From the moment we get up in the morning to the second we jump on the bed at night,
we are thoroughly engaged with one or another form of life and is completely unimaginable to think without one.
My definition of life
Nature defines life for me.
For a cartoon loving youth like me,
Nature is like the character of “Doremon” in my life who has the magical 3-Dimensional pocket with which she selflessly fulfils all our desires and needs, poured with love, care and kindness.
Note: Doremon is a cartoon character from one of the most famous and kids’ favourite cartoon show
Well, I have not inculcated the above-mentioned metaphoric expression when I used to watch that cartoon.
Realizing the Wonders of Nature
The realization of wonders of nature hit me in one of the extra-curricular activities which I attended in class 7th, and I still feel thankful to be a part of that class.
There, one of our nature-loving science teachers conducted a session of environmental awareness.
He taught us about the increasing carbon emission levels, how it affects our planet and most importantly about the species that were going extinct and our inability to witness them from our own eyes in the future.
These all sown the seed of emerging realization and beautiful sense of attachment with the environment in me.
From that day on I joined the eco-club of my school with the hope of changing the situation upside down.
I am sure this kind of incidence might have happened with you as well.
It happens with everybody, only the situation and causes change.
Some might have had it the way I did, others might have experienced the beauty of nature in life in picnics, outings workplaces etc. or in the time of lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak!
Remember? Who can’t!
It was such a reviving sight when nature started recovering at a skyrocketing speed when we humans were locked in our homes.
Ocean oil spills, Amazon burning, Bush fires, COVID-19 pandemic etc. on one side,
and the recovery of India’s air quality, water purification of river Ganga, the sight of wild animals roaming in cities, the clear, beautiful sky, on another,
shows the impact of our existence in this planet and the power of nature when she takes charge.
I am not in favour of the “THANOS mentality” (Villain of the Marvel Avenger movie) of vanishing half the population of the world with a finger snap so that the other half can live peacefully.
However, we need to understand that we are not the only living species on this planet.
In today’s world, millions of natural resources and habitats are compromising due to human’s selfish acts.
Scientific studies have shown that homo sapiens like us are wired to survive many severe adaptations of natural changes but not many of other living species have this power to cope up.
Evolution is a phase of life, and it happens naturally with certain time parameters.
However, horrifically, we as humans have single-handedly accelerated the clock gears that is resulting in severe environmental changes, causing a deadly impact on millions of species and are finally leading to their extinction.
That’s the gist of the learnings I have got from watching documentaries, reading articles, blogs and listening to renowned activists working in the field of protecting the environment.
The Right Mindset to have
However, simply stating the problem is not enough. As a youth, I feel the urge to provide the solution to it as well. And I believe:
“We cannot make the strategy to protect
unless we know the area of concern”
This is something which I learned from a short yet incredible experience.
When I was small, I came across a plant species in my surrounding in huge masses (Now as well). Its name is Dodder, and it spreads in a web-like structure.
When I got to know that it is a parasitic plant; lives on the host plant and take over their food,
I was horrified and immediately made a mindset that this plant is harmful to nature and therefore we need to destroy it from everywhere.
This mindset continued to be in power untill the moment I got an opportunity of making People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) of one of the richest biodiversity village in our state of Chhattisgarh.
All thanks to my eco-club activities.
There, when we were collecting data from many of the veteran healers and physicians, one of them mentioned about dodder.
By only listening to that I put my belief in front of him, and he responded shockingly,
“How can you say that? We use the extract of that plant in making medicines to treat enlarged spleen, liver problems, bladder problems and whatnot.”
After listening to him, I was completely stunned and realized that we cannot judge who is a friend and who is enemy without having the proper knowledge.
So, like this way, we need to control the fear from nature’s wonders with the magical wand of knowledge.
It’s not as hard as mountain cutting. Rather, small but consistent efforts on large scale implementation can bring a drastic change in a positive manner.
Is Eco-trending even possible?
Making the environment and biodiversity a trending topic on social media is the first step towards change is.
Every one of us knows that social media and the digital world are involving very intensely in our day to day lives.
It can be a life-saving tool if used properly or the initiator of catastrophic disasters if not. The digital hate spreading, riots, public humiliation etc. are examples of it.
For us & our planet’s welfare, we need to generate curiosity of learning about the environment and biodiversity among citizens and need to make it a global trending topic for discussion.
