2021 – Let it be the year of awareness
2020 got engulfed by Covid and the trend is expected to continue at least for a good part of 2021. Billions of people are in lockdown unable to socialize, unable to go to work or to schools, gather in public places. People around the world are feeling desperate, millions lost their jobs, people struggling at home, in care homes and intensive care units, dying of the same cause separated from their loved ones in their hours of need. At times of such existential danger, we want to be close to our near and dear ones holding their hands and embrace them. But that is prohibited too as every act of physical contact or every act of physically showing compassion could spread this deadly virus.
Looking back, 2020 taught us so many things about ourselves, our relationships, our society and its value system. We learnt to find happiness in simple things. I personally experienced so many simple moments of bliss. Be it watching the sun shining through autumn foliage sipping a cup of coffee in cold mornings or the times of togetherness with my wife and kids where we had countless hours of fun and frolicking in spite of being in lock down.
Thanks to Covid, planet Earth had some great moments too. The lockdown response to Covid caused an unprecedented reduction in global transport activity which ultimately resulted in considerable decline of global air pollution. Reducing air pollution can reduce both the climate change and Covid risks. Sea turtles have been spotted laying eggs in beaches they once avoided. A study published during mid 2020 found that the daily global carbon emissions fell by 17%. These are welcome signs for the planet but these changes are also temporary. Once the earthlings gets released from the clutches of the pandemic, they will get into the beast mode destructing our environment.
The Coronavirus shows us how terrible it really is to waste our lives, embroiled in endless battles for wealth, status and power. How terrible it really is to not recognize the value of the people and more importantly the value of our planet and its very existence. Taking the lessons we learnt during the dark hours of 2020 to our heart, let us try to be aware of our actions and the negative impact we create on the planet by changing few simple things in our day to day lives. Remember the power of one from our earlier post. Sharing few inspirations to kick start your 2021 with more earthly awareness.
Own your cup of coffee – Around 7 million coffee cups are thrown away in UK every single day. Own a reusable coffee cup and carry it along. Lots of coffee houses offer discount when you carry your own cup. Why not just make use of it?
Say no to plastic water bottles – Eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year killing our marine creatures and harming their habitat. A plastic bottle could take up to 450 years to decompose. There are so many alternatives like glass, stainless steel, reusable bottles and so on. Just avoid using plastic water bottles.
Plastic cutleries out of your kitchen and birthday parties – By simply going for a compostable alternative, we could save up to 466 items of unnecessary plastic every year. From edible spoons to Areca plant based cutleries, we have a myriad of options to choose from. All it needs is a mindset change, awareness and consideration towards our planet.
Ditch your tea bags – Tea bags are made of plastic and they are a major cause of polluting our water system due to the non-recyclable components. Simply use loose tea with a tea strainer or go for plastic free, biodegradable tea bags.
BYOB while shopping – Bring your own bag. It takes up to 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose in a landfill.
These are just some examples to help you kick start your awareness journey. We can create a considerable impact by just being a bit aware of our surroundings. Remembering to switch off light after leaving the room, going for energy saving lights, turning off computers at night, exchanging old mobile phones while buying a new one, closing tap while shaving – these are simple things that all of us can follow from this moment. Why not give a try and be a better citizen of this planet?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the Mantra and if we are aware, we can reduce our consumption and consumerization, reuse almost anything and play our part for a better planet if we also understand what can be recycled.
Let the lessons we learnt from Covid and lockdown guide us towards a better 2021 and let 2021 be the year of environmental awareness for each of us as individuals and collectively as society.
Happy New Year !