MUKHTAR AHMAD FAROOQI

Adoption of Eco-Friendly Practices For Sustainable Development

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We all know that our very existence depends on environment of which man is an integral part, yet an arch-enemy of it as well. His quest to make life very comfortable and more luxurious has made him to turn a blind eye to the damages caused to the environment. Self-centeredness has been the most heartening aspect of environmental degradation because motto of people in present times goes like “If it suits you, carry on and forget about everything else”.

This greed to get the most out of everything has made us demeaningly neglect the environment. As a result of several global environmental issues like global warming, ozone depletion, pollution etc. caused by industrialization, population explosion etc., voices all over the globe have grown to protect environment as the existence of animate beings and ultimately the universe is under threat.

Even though the concern for environmental protection dates back to Stockholm Declaration 1972but in last decade or so, it has become a hotly debated topic in print as well as electronic media across the globe because of the increase in air contamination in major cities like Delhi, Tokyo, Beijing etc. at an alarming rate which has led to rise in several respiratory problems especially in developing countries like India. We all know industries are important but we should focus on eco-friendly technologies for sustainable development so that the environment does not run out of patience sometime and  its fury is unleashed that could be disastrous.

Before we look into the various eco-friendly technologies that can be adopted, let us first try understand the concept of Sustainable Development.

Sustainable development means that developmental activities of man should have nil or least hazardous effects on environment. The development should take place with the consideration that it should not be at the cost of environment or natural ecological balance. In other words, environment and ecological balance should not be harmed by the developmental activities of man. The world commission on Environment and Development (1987) also known as BrundtLand Commission has defined sustainable development as that development, “which meets the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own ends.

Thus in development, we have to be conscious of availability of natural resources and well balanced environment for the future generations to survive also in addition to make our survival comfortable. It is a process that envisions a desirable future state for human societies in which living conditions and resource-use continue to meet human needs without undermining the "integrity, stability and beauty" of natural biotic systems.The three main pillars of sustainable development include economic growth, environmental protection, and social equality.

While many people agree that each of these three ideas contribute to the overall idea of sustainability, it is difficult to find evidence of equal levels of initiatives for the three pillars in countries' policies worldwide. Out of these Environmental Protection has become more important to government and businesses over the last 20 years, leading to great improvements in the number of people willing to invest in green technologies and has transpired globally as well, including a great deal of investment in renewable energy power capacity. The developmental principles should be to meet basic human needs, satisfy basic needs, improve environment while executing development and avoid damage to natural resources and ecological balance, monitor developmental process so that it does not threaten life supporting system of biosphere and endanger human welfare, degraded environment be preserved and regenerated, make environmental education common,  ensure peoples participation and use of technologies only until it doesn’t affect environment and all the pros and cons are assessed for developmental impacts to carry out regular monitoring ,N.G.O’s and locals should be involved in making decisions.

Adoption of Eco-friendly technologies/practices is one such way by which we can protect our degrading environment and contribute to sustainable development. Let us first try to understand the concept of Eco-Friendly Technology. It is the technology used to use by-products of industries in the manufacture of items useful to man, which otherwise accumulate and cause pollution of air, water and land. Eco-friendly means that creating and/or using the technology does not have a bad effect on the environment, or that it is friendlier than other similar technologies. Also known as clean tech, green tech and environmental tech, eco-friendly technology can help preserve the environment through energy efficiency and reduction of harmful waste.

It also includes encouraging use of biodegradable packings and discouraging use of plastics and polythene, that accumulate and make soil unfit for agriculture. Green technology is still in the earliest stages of development, but many exciting innovations have already been made in areas like renewable energy, water purification and waste management, as well as in everyday consumer products like electronics and vehicles. Eco-friendly technology often involves  Recycled, recyclable and/or biodegradable content, Plant-based materials , Reduction of polluting substances , Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions , Renewable energy ,Energy-efficiency and Low-impact manufacturing. The main goals of Green technology are Rethinking, Recycling, Renewing, Reducing and Responsibility. Apart from the usehighly efficient LED lights which being the most important innovation in the field of green technologies, the other eco-friendly options that can also be adoptedare as follows:

v  Greywater Recycling Technology: These technologies are set up together with a rainwater harvesting system, allows one to reuse water that was just used for another chore. The water that can be reused by this type of system can be rainwater or mains water.

v  Fly ash from thermal power stations can be used to manufacture cement, bricks and concrete.

  • Use of Solar energy wherever possible instead of thermal or nuclear sources.

v   Blast furnace slag from steel plants can be used for cement as substitute for sand.

v  Cinder from thermal power stations and railways can be used in lime cinder mortars and production of concrete building blocks.

v  Coal washery waste from coal mines can be used for bricks, tiles, fuel substitute in burning of bricks.

v  Lime waste from lime quarries can be used in production of cement.

v  Industrial wastes like copper tailing, zinc tailing, iron tailing, kiln dust and gypsum are good alternatives for making building materials.

v   Plastics being non-biodegradable cause more harm and should be banned for use. Plastic waste can be a fuel for future and should not be recycled.

v  Chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides should not be used. Instead use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides should be encouraged to avoid pollution of air, water and land.

v  Afforestation should be done to check soil erosion.

v  Soil fertility can be increased by crop-rotation. Growing of legume crops increase nitrogen content of soil.

v  Harmful impact of human development on environment should be reduced.

  • Use of Green Crackers which release less dangerous components that could cause air pollution like the ones ordered by Supreme Court during Diwali festival.

Apart from the above mentioned technologies, several international as well as national agencies and businesses are focussing on the green technologies which are energy efficient and less harmful for our environment. Use of eatable disposables and cutlery like spoons, forks, glasses and plates is one such leap in this cause as disposable items made of plastic not only cause heaps of non-biodegradable material to accumulate everywhere choking drains and streams but are to hazardous to health and environment as well.Future lies in the adoption of this technology to reduce and repair the damaging impacts of ever increasing population.

References:

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development
  2. granthaalayah.com/Articles/Vol3Iss9SE/57_IJRG17_S09_94.pdf

 

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