The other day someone pulled a joke on me for not having a pet. Keeping an animal at home and tending to its needs is 'animal activism' for some. But the truth is I am allergic to animal fur and an animal anywhere in my vicinity can trigger a sneeze more rapid than the rounds of a machine gun. That's why most of the times when a dog or cat petted at a home I am paying visit to comes near me, I pretend to be have a fear for animals and try to shoo it away.What embarrasses and irritates me more is the fact that these alleged activists who claim to be saviors are the direct reason for the killing of a lot of animals, butchered every year for food and fur. I recently happened to visit KFC, for the very first time and could see people gorging on chicken and other meat products sold there without any apologies. Don't know what kind of an irony is it? Saving four or five animals in your lifetime or maybe a few more by petting them at home and killing hundreds to feed your gastronomic gullibility isn't in anyway a step towards saving the fauna! The same holds true for the incessant cutting and destruction of trees and plants for food and furniture and such nubile necessities. While I turned a plant eater long ago, I knowingly have made sure that I do my bit for the environment everyday.
Some steps I follow in my everyday life to protect the environment are:-
1) I usually use the public transport everyday. Taking the metro is easier than burning humongous amounts of petrol or diesel everyday and adding to the traffic jam on roads. My patience also pays off in trying to steer a car.
2) Before having shifted to the new neighborhood I really didn't know the importance of water and used it lavishly. Until we came here and got to know what it is to use water judiciously.
The water we use to wash vegetables and fruits also waters our plants. Also the water we throw while cleaning the large desert cooler we have is also utilized to water our plants.
Our clothes are cleaned in the washing machine which saves about three buckets of water that would have otherwise got wasted in a hand wash. For each cycle of the water we save the lot from the previous run. The same lot of water is also used for the car wash.
3) We store water in containers, tanks and buckets while the supply is on. We try and use the motor only sparingly in times of urgency. This saves a lot of electricity that could have been sucked up by the motor.
4) We are careful to switch off the electrical appliances when not in use. Steps like switching off the electrical point after charging mobile phones and laptops can also help save a lot of power.
Most of our appliances are power saving star rated machines. Tubelights and bulbs have made way for CFL's.
5) My family rarely consumes meat and fish. Turning them into compulsive vegetarians just like me, is one of my greatest priorities.
6) We have bought a large lot of bags made of recycled paper for shopping for our groceries. Else we mostly use cloth or jute bags. We try and avoid plastic bags as much as we can.
7) We try our best to have small portions of food. If anything goes wasted we feed it to the animals in the neighbourhood or bury inside the earth.
8) From the time we shifted to this new neighbourhood we have made sure to plant saplings in our backyard as per the seasonal availability. Some have grown into trees and the others would become trees soon. A shaded backyard keeps our house cooler in summers.
9) We have asked the maid of the house to not burn any garbage while discarding it. It is a very common ignorant practice in Indian households, the servants being the culprits indulging in it due to their illiteracy. But in ours it is avoided and waste is put in the bins and handed over to the municipal corporation for disposal.
10) Our gardener makes manure by burying domestic waste in the earth! He used the first lot very recently and it surely gave better results than the fertilizers sold in the markets.
We all can do our bit to save Mother Earth because she will treat us in exactly the same way as we treat her! And if we remember that truth we can make the Earth a better place to live in, before it becomes too late to make amends.