Think before you throw

While I was throwing waste in bin today, I thought that where it will go? If it is not disposed of properly it can create trouble for other living beings and can make problem for ecosystem.  Will I be responsible if some problem could happen due to its improper disposal? As the man is improving technologies, he is creating more waste which is not going to be end in any way. As our consumption patterns are changing, we are replicating the waste either in the form of solid waste, waste water or electronic waste (e-waste). We are spreading waste but no one knows where we are going. What we will do if the speed of generation of waste will be continued?  We are only now days are concerned with the needs of our nation to be fulfilled. Are we waiting for the day when the Earth will be like a garbage basket? What do we want to make it? Current situation of Pakistan in handling of waste is not different from other under developed countries. We are just dumping the waste and not concerned with its disposal.  Ground water is being destroyed by the leaching of waste.

The polluted water is being mixed with the fresh water streams. It looks like a nightmare when the Earth will be full of waste and their will not be any place for humans to live in but it can be true if we don’t think about the management of waste. Most of the diseases man is having are due to the unhealthy food and water which is actually due to the effect of contaminated soil and polluted water. We do not even bother to think that where the waste will go which we throw in baskets. If we think about it then we can come to the conclusion that organic waste could be reused as compost, combustible material could be used as refused derived fuel but what will be about curbside which cannot be reused and recycled in any way. But currently in Pakistan we are not even sorting the waste. We are just dumping the waste in mix form. What about the plastic which is not going to be decomposed. It is going to stay in environment for thousands of years and we do not know about its fate yet.

There is no effective way to decompose plastic. It is thought that d2w is effective chemical for the decomposition of plastic but this chemical has its own impacts on environment. Will it be a good approach to destroy one environmental component at the cost of other?  Disposal of e waste is becoming a global problem and we have not found any effective solution yet. There are many other issues of waste, we have to think about them and come up with an integrated approach which could reduce the waste and all the things remain in a circle in such a way it can fulfill the need of user and also generate less waste. We have to adopt the way of living where we can reduce, reuse and recycle the things so that we produce less waste. It will be our big favor to this planet and our coming generations.

Implementation- Need of the hour

It is frequently said that “ignorance of the law has no excuse” but what about the countries which are actually unable to implement laws. How can we talk about the quality of air, food, and water, when these basic necessities are not available to people living in underdeveloped countries. The environment has been a major concern for a few decades. But nothing practically has been done until now by the Government which shows their concern and responsibility towards their citizens. It’s the right of every citizen to have clean air, water, and hygienic food but we as a nation are stuck into the false promises of our rulers and politicians who are just concerned with their point scoring.

What can citizens expect from the country where the policies of the government change with every new government, where the priorities of the government change every day, then with whom can we expect to talk about and resolve the issues related to the environment. It is not important being the signatory of some agreement, important is to implement that law for the wellbeing of citizens. Pakistan is signatory to 14 multilateral agreements including Ramsar Convention on wetland, Convention on mitigatory species (CMS),  Convention on International Trade in Endangered  Species (CITES), Convention on law of Seas, Vienna   Convention on protection of Ozone Layer, Montreal protocol on Ozone Layer Depleting substances, Basel Convention on control of Transboundary movement of Hazardous wastes, Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Convention to Combat  Desertification, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Kyoto Protocol to UNFCC, Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides, Cartagena Protocol on biosafety to CBD and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

All these agreements were signed internationally for the betterment but these agreements are not fruitful yet because no framework to implement these agreements has been made. Recently there was Conference of Paris on climate change but no appreciable steps are taken as follow-up actions. Still, the non-renewable sources of energy are used and industries are generating pollution which is a major cause of climate change.

We have to ensure the safe use of chemicals, conserve the biological diversity, prevent the environmental degradation and make our future safe and sustainable by the implementation of laws. It is not of any worth to pass a law or sign a bilateral agreement, important is to implement a law with a proper framework so that the follow-up action should be taken to improve the existing environmental conditions. At the same time, we all have to understand that we cannot change all things in one night all we need is continuity to make the things better.We must be persistent and should create awareness in public about their rights. The government should take initiative to make things better and to make laws related to the availability of clean air, and healthy food. We should also come out of the blame game and work for the betterment of environment as an individual at our own level. We should help the government agencies to implement laws and recognize the loopholes for betterment.

Silent death

The man is stuck in problems created due to his own lifestyle and the luxuries he enjoys. A few days back there was a serious problem of smog. When I got up early in the morning, I felt that something was choking my throat and I was feeling irritated. When I discussed it with my parents and friends, I came to know that everybody was having the same feelings.  It was actually due to smog which is a combination of fog and smoke and it is a form of air pollution. The main reason behind smog is air pollution which is due to the vehicular emissions, industrial emissions and forest and agricultural fires. These sources emit nitrogen oxides (NO2 and NO3), Sulphur oxides (SO2 and SO3), Carbon oxides (CO and CO2) and Particulate matter (dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets). The most authentic reason of this recent happening is the emissions from coal power plants and fire burning of residues of the rice crop in Eastern Punjab as confirmed by Remote Sensing Images.  These emissions in the air can lead to serious health problems like lungs ailment and its long-term exposure can ultimately lead towards death.

The other industrialized cities of the world like Beijing (China) and London (United Kingdom) too have faced the same problem of smog and that was even worse than this one. But we do not learn from others’ experiences and did not put any effort to avoid such problem. It’s the need of the hour to address these issues at the right time to avoid more complications. It is not the single problem which man has created, there are many problems and they are getting even worse with every passing day. The man is using technology to make his life better and all pollution created by the production of various comfort giving products is becoming a reason for creating problems in his life. This cycle is continuously being repeated and leading us towards our own destruction. As all these things brought luxuries in our life, at the same time they are creating problems. We cannot afford all luxuries at the cost of destruction of Environment. If such destruction continues in future, it will become very difficult for human beings to survive.

We are not only destroying our lives by exploiting the environment but also the life of other living beings. Human beings have no right to damage the flora and fauna and be a reason for their loss and silent death. It’s high time to switch to environmentally friendly sources of energy and to quit the activities which are a reason behind such happenings and problems. The government should take actions to overcome such environmental problems and to make environmental conditions better for citizens and citizens should also fulfill their responsibilities regarding the environment. We have to make our lifestyle environmental friendly and use the resources sustainably so that our future generations can also get the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Earth. It is the responsibility of citizens to put pressure on Government to switch to renewable energy sources and we should deny buying all those products which cause harm to the environment. All we need is awareness and motivation as a nation to make our environment better than before. It is not possible to change all the things overnight but we can take an initiative to bring a change and our small contribution can prove fruitful for every citizen.