In ancient times, human were very simple and had few basic needs, which were fulfilled in simple sustainable ways. Man’s relationship as a social animal with other fellow humans is beautifully depicted in the social partnership. People in the world, have awakened to the need for taking tangible steps towards a safe and healthy environment.
Various combinations of environments factors have not only affected but conditioned racial characteristics in different parts of Earth. Environment also influences and conditions the thoughts, ideologies and cultures of human beings. Even the social, economic and political behavior is influenced to a certain extent by man’s perception of environmental factors and his responses to these factors. The frequency and magnitude of extreme natural environment decides his reactions and responses to these events. The emergence of socially organized human communities, human civilization and farming practices changed the existing friendly and cordial relationship between man and his natural environment. Gradual but continuous improvement in farming practices resulted in gradual increase in human population and in the number of domesticated animals. Also, more and more virgin forest lands were cleared through feeling of trees, using more advanced tools and weapons and through burning of forests. This war done in order to increase the agricultural land so the increasing number of human being could get food. People also moved from areas of greater concentration to other areas in search of new fertile land. This led to spread of human population which ultimately destroyed the natural ecosystem.
People in the world today, have awakened to the need for taking steps towards the existence of a sustainable society. A need for sharp decline of population in developing countries have been felt along with rational use and minimum waste. Materials must be recycled and reused and determined efforts must be made to conserve the life support system and aid in its regenerability. We must follow a basic philosophy of blending environmental and economic needs into a connected whole, so that human beings work in harmony with nature.
If there is one common issue that can bring the nations of the world together it is the threat to our ecological security to fight the face this, there is a strong need for common concerns, approaches and strategies. Also, a common code has to be followed at different levels individual, societal community, and country, regional and global for developing a cult of protection of environment in development.
The major challenge facing the human race today is the move towards sustainable development. If we continue at the present level in India, we will have agriculturists living in medieval times and a small number of rich people living a lavish life who claim to make India a great power in the twenty first century. We must make quick and rational mover to bridge the gap between the two groups mentioned. Only then we can be sure of making a sustainable society where we have equity with social justice environmental conservation and harmony, economic efficiency and local self-reliance.
An influential principles of environment needs to be developed for providing steps and measures to protect and brig about regenerability of the life supporting systems by rationalized and wise use of natural resources. It includes developing and protecting renewable resources. It includes developing and protecting renewable resources. It includes developing and protecting renewable resources, conserving non-renewable resources, prolonging their lives by recycling and reuse, decreasing waste and seeing that more wastage does not occur in pursuit of making profits on the whole. Our efforts should be done to bring about a fair sharing of resources that are available along with the means and products of development between nations of the world. This would surely result in a notable decrease in difference in resource are and also a notable reduction in resource use and population control in developing nations. There should be an awareness of the hidden social, economic and environmental cost of consumerism and overuse of resources with particular reference to its impact on developing nations. Local communities should possess willingness to adopt sustainability to ensure a complete protected environment. They should adopt sustainability as a way of life by getting more from less and in association with others. We must take measures to meet all the essential needs of society and logical, legal desires by combining economic and environmental necessities for eradicating poverty. Nations should abandon and reverse the buildup of armaments to propagate sustainable peace, security and environment.
A path to follow and contribute to sustainable society and development can be made by building an ecohouse. ‘Ecohouse’ was before mentioned in Terra Green, December 2004 issue. There structures are indifferent from our traditional houses in terms of comfort. The only difference is that ecohouses strictly follow the green concepts of not over-building if possible; protecting, enhancing, and restoring the site, maximizing energy-efficiency; creating healthy indoor environment, utilizing green operations and maintenance, minimizing waste; using renewable energy for heating, cooling and electricity generation using local materials with low embodied energy.
How this helps can be understood by the US department of Energy estimation, that building are a major source of pollutants that cause urban air quality problems and contribute to climate change by accounting for forty nine percent of sulphur dioxide, thirty five percent of carbon dioxide twenty five percent of nitrous oxide and ten percent of particulate emission. There for life we adopt Ecohouse structures as our place then surely we save our environment.
