural resources judiciously and wisely keeping the posterity in mind.

Talking about my personal experience, I once had to work on a school project in which we had to make people aware of such issues related to sustainability. I, along with my group, visited various regional schools with the purpose of educating children, and even teachers, who may not be familiar with such issues. We set up models for display in the schools, which demonstrated how we were now running short of clean water and electricity. We also taught them the importance of using eco-friendly products, and to cut down on the usage of non-biodegradable items which prove to be very toxic for the environment. In addition to this, our team enacted role-plays in front of the children, which portrayed the theme of not wasting food while they have their meals. Through the use of posters and paintings, we taught them to dispose of plastic cans and containers in the dustbin, and never to throw such items or chocolate wrappers on the roads carelessly. Little things do matter a lot, and so our team was successful in instilling a feeling of responsibility among the upcoming youth of the country. 

Over the years, there has been a tremendous rise in the concerns raised with respect to Sustainability. For example, issues like Deforestation, Soil Erosion, Overfishing, Overpopulation and Water-Management problems have posed a serious threat to Sustainability. Resources are depleting year after year and especially in countries like India, Ethiopia and the Philippines, droughts and floods are very common which results in food and water scarcity. Another very important concern is seen with respect to the use of non-biodegradable plastic bottles, bags and containers, that too on an unprecedented scale. It has happened numerous times that when such items are thrown away on the grounds, animals and birds tend to feed on them, eventually getting choked and losing their lives. Being non-biodegradable in nature, it is made up of many complex chemical compounds, which takes years to decompose.

A number of solutions for such issues have been suggested by eminent scientists and researchers from all across the world, some of which are enlisted below:-

  1. Although plastic bags are light-weight in nature and easy to carry, they take around 1000 years or even more to break down and decompose. In such circumstances, we must completely do away with the use of plastic goods, and switch to reusable bags like jute, which will in turn serve our purpose and also, not litter the environment.
  2. We must limit the use of vehicles and scooters which indirectly pollute the environment hazardously. Carpooling, cycling, electric motor-rickshaws and autos that run on batteries must be encouraged by the government.
  3. Renewable energy power plants like solar chimneys should be set up above buildings.
  4. We must remember to turn off the taps while brushing, and not letting the shower on for too long.
  5. Lastly, one should pledge to use and promote only eco-friendly products, which would not harm the environment, and they can also be reused and recycled anytime.

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