Earth Day 2021: Stop Taking the Earth for Granted
New Delhi: April 22 marks the 51st year of World Earth Day. It is an annual event designed to drive action on the environment and climate crisis around the world. “Prior to the Coronavirus crisis, on this day there were rallies, global pledges campaigns etc to commemorate the landmark event, but due to the ongoing Pandemic, the event is now virtual and on digital platform.”
Themed on “Restore Our Earth”, Smiling Tree urges everyone to focus not only on how to reduce impact on the planet, but also on how we might actively repair the world’s ecosystems.
As the Coronavirus Pandemic rages on, Smiling Tree is avoiding in-person gathering. But the message has to go, it is a day where we need to spread awareness about the environmental problems. Climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation, water conservation are some of the biggest problems faced by mother Earth.
Coronavirus is playing havoc in India as of now and a serious oxygen crisis persists in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Most of the hospitals have only a few hours of oxygen supply. It’s a medical emergency. I pray and hope that it is soon averted. The current situation makes us realize the importance of trees, plants and other natural resources. Trees and plants produce oxygen, which constitutes a significant portion of the air we breathe so less trees and plants means less recycling of carbon dioxide and less oxygen production. And life cannot be sustained without oxygen. Same is for water. All living things, from tiny cyanobacteria, to humans, to giant blue whales and so on, need water to survive. Without water, life as we know it, would not exist.
Dr Mukesh Kwatra, Founder of Smiling Tree ran a digital campaign to commemorate Earth Day this year. Placards with eco-friendly messages made by young green warriors, the importance of trees and harmful effects of plastics were displayed in an innovative manner. Besides, two stools were made by Smiling Tree from Eco bricks. Eco brick is a used plastic bottle packed solid again with waste plastic scrap like polythene etc, to make a reusable building block.
Disasters linked to climate change and weather extremes have always been part of our Earth’s system. But they are becoming more frequent and intense as the world warms. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, coral reefs are dying, oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning. Now is the time for a bold collective action.
Plastic pollution is destroying our planet, our oceans. We need to break free from plastic pollution and must work towards a circular economy that embraces reusables and is built on safe and sustainable systems.
Right now, we as a society have more power than ever to restart our world to focus on the values that have united us together during this Coronavirus Pandemic crisis. Sustainable systems of resilience and an equitable economy for everyone is what we require.
Dr Mukesh Kwatra said, “Through these small efforts on this day, we have made a humble attempt to spread awareness on the various issues confronting our mother Earth. Please wake up, before it’s too late. Let’s hand over a green and sustainable Earth to our future generations!’