World Environment Day is held every year on June 5th with a specific theme as a result of the 1972  United Nations Stockholm conference on human environment. The first world environment day  was held on 5thJune 1973 with the theme “Only one Earth”. This year the theme for the world  environment day is “land restoration, Desertification and Drought resilience”.

Environment simply means the total effect and influence of all living (animals, plants, forests,  fishes, birds) and non-living (land, water, air, sunlight, rocks) elements on human life. It is up to  us to create an environment that is favourable for our existence now and for the future generations. Let us not rely only on the Government and Institutions to take care of the environment. As the  nature of the environment affects each and every one of us, it is also the responsibility of every  person to positively influence the environment we lived in.

Every little contribution matters: Our little deeds, our little activities, our simple daily routine  can affect and influence our environment. Today i want to share about how, as an individual we  can contribute to the betterment of the environment through simple daily activities in our homes.

Plantation: Planting trees is always a welcome move and we should strive to plant more and more  trees to counter effect the unavoidable deforestation that has happened to fulfil our requirements  for food and home. The natural regeneration process can no longer keep up with the deforestation.  Nature always strives to achieve equilibrium which otherwise leads to natural calamities. We should therefore explore every occasion we get to plant trees and strive to bring back the status  quo that was destroyed during the course of our developmental activities.

Not everyone is fortunate to contribute to plantation activities no matter how motivated you maybe  as it require access to land and saplings to complete the plantation process. However, don’t be  disheartened. You can contribute to saving the environment in different ways.

Save energy: Judicious consumption and use of electricity in our homes can be achieved by using  it only when necessary. This has become easier to follow after the introduction of the prepaid  system. We may practise not running the television day in and out with no one watching, switching off the electronic chargers when not in use or when the device is full, make sure to turn off the  heaters or Air conditioning when not in use. Heating water through geysers or other equipments  using electricity only when needed. Always switch off lights during daytime and before leaving  the house.

Save water, save life: Living in a place where water scarcity is real and painful makes you an  expert in the means and ways to reuse water from one activity to another in the house. With the  cost of water starting from Rs.1300/- per 2000 litres, water does not go to waste here. Let me give  you an example. The water that has been used to wash vegetables and fruits are stored and reused for washing dishes, watering potted plants. Rice water (water drained from washing rice) is used  to water plants in the kitchen garden. Kitchen garden here can be few pots of coriander, basil,  spring onions or other herbs. Rice water has cosmetic uses as well. The latest trending skin care  regime being the Korean glass skin using rice water products, one can also use this rice water.

Water used to rinse off clothes when washing clothes can be reused for cleaning floors. This simple  system of reusing water for one purpose to another can save up quite a lot of water when you  consider the cumulative average for months.

Home waste management: we generate two types of wastes at home. Degradable and non  degradable wastes. The degradable wastes can be composted into compost which would later be  used for growing vegetables and flowers in the home. It is a good investment to have a small  compost bin at home to convert these wastes into compost. Compostable wastes are generated  mainly from the kitchen. All kinds of food waste including vegetables, fruits, leftover food, stale  food, egg shells etc and be composted at home. The home composting doesn’t require additional time and effort. All you have to do is to discard these wastes into the bin as you generate it. The  non degradable wastes are mainly plastics in all shapes and forms. These are necessary evil in the  modern life. As we cannot completely avoid them in day to day activities our best option is to  strive to use as little as possible by always carrying our own shopping bags when shopping for  groceries, carrying our own water bottles when we go out. Reuse and recycle other plastic  commodities that may be in our possession.

Sustainable fashion: Cloths are a necessity. clothes here include shirts, pants, jeans, jackets,  woollens, bags, socks, hats, shoes etc Dressing up and dressing decently as per the protocol or the  events is the norm. It is no surprise that every one of us own multiple sets of clothing’s. But the  question is; do we really need all that we possess? Do we make use of all that we have? A lot of  natural resources go into the production of the cloths to reach the market. Some of the production  process may be detrimental to the environment. If each one of us curbs the need to buy more and  more clothes just to be kept in the storage of our houses, then the manufacturing and supply chain  would slow down which shall in turn mitigate environmental pollution.

Every little effort each of us does in our daily lives when seen in a larger perspective will  greatly benefit the environment we live in and provide us with a wholesome environment to thrive  and prosper. Let us take pride in the fact that our actions contribute to a better environment. Let us  remember that the fate of the world rests in our hands; so let’s act responsibly.


Lhinghoikim Touthang IFS,

Department of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Nagaland

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