Global Warning, Pollution, Climate Change, Greenhouse Effect are the terms familiar to us in relation to our environment and society today; worse yet is the fact that we are responsible for these disasters. As we all know, we do not have centuries to go anymore. Scientists around the globe are already complaining about the effect of global warming and the uns table environment that we all have nowadays. 

If we don’t change the way we live and the way we use the environment, our future or the future of our planet will be disastrous. You may well think that protecting the environment is a responsibility of the government or the people with higher authorities. Yes, I agree. But, instead of waiting for government rules, or proper management systems, we can change little things we do day-to-day and start protecting our environment on our own. Every little thing we do matters a lot when put together. So, the question; What little things can we do to make a difference?

Switch off unwanted bulbs

 I am suit you hear this all the time on TV. What I would like to say is; don’t just think about saving your bill, but think about people who do not have electricity. If you save some units from your home, those units can be used to give electricity to some other family. Not just that, have you noticed how much heat a bulb produce? Moreover, the electrical equipments use 75% power when they are on standby mode. So switch off from the plug point once when you finish using them. So, if you switch off unwanted electric equipments at your home, you are doing your bit to reduce global warming.

Save water

Never leave taps running while washing dishes or cloths. I remember my grandmother used a basin to wash dishes. She used only two basins of water to wash loads of dishes. Think how much water we could save if we follow that. Think about those who walk miles and miles for water, those who die of thirst and save as much water as you can. Do not exploit just because you can afford.

Save fuel

Scarcity of fuel is not a secret anymore. Developed countries are shifting to alternate solutions such as Hybrid and Solar power cars. Since we are not so advanced, or such vehicles are not available yet (even if they are; believe me; they will be so expensive), we can save fuel by avoiding unwanted journeys. Try to avoid rush hours if possible. When you stop to grab something quickly from a shop, while your wife (or anyone) is in the car, please turn off the engine. It is nice to have air conditioning all the time but you are not helping the environment. And also do not speed up while in a lower gear, that uses a lot of fuel.

Save Food

Don’t cook or buy extra food and throw. Always remember there are millions of people starving in our country, let alone the world.

Don’t print unless it is absolutely necessary

Try to reduce printing and use the advanced electronic techniques to do your work. This way you are saving paper, which helps protect trees, which helps protect the environment.

Minimize the use of plastics

As we all are aware that there isn’t a proper and effective plastic recycling process in Sri Lanka, it is our responsibility to avoid using as much as possible.

Buy things with minimal package

Most of these packaging are done using plastic material. So buying unwanted plastic material increase the pollution, as you will be throwing it.

Minimize the use of plastic bags

Please reuse your plastic bags, or take the old fashioned super market bag when shopping. Learn to say “no” to extra bags that shops give you.

Refill your water

Make an effort to refill your water bottle. Take your water from home.

Glass Bottles

Buy drinks (soft drinks, milk) in glass bottles. Glass bottles can be returned to the shop and recycles.

Take your litter home

Don’t throw empty bags (even paper bags), yogurt cups, banana peels etc on the side of the road. It is bad in many ways, but most of all; it kills the beauty of the environment polluting it at the same time.
 
If I sum up all the above points; all you need to remember before or when taking action is;
 
“Will my actions do any good to the environment or will it continue to harm the environment?” 
 
Please do not point fingers at others, think about WHAT YOU CAN DO, and do it for the sake of the environment. Our minds are so narrow that we only see “my” things; “My home” “My car” “My food”. And as long as those are clean and proper “I am happy”. What we don’t see is that we all live in this one big planet. The environment is what we are made up of. If that gets polluted we will not have clean houses or food, worse yet; clean air to breath. 
 
So, stop complaining and start acting, start doing little things to help protect our environment. We take a lot from our environment; it is time to give some back. 

Author – Prajapathi Wijesinghe

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