What are the responsibility of an Individual in protecting the Environment?

Protecting the environment should be the prime target

Protecting the environment is like protecting the entire planet that can save the entire humankind and its natural resources. The role of man in the protection of the environment is to carry his responsibility of ensuring that whatever you do, eat, work, play, live, is of such a nature that it is not causing irreversible damage to the environment, and to limit the damage you may be caused by doing the things you do.

It is not easy for a single individual to take necessary steps to protect the environment however it is a responsibility for every individual on the planet to come forward and hold a stand for making the environment fresh and sustainable.

What actually is environment conservation?

Everything from the roots of trees underground to the air we breathe is a part of the environment, and the health of each part affects the health of the whole.

Environment Conservation is the practice of us humans to save the environment from collapsing, such as loss of species, ecosystems due to pollution, and human activities. This helps both trees and animals since all of us are dependent on them to survive.

It is the practice of protecting the natural environment by individuals, organizations, and governments. Its objectives are to conserve natural resources and the existing natural environment and, where possible, to repair damage and reverse trends.

When we say or discuss the Earth’s Environment, we are talking about all its aspects, like the atmosphere, the flora and fauna, the elements, water, and each ecosystem followed by its food system.

Nature has provided us numerous gifts such as air, water, land, sunlight, minerals, plants, and animals. All these gifts of nature make our earth a place worth living. Existence on Earth would not be possible without any of these. Now, while these natural resources are present on earth in plenty, unfortunately, the necessity of most of these has increased extremely over the centuries due to growth in the human population.

Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population growth, and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation.

Inhuman Behavior towards our Environment

Since major inventions of machinery and settling up the rapid industries, clearing out the jungles and polluting the water surface is making the environment unsustainable. If humans do not stop and keep on destructing the natural resources then a time would come where the life of each species would be at stake and humans might cease to exist

Protecting the environment is a conscious decision. It is also an inherently local decision. It is only natural that we would be more protective of the habitats in which we actually reside.

No one wants to drink out of a tainted aquifer, no one wants to breathe uranium dust, very few people will choose to live in a place with its own unique form of bronchitis.

It’s up to the population to pressure its government, local, state, and Federal to insure that some outside entity is not contaminating their habitat for profit. Most Americans live downstream and waterway health is public health.

The trick is staying educated. There is so much propaganda and disinformation out there that it is legitimately difficult to figure out what the impacts of some activities are.

As of now, we are yet to play a role. We are busy holding conferences and making statements here and there. We are trying to fix accountability as to who is responsible for the damage that has already happened. First-world countries aren't willing to compromise and developing countries have their own set of excuses.

The above is at a national level. At the individual level and the level of society, we are leaving no opportunity to cut down trees, destroy water bodies and create concrete jungles everywhere.

In the process, the planet is heading to ruin, bit by bit.

We do not think that nature intended mankind to fulfill a role as its keeper. Our logic is the fact that mankind is a latecomer on the scene, about 7 billion years in fact. Nature has survived quite well without man, however! Now that man is on the scene, means he is the one that is the transgressor against nature! We would like to think that nature has a way of dealing with this!

Environment Reports

According to National Geographic, the US alone contributes 250 million tons of trash a year, human contribute. We also create the maximum amount of wastes per person: 4.4 pounds. The more we create and use, the more we throw away. We’re trending toward a single-use culture and this needs to change.

We see trash everywhere in this country

Take a look at the impact an item like a plastic drinking straw can have on the environment. In the year 2017 alone, Americans used about 390 million plastic straws each day. They’re not easily recyclable, they take forever to decompose (estimated around 200 years), and they often harm ocean wildlife. One study even found that as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world's beaches.

Knowing about the fact that certain things are a threat to the environment causing climatic change by the greenhouses gasses, air and water pollution, deforestation, and more. As a result of so many serious environmental threats, the earth is changing. Melting glaciers are destroying habitat in the Arctic; plants and animals are becoming extinct at a staggering rate. It's easy to look at that list and feel small and insignificant. After all, the earth has over 7 billion people.

Government’s Initiative towards Nature Conservation

Since the 1960s, environmental movements have created more awareness of the multiple environmental problems. There is disagreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity, so protection measures are occasionally debated.

The Constitution of India has a number of provisions demarcating the responsibility of the Central and State governments towards Environmental Protection. The state's responsibility with regard to environmental protection has been laid down under article 48-A of our constitution which stated that " The states shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country".

Several Environment Protection Act has been implemented by the government

Environmental protection has been made a fundamental duty of every citizen of India under Article 51-A (g) of the constitution which says "It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures".

Article 21 of the constitution is a fundamental right, which states that "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law".

Ways to be More Sustainable to help Protect the Environment

First, we can recycle, reuse, and compost. Recycling involves cutting down on waste and energy consumption by turning used items such as plastic bottles into new items. Reusing involves cutting down on waste by reusing items such as grocery bags. Composting involving using food waste to help create nutrient-rich soil rather than landfill waste. The average person creates 4.3 pounds of waste every day. Much of that waste ends up in landfills, where it produces greenhouse gases that make climate change worse. Some of it ends up in the ocean, where it kills marine life. And, creating new products uses up a lot of energy. Yet, almost all of our waste can be recycled, reused, or composted.

Source- https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html

· Personal level: track every action, and see if it’s eco-friendly, believe me, the majority of them are not. ( even eating non-veg food is not good for the environment !!!)

· Societal level: try to increase the compass of your activities and see around. For example, is garbage being properly disposed of from your house and others in your neighborhood? simple questions, difficult answers.

· Government level: try to cope up with the green initiative government takes, every country’s government is on high alert and trying the best policies to work for a clean and healthy environment. You can just your part and motivate others to do so.