But all these steps towards a sustainable society changes need to be brought at the individual level. It all individuals take up such measures mentioned above then soon the change will be noticed at the societal and government levels too. The orders or laws laid down by the government cannot enforce the code of ecology can be started and carried out on individual levels most efficiently and effectively. If has been realized that today environment is no longer same concern about wildlife, deforestation and pollution , but it is a question a conflict of mind and spirit, a conflict about the patterns of development that human race has followed till date and the kind of people we have developed into, and now we must change to survive.
Another example of sustainable and safe environment taken from TerraGreen about plastics that do the vanishing act. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if plastics could disappear into this air after use? An Australian company has done just that! It has come up with a novel plastic packing product that, on coming in contact with water.
Manufacturing by plastic Technologies this biodegradable plastic has the same look- and- feel and properties of strength, stability, and shape like that of conventional plastic. What sets it apart from its petrochemical counterparts is that plastic is made of maize commonly used to make bread and pasta. It is the composition that make plastic renewable, sustainable, and non-toxic.
Recently launched in the market, plastic is the world’s first truly environment friendly plastic that is competitive in terms of cost and functionality with petrol chemical based plastics. What interesting is that this plastic does not safely depend on professional comporting facilities for degradation. It can biodegrade in any environment there by allowing multiple disposal routes Into any waste stream.
We are being irrational in taking environment for granted. The existence of varied alternative of resource use creates a need to make rational decision about the use of natural and change in technology.
Our actions on the individual, social and global levels have contributed to environmental depredation. There are some actions which we do that have largely negative impacts.
A new push is desperately needed. This is even more important considering the following facts there are plenty of non-wood pulp sources. For instance paper can be made from hundred percent bagasse fibre. What’s more arrowaste pulp is cheaper then wood pulp. Also one hectare of hemp-fibrous plant can produce as much usable fibre as four hectare of trees. Hemp paper is more long lasting than wood paper, stranger and both acid and chlorine free. It is said that electronic-communication can help reduce paper consumption. But as per a recent book, the myth of paperless office, the use of electronic mails causes an average forty percent increase in paper consumption in offices. The reason being that more information flaws via electronic mails implying that more print aits are taken as they are convenient to read and carry around.
The situation has to improve to compact the environmental problems. Nongovernmental organizations have played a critical role. In Canada, they have persuaded sixty seven book publishers to buy their paper from forest friendly sources. Publisher of best seller Harry Porter is one of them.
Environmental legislation is needed at different levels for regulation and controlling environment intervention, pollution and conflict but they have limitations beyond which environmental ethics should command the behavior and action of humanity an individual, community and international basis. There are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to environment. For example should they continue to clear the forest for the sake of human consumption? Should they continue to make gasoline powered vehicles depleting fossils fuel resources while the technology exists to create zero-emission vehicles? What environmental obligations do they need for human to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the convience of a human.
Environmental ethics must be developed in each person to command him as a force within to make decision and take action on the different aspects of the environment which are not harmful to the local national and international community. Environmental ethics is necessary to sharpen the judgment of a person. As example of this can be the disposal of dangerous nuclear waste and other harmful wastes such a dioxin, etc. Man’s rational ethical values with respect to the environmental developed through the experience of generations of humanity. This must be reinforced and values must be developed to serve for a better harmony between human beings and natural and manmade environment. Suitable strategies for developing environmental ethics must become a priority in the light of new environmental issues and problems in the contemporary society. Environmental legislation must be made for guiding regulating and controlling human behavior and actions on individual and institutional basis.
At the end I want to reveal that our lifestyles and priorities are the determining factors in shaping the pattern of development. If a balanced and sound development is desired the man’s lifestyle and priorities may have to be defined and refined with respect to the needs concerned with energy, food, water, shelter, education, employment and the likes. This means that we need to decrease or limit wastage in our daily leaves on individual levels. This is applicable in the technological process and their output as well. There new lifestyles we will adopt along with these new priorities will pave the way to new technology for more economical and rational use of the natural and man-made resources provided to us environment and less wastage followed by recycling of what may be left as surplus or waste. Efforts must be generated towards developmental patterns that do not alienate humanity from environment but it to terms with it.