Just as we ensure there is money in our bank accounts, we need to balance our account with the earth, says architect Sathya Prakash Varanashi

There is no rosy picture nor is there a ray of hope for future, however optimistic we wish to be. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has crossed the mythical level of 400 parts per million, possibly leading to faster climate change. At this rate, global increase in temperature between 1900 and 2100 A.D. could be around 2.0 degrees Celsius or even more. The 21 century could witness a rise in global mean sea level up to 0. 98 metres. The decade from 2001 to 2010 has been the warmest ever since 1850, possibly making it the hottest since modern human civilisation came to stay. The 19 U.N. climate change conference held recently at Warsaw has not evolved any safe road map for the future of the world.

Grim facts

These grim facts may appear far fetched at the global level, making us feel they do not impact our daily life. On the contrary, it’s our daily life which has cumulatively resulted in the above scenario.

How do we ensure there is money in our bank accounts? It sounds like a silly question, for the simple answer any school kid can give would refer to depositing more money than what we withdraw. Every elderly family member advices the young not to take credit over drafts or loans. To save the earth, we need to follow the same formula. We need to balance our account with the earth. We should give back all that we take from Earth and if possible, give more than what we take – individually. Every person may not be able to do it every time, like the younger generation may consume more resources but as we age, we can live with less. There is one whole life time to balance our resource and energy account with the Earth, finally to ensure we leave this place with some balance for our next generations and not loss. The problems have reached such mega scale now that many are sceptic about what an individual can do. We can act in small ways, but a million immediately doable small actions can achieve more than one mega action, which often are not easy to get implemented.

We can plant trees, support animals, use less water, go low tech, donate money, do not invest surplus income for more returns, spend for societal causes, manage with basic gadgets, educate the young, live in villages, do volunteer service, do not buy the unwanted, refuse what we can live without, earn just enough for living, avoid luxuries, decline incentives – this list can go on with as many ideas as we can individually live with.

Keywords: environmenthousing