Are we really giving the planet a break?

We've all been hearing about how nature is healing itself during this period of lockdown. Dolphins & flamingoes returning to Mumbai, the Himalayas are visible from Punjab, the improvement in air quality around the country - but these statements allude to the environmental crises that are about to hit us once things go back to "normal".

We have to think ahead & develop strategies to combat the oncoming barrage of disposable masks & gloves, the millions of cardboard boxes that have been discarded, the polluted waterways as a result of overuse of anti-microbial chemicals just to name a few. It is not enough to put out a fire in one room of your house, while the other parts are still catching fire.

The Government has even approved several more coal & hydroelectric projects around the country without proper environmental clearances during the lockdown. The devastation of fragile & unique ecosystems that we are going to witness is only going to worsen the issues we have already begun to feel in 2020.

People have said that this unprecedented time has been a great time for us to reconnect with what's important - but if we go back to living the way we did before, it is for nought.

What is important right now is to think about our home - this planet. The way forward includes both systemic & individual change - Systemically, we need to demand our governments & our corporations to implement lasting change that will help steer us toward a brighter future; & on a personal level, we need to choose to buy cleaner, more natural products, which use only minimal/recyclable packaging as the norm to cast our vote for the future we want, understand our use of resources & be more conscious about how we use things 

Yes, the planet can heal itself, there was no doubt about that. Our current situation is more of a reminder that the way we are living on it is not working & it begs the question of what kind of world we want to live in going forward - whether we'd like to fight our way up to our extinction as a species or start thinking about ways to live in greater harmony with the rest of nature.

The future of the planet is in our hands, it's up to us to take this precious time to make the right moves to bring in the new "normal".

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