We need to look after our planet

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By Hasesha Naidu, Lawyer and Former Miss Earth SA Finalist

One of the things I often hear is people saying the environment needs us, this is not entirely true. We are alive because of the environment and earth will triumph with or without us. Human beings are part of nature. Nature is not dependent on human beings to exist.

Nature will go on, no matter what. It will evolve.

The question is, will it be with us or without us? For far too long we have ignored the impact that we have left on the earth. Sure, this isn’t your fault or my fault because most of the issues we have today were set in motion hundreds of years ago, however, if we allow it to continue in this fashion, it is 100% our fault.

I was raised in a home where I was taught the importance of protecting our environment and soon I grew to love nature and respect the environment that we were given. I always found it strange when I interacted with others and saw that they lacked respect for the environment. My question was always why? Is it a lack of information, education maybe or is it just a lack of respect? Earth is our home, our only home, and sure some may say that we can always go to Mars if earth doesn’t work out but this won’t be an option for the masses. Ultimately by destroying earth we are destroying ourselves.

Now that I’ve scared you, hopefully you’re thinking of ways to help and wondering what you can do to make a change. If you are, that’s the first step in the right direction. If every person were to make a change even a minor one we could create a ripple effect of environmentally aware and conscious humans.

Before you start thinking that you need to change your entire residence to a solar powered haven, remember that all small changes contribute to a bigger solution.

Some of the easier things we can do are as follows: change your lights to Compact Florescent lights (CLF’s), switch to an energy saving geysers and switch it off in the day when you are at work. Switch off all your appliances and remove the plug from the socket when not in use. Separate at the source; separate your food, plastic, glass and paper waste. At first it may be a tedious task but in time it will become second nature to you.

Remember the three R’s (Reduce, Re-use and Recycle) by looking at household items with a new eye you will probably find more uses for items before discarding them. Save water! We are in a water crisis, take shorter showers, don’t leave water running and fix those leaks. Look at your packaging, excess packaging is never good. Support businesses that use bio-degradable packaging and try and reduce the amount of plastic that you use. Even a small item such as a straw has a huge impact on the environment. Straws usually end up in oceans, our sea life ends up consuming them and in turn end up dying. Each action of ours has huge ramifications on the environment that we usually do not think about.

If you already knew everything in this article and found it quite boring then I am exceptionally happy because that means you are a niche market that will be making a big difference. You need to educate and create awareness to those that do not have this information. It’s your duty as a citizen of earth to play your part in ensuring that there is a home worth living in for our future generations.