This World Smile Day, bring joy to Mother Earth by gifting trees, recycling waste, joining clean-up drives, saving water, and avoiding single-use plastics.
World Smile Day is held annually on the first Friday in October to bring back our collective focus on positivity and acts of kindness. And today, more than ever before, Mother Earth needs care, kindness, and positive action from us to regain the glory of her biodiversity. Here are five thoughtful gestures that can bring good cheer to her.
1. Plant and Gift Trees
One of the most precious gifts you can offer someone is that of a tree. It’s also a unique and meaningful gesture that shows how much you love and care for the planet. Trees and plants symbolize growth and lasting love.
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2. Recycle Waste
Just as we all appreciate second chances, recycling gives us a fresh opportunity to rejuvenate and reuse something. Segregating waste at source, upcycling vintage fabrics, repurposing old clothes, refurbishing furniture with a fresh coat of paint, donating flower waste to NGOs engaged in making charcoal-free incense, reusing wrapping papers and gift bags as well as glass, plastic and cardboard containers are some ways to prevent objects from piling up in landfills. As we invest ourselves in crafting something new from something old, we’re not only expressing our creativity but also leaving a positive mark on the planet.
3. Volunteer for Clean-Up Drives
This year, post the Ganpati Visarjan in Mumbai, many actors including Rajkummar Rao and Sayami Kher joined a clean-up drive at Juhu Beach. There may be similar initiatives in other cities aiming to clean lakes, mangroves, river fronts or beaches. Eco warriors like Afroz Shah and the Bhamla Foundation in Mumbai as well as ‘Healing Himalayas’ in Himachal Pradesh are helping citizens to proactively protect their environment. You too could organise similar initiatives in your city to make it cleaner and greener.
4. Conserve Water
In 2019, Chennai made news when it ran out of water because of its parched reservoirs and reports state that if water conservation is not adopted seriously, another 20 cities including Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad, could run out of groundwater in the next few years. One way to change this is to conserve water at the macro and micro levels. Fix leaks, use water-efficient washing machines, turn off taps while washing vegetables, dishes and brushing teeth and learn the basics of rainwater harvesting.
5. Say No to Single-Use Plastics
A staggering 3.5 million metric tonnes of plastic waste are generated in India annually, according to a 2019-20 report by the Pollution Control Board (CPCB). It also stated that only 50 per cent of the total plastic waste produced is recycled because multi-layered plastics like shampoo sachets, chocolate wrappers, and chip packets can’t be recycled. Plastic waste when burnt also adds to air pollution and the only way to protect the earth from this non-biodegradable menace is to say ‘No’ to single-use plastics. Instead embrace eco-friendly alternatives like cloth bags, reusable coffee cups, water bottles, straws and cutlery.
By Pradip Shah, Co-founder, Grow-Trees