Go Green

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XOPS Paper Presentation Competition
Date -21/11/2010

“Progression of our nation towards Go Green”
1. Introduction
You only have to look around and think to understand and realize the graveness and urgency, of why we need to “Go Green”. The computer you are using to view this document is guzzling up power and generating heat from its processor, thus adding to its carbon footprint, this is without mentioning the hazardous metals used while making it. The clothes that you are wearing might have been made in Bangladesh and then transported using expensive and scarce fuels across borders. The milk in the Tetra-pack in your fridge does a pretty good job of protecting the milk from bacterial infection, but then one wonders how will the six-layered plastic coated paper will ever be recycled? Will it not be cost-effective to just produce new paper? It is little things like this which do not matter for an individual but matter a lot on an aggregate level. Even if one does consciously reduces ones carbon footprint and avoids all the things mentioned above, but then wont his enthusiasm and motivation to repeat such actions will go down the drain when he comes to know of his counter-part in a developing economy who has just got his new car and then takes it for a long ride thus nullifying all good our protagonist has done to better the environment. In the past, many successive Indian governments knowingly or unknowingly had failed to realize the magnanimity of reduction in greens and subsequent increase in pollution across the country. The problem was compounded by illiteracy, unemployment and poverty in rural India, whereas in cities the greed of builders, their political, bureaucratic and sundry accomplices kept on encroaching on the greens. There were hardly any laws, and even these limited laws were violated without restraint. The real culprits were never punished nor did they felt threatened.

Fate of Mangroves in Mumbai
The case of the mangrove trees in Mumbai is a perfect example of government apathy shown towards destruction of greens. The mangroves act as buffers along city’s coastal areas preventing the Bay City from erosion as it is almost covered by water from three sides. They absorb waste pollutants and heavy metals like mercury, chromium etc which are part of industrial waste dumped in Mithi River which has a good amount of mangroves. Thus they are important to manage the ecosystem of the city. But, between the years 1990 and 2005 almost 40% mangroves in and around Mumbai city were destroyed. Out of the 37 sq km mangroves more than 14 sp km were damaged due to construction and development related projects. They were replaced by skyscrapers, widespread apartment complexes, and big corporate offices and in one case even a golf course. Not to be left behind, MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority), a government body was caught destroying mangroves near Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) as recent as 2009. 2. Educating and Spreading Awareness

As India moves ahead in the twenty first century today, leapfrogging many nations in the field of science & technology, mathematics and economics; we are also making progress in educating the masses about the catastrophic effects of deforestation. A series of initiatives have been undertaken by government and non-government institutions to educate people. Role of Schools

Many state governments have made it compulsory for schools to include Environmental Studies (EVS) as a subject in their curriculum, thus reaching out to the future generation when they are young. Taking a cue, in some schools the students are not only provided with text book knowledge, but also are encouraged to perform practical work like splitting the class in into environment groups and going on field trips to plant saplings. Additionally, a number of environment related competitions, exhibitions and seminars that encourage students to look beyond their regular education are...
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