Sustainability Practices In India! Need of the Hour!
Despite these challenges, India is continuously working towards sustainability. It has shown leadership in combating climate change and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as is reflected in numerous of its recent schemes. So let’s take a look at all measures the Indian Government is taking in order to promote sustainability and how can we contribute to it. #TWN
India is home to 1.3 billion people and has the potential to succeed in the 2030 Agenda. The government of India is engaging state governments, civil society organizations, private sectors, and local communities. India's commitment to its Sustainable Development Goals is reflected in its motto of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas (Everyone’s Involvement for everyone’s growth). Evidence provided by the SDG India Index states India has developed an SDG localization model, which is focused on implementation, adaption, and monitoring at a local level.
The narratives mentioned below further promote sustainability practices in India:-
Sashakt Bharat - Sabal Bharat (Empowered and Resilient India): Through economic growth and progress, India has helped over 271 Billion people escape poverty. Availability of nutrition, child health, drinking water, sanitation, education, electricity, and housing has reduced inequalities.
Swachh Bharat - Swasth Bharat (Clean and Healthy India): Through a nationwide Clean India Campaign and National Nutrition Mission, India achieved a crucial reduction in child and maternal mortality rates. India was one of the first movers for the joint global action to address the Covid-19 Pandemic. India has assisted many countries with essential medical materials and contributed over $10M to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. On a domestic level, India responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic USD 22.5 billion economic stimulus package, health coverage for front-line workers, and financial help to the most vulnerable.
Satat Bharat – Sanatan Bharat (Sustainable India): India’s Climate Action strategies call for clean and efficient energy production, planned eco-restoration, and disaster-resilient Infrastructure. Taking action on its national-determined, India has provided electricity to 100% of its villages. India has also reduced 38 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, which was achieved by providing clean cooking gas to 80 million poor households. On an international level, India stands third in renewable power, fourth in wind power, and fifth in solar power. In COP26, India promised to reduce its carbon emission to 0% by 2070.
Sampanna Bharat- Samriddh Bharat (Prosperous and Vibrant India): India has a GDP of USD 2.72 trillion according to a 2019 report and has a plan to reach an economy of USD 5 trillion by 2025. India aims for sustainable growth by stimulating manufacturing, fostering technological innovation, boosting entrepreneurship, spurring investment, and building infrastructure. India’s commitment to “Leave No One Behind” has motivated India to step into the decade of action. The government of India will continue to work along with the global stakeholders to support the sustainable development of Mother Earth.
Also Read: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World
These all efforts are being practiced by the government on a national and state level, but efforts can be made by us to contribute to the country's sustainable development. Let’s take a look at how sustainability can be practiced in different sectors: -
Sustainable Development In Agriculture
With the rising awareness about the harmful effects of unethical practices in agriculture, eco-friendly framing is now a priority. Every problem related to farming, like intense carbon outputs, effects of pesticides, destruction of habitats, etc, can be countered by sustainable farming. Let’s discuss some farming practices that promote Sustainability in farming: -
It is a system that mimics how plants grow in their natural habitat. The application of natural principles combines intention, design to reduce, and smart farming to reduce the waste of resources and increase production. Permaculture includes growing grains and vegetables without tillage, herb, and plant spiral, and each plant undertakes various purposes.
2. Aquaponics and Hydroponics
It is a practice in which plants and crops are grown in a soilless environment by simply providing all the nutrients that the plant requires to grow. The hydroponic system provides plants with the minerals directly to their roots; however, aquaponics farming combines aquaculture and hydroponic elements. Water containing nutrients from the mineralization of fish waste feeds the roots of plants and vegetables. The water is then purified by the plants and is sent back to the hydroponics system.
3. Using Renewable Energy Sources
A crucial part of sustainable farming is using alternative energy sources, which are renewable, and their source is available in an everlasting stock; Wind Energy, solar energy, hydro energy, etc should be part of your sustainable farming.
4. Crop rotation and polyculture
The spoilage of crops and soil erosion can be prevented through crop rotation which is planting new crops after every harvesting season. This practice also reduces the use of fertilizers and pesticides, which promotes farming cost-cutting and healthy crops.