Another way an individual can help the environment is to conserve energy by switching things off when one is not using them, use less air conditioning (or use fans), dry clothes on a clothesline, switch to energy-saving light bulbs (LED bulbs are the best!), turn your refrigerator down, close air conditioning vents when you're not in the room, wear more layers instead of setting the heating too high, and turn everything off when not at home. You can make the biggest difference by turning off your a/c and turning down your heat. All these things help protect the environment though, and they save you money!

You can also choose to buy locally. Local food is better for the environment because of transportation pollution. The fewer miles the food has to travel, the smaller the pollution toll. You can buy local food at specialty stores, go to a local farmer's market, or even grow your food in a garden! Also, it helps to make as much as possible from scratch, instead of buying packaged goods. You can also cut down on meat: vegetables take far less energy to produce than meat.

You can also donate to rainforest conservation charities. Many charities are working hard to both buy rainforests for local groups to protect and to pressure governments to take action. These charities can only operate thanks to donations.

Let’s make the World Green

It is no secret that for decades, Earth has been incessantly abused, threatened, and destroyed. As man continues to put his selfish needs first, our environment suffers. The amount of destruction humans have caused in the past three decades is beyond comprehension – the glaciers in the poles are rapidly melting which is increasing the water level of the oceans; forests are quickly depleting; the percentage of greenhouse gases and other pollutants in the air is continuously rising, posing a threat to the already thinning ozone layer; energy reserves are exhausting, and the list goes on.

Isn’t it about time we started thinking about our beautiful planet and other life forms that inhabit it?

We all know that in an ecosystem, the well-being of one is closely and intricately related to that of another. Every living being – microorganisms, insects, animals, birds, plants – is dependent on each other for survival. The extinction of one species will naturally create an imbalance within the ecosystem, disturbing all other life forms within it.

Every individual has a role to play in preserving the Earth’s environment. A positive change, no matter how small, holds the ability to create a lasting ripple of change in the long run. Just imagine, if every individual all around the world (that is, 7 billion!) started doing their respective parts in reducing their carbon footprint and adopting the green way of living, how massive a change could we create! Taking baby steps and starting by adopting positive everyday habits could go a long way in saving the environment.

· Always, always, remember to unplug used chargers from the sockets and switch off the lights, fans, and any other electrical appliance when not in use. You may not realize it, but these little acts of carelessness may be the reason behind your skyrocketing electricity bills. By switching off devices and appliances when not in use, you are not only cutting down on your energy costs but are saving a considerable amount of energy. Opt for energy-efficient appliances

· Replace the age-old and energy-hogging appliances in your home with the new, energy-efficient ones. Today, the market is filled with energy-efficient bulbs, fans, heaters, air conditioners, TVs, refrigerators, and so much more. These devices deliver excellent performance while consuming minimal energy. Thus, the overall consumption of electricity in your house will reduce to a large extent, as will your utility bill.

· Trees provide us with oxygen, shade, and bring rainfall. They are immensely needed to help combat the climate change that is taking the entire world in its grip. Do your part and make it a point to plant trees in your surrounding areas. You can take up the initiative during festivals or special occasions and create a tree plantation drive in your neighborhood. This way, you will encourage others to plant trees for a greener future.

· Opt for public transport. Individual cars and automobiles not only increase the overall fuel consumption but also increase air pollution every day. By riding public buses, trains, metros, etc., you can help reduce this.

· Choose e-receipts and bills over paper bills. This will help save our forest resources.

· Fix any leaks and cracks, any, in the pipes, taps, and water cooling systems in your homes. Every drop of water is precious.

· Adopt rainwater harvesting. By collecting rainwater in clean containers or tanks, you can create an extra buffer of water for fulfilling your domestic purposes(washing cars, watering plants, etc.).

· Say no to plastic bags. Use cloth or jute bags.

· If each one of us starts following these steps, our Earth will become much greener and livelier in the years to come. Never forget, this is our only Home, and it is up to us to protect and preserve it.

Asking what is the role of man in protecting the environment is like asking, ‘what should one do to clean up the mess that one created?

Environmental crises are what man brought to himself. Greed, Progress, luxury, status all which man wanted for himself/ herself is what brought nature to this brink.

As there is a saying :

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.

Do it for your own planet

We all are aware of what are the things that are causing problems for the environment, and these are the problems that are not only limited to the environment anymore. They are affecting every living soul: mankind, plants, animals everybody.

According to many climate change and environmentalists, It is impossible for mankind's efforts, no matter how much hard we try, to take earth to the times it was pure.

But, then we cannot follow John Keynes who said, “we are all dead in long run.” So, we try.

The role of man in the protection of the environment is to carry his responsibility of ensuring that whatever you do, eat, work, play, live, is of such a nature that it is not causing irreversible damage to the environment, and to limit the damage you may be caused by doing the things you do. Be aware of what your action actually does to the environment.

Role of Communities

Communities have come forward for saving the world

There is a long history of public involvement in environmental decision-making. Typically, participation in the planning system through local consultation on planning applications and more general participation in development planning provided plenty of opportunities for the public to comment on development proposals and more strategic issues.

Somewhat paradoxically, however, it has been argued that notwithstanding this long history of public involvement in the planning system, environmental regulation has been „closed to public influence.' This is because, in stark contrast to the planning system, most pollution control regimes had rudimentary notification and consultation processes, and nature conservation decisions were almost entirely determined by experts without recourse to the general public.

The reasons for this are largely concerned with the technical nature of decisions. Other factors include the close relationship between industry and the regulators, the lack of transparency in decision making, and the large degree of discretion to set environmental standards. This process of change has been relatively swift with the increased participation in pollution control regimes and planning through the introduction of formal environmental impact assessment.

Thus it is clear that the importance of community participation in matters of environmental policy is extremely great.