குறள் 17 :
நெடுங்கடலும் தன்நீர்மை குன்றும் தடிந்தெழிலி
தான்நல்கா தாகி விடின்.
If clouds restrain their gifts and grant no rain,
The treasures fail in ocean’s wide domain
The couplet quoted above dates back to over 2000 years. Written by the poet Thiruvalluvar, it explains how important it is, to not disturb the nature’s cycle in any manner to live in peace on this earth.
Climate change is the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change.
Escalating wildfires in forest regions due to rising heat, excessive dryness, and insect outbreaks, all are connected to climate change. Additional issues include dwindling water resources, decreasing agricultural output, increasing epidemic outbreaks in cities, and coastal floods and erosion.
In its never-ending quest to find a solution to environmental degradation, the United Nations held a 2021 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK where it was unanimously agreed to reduce emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius while also urging for Netzero by 2050. More pledges were made to reduce methane emissions, stop and perhaps reverse forest cover loss, and make a clear reference to moving away from coal and fossil fuels.
COP26 finally brought the vital problem of climate change related losses and damages to the forefront, which is already inflicting tragic losses of lives, land, and livelihoods. Some effects are irreversible, such as villages being wiped out, islands sinking beneath the seas, and fresh water supplies drying up.
“ …pledge to cut India’s total projected carbon emission by 1 billion
tonnes by 2030, reduce the carbon intensity of the economy by 45%
by the end of the decade and net zero carbon emissions by 2070.”
Shri. Narendra Modi
Climate change and plastics are intricately intertwined
While the focus of the Glasgow discussions was on greenhouse gas emissions, ocean plastic pollution was also discussed, as consciousness grows of the “vicious cycle” in which ocean plastic waste intensifies climate change and vice versa. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a new paper highlighting the consequences of ocean plastic on climate change just ten days before COP26. Plastic contamination in the waters could more than double by 2030, according to the assessment, the consequences affecting both shores and the seas.
The tentacles of plastics have reached far into our environment –
- Plastic sector’s emissions are equivalent to 116 coal-fired power plants last year.
- Plastics alone account for an estimated 15 percent of the world’s carbon budget, equivalent to approximately 1.7 gigatons of CO2.
- World’s low rate of recycling: currently, less than 10% of plastics are ultimately recycled on a global scale.
Plastic Pollution Free Tamil Nadu – நெகிழி மாசில்லா தமிழ்நாடு is a movement started with a vision to curb plastic and other related products’ pollution from our state. It focuses on inculcating sustainability into our state from grass-root levels involving school students, the leaders of tomorrow.
This initiative intends to implement policies that will reduce plastic consumption to practically nil by utilising alternative materials for essential tasks in our state.
Holy Sai International School stands in harmony with our State Government’s initiative ‘Manja Pai’ to bring about zero plastic handling in our communities. As a way of pledge, HIS had also promoted it prominently in our Annual Day 2020. HISians are proud to state that their campus is declared a plastic-free zone and they extensively implement ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ practice in their daily activities.
On the occasion of International Plastic bag Free Day 2021, HISians went looking for alternatives, crafting reusable bags with materials – cloth, paper and many other eco-friendly replacements were sought by our youngsters across Kindergarten through primary viz., resorting to alternative book wrapping ideas, recycling plastic waste, talking on effects and curtailing plastic use, sketching viewpoints of thoughts impressing on NO TO PLASTICS.
All these campus intiatives have been guided and supported by the Honourable Chairman, Dr. S. Prem Shankar, who believes in sustainability being the key to securing a pollution free society. Being an agriculturist by nature is very much reflected in his lifestyle for reducing wastage of resources. As part of NGTM process, he recently met with the Education Minister to express his solidarity as the Goodwill Ambassador of “Negizhi Maasilla Tamilnadu” as part of being extensively involved in promoting sustainability practices in all his endeavours.