Burning issues

We have to protect our own future, and I have jotted down a couple of things we can do to get us on our way.

So, the Amazon rainforests have been burning for over three weeks now and I am pretty sure they will still be burning when you read this.

The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and is the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world. There are an estimated 390 billion individual trees across almost 16,000 species. Of the 10 million species of animals, plants and insects known to man, more than half of them call the rainforest home.

And all of this is on fire. Not a small fire that can be put out with a bucket of water or two, but a raging one that is destroying everything in its path. The worst thing? People are saying that the fires have been set on purpose to clear land for agriculture by cattle ranchers, farmers and loggers. On purpose! Someone tell me why grown-ups are in charge again?

Take initative

I know what you are thinking — all this is so far away from me, how does it affect my life? Well, the Amazon is called the Earth’s “lungs” and produces 20% of our atmosphere’s oxygen. You should be worried. And angry, no furious! I am! But then what’s the point of being angry thousands of miles away? So I got thinking, what can we do to save our environment? The grown- ups who caused this mess won’t always be in charge. One day, we will be in charge. But till then, here’s what you can do:

Ask your school to start their own vegetable garden maintained by the students. I think that more than algebra and geometry, one thing we will all need to know in the future is how to grow our own food.

Rainwater harvesting at school and home. It’s not some super expensive thing to do, and the water crisis isn’t some distant thing in the future. It’s already here.

Start a Single Use Plastic Jar. So, in our house we have a ‘swear jar’. Every time someone says a bad word, we put a rupee in it. It is meant to reduce the use of bad language. Well, now I have started one for single use plastics. Every time we buy a plastic item that we can’t recycle, or if we forget to carry our cloth bags when we go out, we have to put money in the jar.

Go Solar at school. Why not petition your school to start using solar energy? Once they hear how much they will save on electricity bills, they will consider it.

Protest! Protest! Protest! The next time someone wants to cut down trees in your city, to build a flyover or a mall or lay tracks for a bullet train, go out there and protest. Go with your family, friends and neighbours and make your voice heard.

I hate it when grown-ups tell us we can change the world, but then when we actually want to, they tell us to focus on our studies and exams instead. Sure, school is important, but the future they are asking us to study for is burning before our eyes.

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