Sustainability Practices at Home
Just like charity, even sustainability begins at home. Our small contribution toward sustainability may not seem to be much, but when these small efforts combine, they make a huge difference:-
1. Eliminate Energy Waste
Since our childhood, our parents told us to switch off the lights and fans before leaving our room. As a child, we ignored them, believing they were making a fuss about nothing. Now that we are grown-ups, we know how much of a difference can these small conservation acts make. Hence, try to avoid any wastage of energy by following simple steps like; switching off the fans of your room before leaving, using a lamp to read, not using an air conditioner if not necessary, etc.
2. Stop Wastage of Food
Don’t waste food. Your plate should have only that much food that you will be able to consume. Avoid taking extra food, and even if anything is left by any chance in your kitchen, don’t through it away. Instead, feed it to stray animals or the homeless.
3. Avoid using Disposable Plates
We often prefer to use disposable plates instead of regular ones just because we are too lazy to wash our dishes, but what we don’t realize is; how much these disposable plates are negatively affecting our environment. These disposable plates ultimately end up in the dumpsters, which eventually end up in our oceans. Hence, use reusable plates, or use plates that are biodegradable (In India, to date, people use plates made of leaves and even banana leaves as plates), so that you use them as compost in the future.
4. Use Rainwater Tanks
Rainwater is free and also available in abundance, as rain pours in the country now and then, but instead of just enjoying the rain and posting Instagram Stories about that rain, start utilizing that rainwater by collecting it in the Rainwater Tanks. Although, this water is not safe for direct consumption because it comes with a lot of pollution mixed into it. Therefore, use it for watering your plants or cleaning the dishes and your bikes and cars.
5. Start Composting
Instead of throwing away your fruit peels and vegetable leftovers, utilize them for composting. Composting is nothing but fermenting biodegradable waste in a pit for a long period to create compost to provide your homegrown plants and vegetables with some extra nutrients.
Sustainability Practices in Hotels
The truth is hotels produce a lot of waste because of the everyday usage of toilet paper, tissues, newspapers, teabags, etc. Hotels are not at all beneficial for our environment. But with the smart usage of resources, even hotels can promote sustainability. So, if you own a hotel, these practices will surely add up to your sustainability, and you will also be surprised when you find out how much they will benefit you financially.
1. Reduce wastage
Reduce wastage of any type in your hotel, may it be wastage of food, water, paper, plastic, glass, etc. These wastes can be reduced by using a few methods like; Providing your guests with newspapers and magazines in the common area instead of delivering them to every room individually. Provide your guest with the food they order instead of organizing a buffet. Use the kitchen water to water the plants in your hotel's garden and terrace.
2. Conserve Energy
I told you about different methods through which you can save energy at home. At hotels, the energy wastage is much more than in your households, and saving energy in hotels could be very hectic. But this could be prevented by a few simple measures; Make use of solar panels, check your guest's room after they checkout, to make sure they didn’t leave any electrical types of equipment running. Equipment that requires a lot of energy like hairdryer, electric iron, etc. Should only be provided to the guests on demand.
Sustainability Practices at Workplaces
Follow these simple guidelines to ensure responsible workplace practices and to set the right example for your fellow employees. In all areas use one rule, Use Less.
1. Energy Wastage
An energy audit is only half of the ed-centered building spaces found these items switched on even after work; Over 300 lights, 90 computers, 95 printing machines, 12 coffee makers, and 32 speakers. Eliminating just these unnecessary energy drains an amount of $325,000 could be saved annually. Therefore, make sure to turn off your; computers, lights, and every other electrical equipment before leaving the office and on Friday, especially make sure to follow these instructions as you will be leaving for the weekend.
2. Make Use of Public Transport and Carpooling
200 employees should not result in 200 cars. Try carpooling, as they will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint. If your office is within 2 km of your residence, try to walk or cycle to your office, which further reduces the carbon emission.
Also Read: The Macro Problem Of Microplastic
3. Less Paper Use
Go digital, print the really necessary documents, and others can be saved as pdfs instead. Mail any necessary information to your employees instead of printing it and putting it on the notice board. You must print hard copies, print double-sided, save half the paper, and always recycle paper after use.
Wrapping it up
Sustainability is an ongoing practice and must practice every day to reduce wastage and pollution. The government is working on their level, but even we should try to contribute as much as possible to this moral cause, as ultimately we are the ones who will get affected ultimately if we harm our mother nature.