If the images of cute babies, celebrities, memes etc. can go viral,
why do ecological restoration, species caretaking, medicinal benefits of numerous plant species, beekeeping, sustainable practices etc. cannot be?
- Banyan Tree is the National Tree of India
- World’s 33% plant species are found in India and nowhere else.
- Smelling moringa flowers can reduce the problems of anxiety and depression.
- Moringa leaf juice is very effective in reducing the problem of hypertension and high blood pressure.
- Neem plant act as a natural air purifier.
- Only smelling pudina leaves can give you relief from running or blocked nose.
And lots more of this valuable information of our biodiversity which I have learnt not from the ancient book of Atharv Veda, but either from the healers or internet and social media.
So, the answer to the question of eco-trending is yes, because it is possible!
The Action Needed for CHANGE
There are various social media pages and blogs out there who are spreading fantastic information of environment, species and their easy methods of conservation.
We need the urge to follow, share and make our circle members do the same.
Along with this, we need to bring environment conservation and the concept of a sustainable lifestyle in school and college curriculum.
Environment studies are still optional subjects in schools and colleges (except those dedicated to environment and life science courses), which has made it less meaningful for students to look into.
Just like Italy, who became the first country to add climate action studies in the school curriculum,
India and all the other countries need to involve practice-based environment conservation and sustainable living courses in the academic curriculum.
This way, the students can understand the global environmental status, the endangered species, their protection method and many such recovery practices.
For contributing our effort in protecting the endangered species, we need to know what all species exist in our surrounding biodiversity in the first place.
Doing it on a personal level is in fact much easier than learning an instrument!
GREEN DAILY DIARY
The method I perform and suggest everybody is to maintain a Green Daily Diary.
It is a type of journal that everyone can make to enrich their knowledge about their surrounding biodiversity.
Wherever you go, along with cherishing the beauty of nature, develop a habit of having a deeper look at the species of plant and animals of that place.
Take leaf, fruit or any other extract of the plant species you don’t know anything about, search for them, find their name, scientific name, medicinal benefits etc. and attach them to your journal.
You can even note down the frequency of a certain plant species in a particular area which will help you understand whether it’s a local variety or not.
In this way,
- everyone can enrich their knowledge about the benefits of surrounding biodiversity,
- will develop a deeper sense of importance for them,
- will never hurt them
- and will even stop others from doing the same as well.
The Attention-hungry Action
The process of species endangering and extinction are not that simple as they seem.
When we look at the broader picture, it’s understandable that various species are depleting from wild biodiversity as they cannot cope up with the climatic changes.
The other prominent reason for endangering of species is the domination of foreign species over the local ones!
Nowadays, the trend of having ornamental, decorative and bonsai species is on a vertical graph.
Everybody is buying and planting them indoors, in terrace and garden areas to inherit green benefits which to be true are not very prevalent.
Many local species of flowering, fruiting and medicinal plants are endangering due to this practice.
Today, we need to plant, promote and protect the local species of plants in our area from giving our contribution in securing the diversity of our motherland.
CONNECTING WITH OUR ROOTS
And lastly, we need to stay connected with our roots.
When I was making Public Biodiversity Register with my team in various interior villages of our state, I got to know that there are so many veteran healers and physicians who have kept the traditional knowledge alive from many generations.
To make their valuable knowledge transfer from generations to generations, documentation of their knowledge is very important.
For this to happen, they need our help.
We need to give them the respect and recognition they deserve by gaining knowledge and learning their practices to find our solutions in nature.
By doing this, we’ll learn about the importance of our forests and will be able to protect the endangered species from getting extinct.
PROTECTING LIFE FROM LEAVING THE WORLD
As a youth, I totally agree that digitalization and modernization are the inevitable events that are and will happen. But still, we need always to keep the “Eco-check” in mind,
i.e. adopting them only if they provide a helping hand to sustainable living.
A world without life is like the idol of god without divinity.
Therefore, to protect this divinity of our mother nature which is under threat due to the vanishing forests and endangered species, I believe that.
If each one of us commit to solve one nature related problem, then our planet’s glory will be back in no time.
“Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.”
So, let us all join hands, use our magical skills to make our motherland become the most beautiful planet in the entire universe.
It is Our Planet Let’s Make It Mess-Free – Uttam Kumar Tamboli