As we prepare to celebrate World Environment Day, let’s pause a while and take a look around us. What can we do to stem the damage? What can we do to save our world?

All through the year we tend to take the environment for granted. However, on June 5 suddenly we wake up, making tall claims and loud pitches in favour of environment conservation. Should we just talk about Environment on June 5 and not do anything about it for the rest of the year?

As students we need to understand the need to participate in real-time environment work. The United Nation’s Environment Programme’s (UNEP) theme for this year’s world environment day focuses on rising our voice against the raise of sea level. With one of the longest coastlines in the world, India as a country will be adversely affected by increasing sea levels.

Under water?

Imagine our cities and their beautiful beaches getting immersed in the sea, the people and their homes along the beaches being washed away.

We need to understand that we are not trying to protect the environment, we are trying to make life better for ourselves by cleaning our environment. To live, we need clean air, fresh water and chemical-free vegetables.

Sea level increases due to the melting of ice caps at the poles. The ice caps melt due to global warming, which is the heating up of earth’s atmosphere due to natural and unnatural causes. We are directly responsible for the unnatural heat being generated. Think of all the garbage that we generate on a given day.

From the toffee wrapper to the detergent cover, everything ends up in a dust bin. From the dust bin to our city’s dump yards where it is being burnt illegally in most cases, we are releasing toxic gases and heating up the earth’s atmosphere. Excess pollution from cars to the burning of plastics, we are directly responsible for heating our earth.

As a return, we bear the brunt of the rise in sea level, because of our irresponsible acts of pollution.

It is time we stopped waiting for “somebody” to do something,

We need to become that “Somebody” for India and her Environment. This Environment Day is for change to happen, the change has to happen beginning with us.

What you can do

- Choose five coastal cities/towns across India.

- Identify the coast line on a map and gather information about the city/town’s beaches.

- Compare the beach data available as on date to what it was like five years and 10 years ago.

- Note points of difference.

- Read up on sea level increase projections given by UNEP.

- Prepare a report on “What You Think Will Happen” to these five cities in the next five and 10 years respectively.

- What could be the increase in sea level and what will be the impact?

- Can you suggest solutions on how to remedy the situation and make our environment cleaner and greener?

Cool down

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on June 5 to raise global awareness, to take positive environmental action, to protect nature and the Earth. It is a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the day the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began.

The theme for World Environment Day this year will focus on “Small Islands and Climate Change”. The official slogan is “Raise Your Voice, Not The Sea Level”.