The pandemic has given us a unique opportunity to pause, reflect and rethink how to balance our relationship with nature to ensure a harmonious relationship. The learnings are many and one of the key takeaways was the way nature has responded to the lockdown through cleaner skies, fresh air to breathe, and the often unexpected return of wildlife in some parts of the world. Situations like these gave us a moment to recognise the impact of our actions on mother nature. Isn’t it time we all came together as responsible citizens to rejuvenate and restore her? Aptly, the World Environment Day on June 5 this year is focused on just that—restoring ecosystems.
There are many ways to go about restoring our ecosystems including adopting green technologies, making sustainable consumption choices, incorporating conservation efforts, and developing environmental awareness. Individuals, communities, governments, and companies can contribute in their own ways to the protection of the environment by taking effective measures to help reduce their carbon footprints. Below are some possible ways in which we all can contribute:
Adopt efficient processes
Many processes businesses have in place today use more energy or power than necessary and protecting the environment can often be as simple as replacing these processes and machinery for more efficient options. Creating business models that integrate sustainable development goals into the internal processes will help conserve energy and assist in identifying where waste can be reduced.
Need for greener products
Sustainability and environmental issues are emerging as important considerations when making strategic business, management, manufacturing, and product development decisions. There is a critical need for companies to produce more efficient products that contribute to a green economy. Companies can redesign products and adopt new technologies to aid greener consumption. In fact, going “green” should be the first priority as new products are conceived, developed and consumed.
Reducing carbon footprint
Creating and using products that are energy efficient will reduce our carbon footprint and working toward the goal of zero waste will help protect the environment and sustain our natural resources for current and future generations. Corporations can play a role in creating a culture of green consciousness by encouraging and educating employees to make positive changes or be involved in eco-friendly behavior and developing habits that will save or conserve energy.
Focus on recycling practices
Eliminate Single-Use Plastics: Every year, thousands of seabirds, turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed after ingesting plastic or getting tangled up in it. You can cut down on plastic waste by using reusable bags, eliminating single-use water bottles, and avoiding products made from or packaged in plastic whenever possible.
The reality is that global warming is underway and along with climate change, we are experiencing changes in weather patterns and our lifestyle. Developing environmentally friendly products and practices, while engaging in lifestyles that are more ecologically responsible is undoubtedly the vision by which we should live our lives and contribute in restoring our ecosystems. The power to safeguard our environment lies with us and we need to take collective action to ensure the future of our planet for generations to come.
—Parag Kulkarni is Managing Director, A.O. Smith India. Views expressed are personal
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)