The United Nations suggests that climate change is not just the defining issue of our time, but we are also at a defining moment in history. Weather patterns are changing and will threaten food production, and sea levels are rising and could cause catastrophic flooding across the globe. Countries must take drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate.
As individuals, we have to do a lot to pitch in and help save the Earth. There are plenty of things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint to make a less harmful impact on the environment. Taking care of the Earth is not just a responsibility, it’s a necessity.
In 2013, Pakistan launched a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and an accompanying implementation framework. It proposes the development of renewables, the imposition of a carbon tax, and the implementation of “green fiscal reforms” to reduce emissions.
The major cause of climate change is human activity, which includes a complex interaction with the natural environment, coupled with social and economic changes that are increasing the heat-trapping CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, which was increasing global temperature and in turn causing climate change.
The average air pollution in big cities of Pakistan is about four times higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) limits as per a new research study. Vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, and dust fall are the main causes of air pollution. Major effects of air pollution are respiratory diseases and eye irritation etc, reduced visibility, loss of vegetation, damage to the material, heritage, and monuments.
Soil pollution is the presence of materials in the soil which are harmful to the living beings when they cross their threshold concentration levels.
Municipal solid waste, hospital waste, excessive use of pesticides/fertilizers/herbicides, ponding of industrial effluent, disposal of industrial solid waste on open land are the main causes of soil pollution. It results in a loss in fertility, accumulation of pollutants in edible crops, leaching of harmful contaminants, surface, and groundwater contamination.
Noise is defined as an unwanted sound. Mild noise can be annoying; excessive noise can destroy a person’s hearing. People do not easily become accustomed to the noise. The slightest unwanted sound can become very annoying if it continues for any length of time. Auto/Motorcycle, rickshaws, pressure horns, faulty vehicles, loudspeakers, and musical instruments, industrial/engineering workshops in urban areas are the causes of noise pollution. Noise pollution can cause hearing loss cardiovascular problems associated with an accelerated heartbeat and high blood pressure, gastric intestinal problems, decrease in alertness, decrease in the ability to memorize, long-lasting effects like insomnia, nervousness, bulimia, chronically high blood pressure, anxiety, depression.
Solid waste generation in Pakistan ranges between 0.283 to 0.612 kg/capita/day and the waste generation growth rate is 2.4% per year. Solid domestic waste is typically dumped on low-lying land. This land could be used for more productive purposes and potentially valuable recyclable materials are lost.
There are many hospitals in the districts of Punjab which produce lots of wastes that can be harmful if not disposed of properly. One estimate shows that some 5.2 million people (including 4 million children) die each year from waste-related diseases. Hospital wastes pose a significant impact on health and the environment. So there is a dire need for the enforcement and implementation of Hospital Waste Management (HWM) rules in all the hospitals of Punjab for the proper handling, minimization, and final disposal of the waste.
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez became the Global Environment Facility’s fifth CEO and Chairperson in September 2020, after decades of working with the multilateral trust fund as a government minister and parks service director in Costa Rica. In an interview, he shared his hopes for the coming year, especially when it comes to confronting climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and other pressures on our planet. You don’t need to be a biologist to save the planet! Environmental protection and restoration are not just a matter of natural sciences. No matter which professional or academic path you choose, there is a role for you in the sustainability effort.
Environmental challenges can be overwhelming but the human spirit gives us enormous hope. Sustaining human and natural life on this planet should be at the top of our priority list keeping in mind that protecting our planet starts with you. Always keep your vehicle in good condition, prefer 4-stroke engine vehicles, use CNG as a transport fuel, limit the industrial effluents as per government policy, do not establish industrial units within the residential areas, apply 3R formula i.e. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, plant as many trees as possible. Another important thing in this regard is the conservation of water to avoid water scarcity in the future. Don’t pour water down the drain, instead use it to water your plants or garden, fix dripping faucets, one drop per second wastes 2700 gallons of water per year, take shorter showers and turn off the water while you lather up, turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face. Use of low pitch horns and effective silencer in the vehicles, proper service and tuning of vehicles, use of 4-stroke engines, adaptation of noise control systems in industries, avoiding excessive use of loudspeakers and sound systems can help reduce noise pollution. Live on earth and love your earth because earth day is every day.