Where did Earth Day go this year?
Earth day this year, for me, was over shadowed by the Easter Massacres in Sri Lanka and the National Elections in India. However, I’ll never forget that first disastrous Earth Day celebration over 20 years ago when I took my little girls walking up to Hanging Gardens to learn all about conservation and saving the environment. Though we were the only people there along with a white-bearded Parsi gent, it seems that I did sow the seeds of Environmental Protection in my girls.
Thirty years later, I can see their children pointing out garbage piles, asking us to stop using plastic and asking us to recycle and reuse.
Gulls or gathias
This became all the more apparent when my Little Po shouted out to his cousin Ms. Papaya that the sky was filled with ‘gathias’.
I couldn’t see a single ‘gathia’ in the sky. It was filled with seagulls though. Both the kids were enthusiastically counting the ‘gathia’ when the penny suddenly dropped.
It seemed that Wow Dinga’s class had to spend one Sunday afternoon on Chowpatty beach and stop ardent bird ‘lovers’ from feeding the seagulls ‘gathias”.
Every winter the migratory gulls stopover in Mumbai like many of our own ‘snowbirds’. When the summer comes they fly back to cooler climes.
Unfortunately, these birds have become so fat and lazy feeding on the ‘gathia’ that they stay back only to die once temperatures rise.
Why Earth Day is important
Oftentimes I wonder at the significance of observing Earth Day. After all, despite the brouhaha this day generates, the climate seems to change regardless.
Stricter norms on effluent treatment, garbage disposal and even responsible use of plastic, has not stopped climate change. For instance this year we Mumbaikars actually had a long winter till early March!
But while we in Mumbai may welcome an extended or colder winter, this is completely against Nature’s plan. Ultimately a change in the environment affects all living creatures and some of them even become extinct.
I wonder how many of you remember the years after cell phones became rampant in Mumbai, the common house sparrow simply vanished. People said that it was because of the cell tower waves that beamed at the flight height of the sparrows. Luckily now they have come back and I can see them chirruping in my garden.
However more needs to be done than just curtailing indiscriminate cell tower proliferation.
It affects natural environments like coral reefs that are in danger too.
So while Earth Day has slipped by unnoticed and unsung, we shouldn’t forget that we need to look after our planet and NOW.
Little steps to save the earth
You need not participate in a parade or an event to save the earth. Small steps will do.
- Use water judiciously
- Walk whenever possible
- Eliminate waste in your everyday life – use gift wraps, ribbons etc prudently
- Make the Three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – your new mantra
Do share with me in the comments, your favourite tip on Environmental conservation.