People who believe exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world are either a madman or an economist.

                                                                                                                                                                     —Kenneth Boulding

What is Environment?

Environment means surroundings mainly a term used for conditions in which organism live and thus consists of air, water, food and sunlight which are based on the needs of all living beings and plants to carry out their life functions. The environment also includes other living organisms, temperature, wind, rainfall, etc.

Man has always inhabited two worlds. One is natural world of plants, animals, air, water and soil of which man himself is a part; and other is the man-made world of social institutions and artifacts which he has created for himself by using science and technology. Thus, environment includes everything around the organisms, i.e., non-living and living things. Non-living environment consists of air, water and land, while the living environment is built up of other organisms. Any external force, condition which affects the organisms in a way is known as factor and sum of all such factors constitutes environment.

Importance of Environment

Our life-support system’s health is maintained by all the species that make-up the biosphere  from the smallest to the largest (our biodiversity). The survival of all these species is interconnected and dependent on each other. Bacteria and insects break down organic material to produce soil and nutrients, so plants can grow. Plants provide oxygen and food for animals and many other benefits. Bees, other insects and animals pollinate the plants so they can reproduce and keep the cycle going. They also maintain the health of plants and spread their seeds. The actual processes that take place between species and the environment are extremely complex and vulnerable. If humanity causes the extinction of one species, it is really the extinction of many species and the decline of our life-support system for us and future generations. God’s gift must not be taken for granted  it must be cared for. If not, humanity will face the grim consequences of its actions.

Causes of Pollution

Cultivable land is decreasing due to increasing population, industrialization and urbanization. Increase in population leads to pollution of air and water and spreads germs of many diseases. Apart from this, industrialization has given birth to noise and smoke. It increases slum dwellings. It compels a large number of people to live in dirty surrounding having dirty lanes permeating bad smell. The smoke emitted by vehicles, motors and scooters pollutes the atmosphere. Increase in pollution has given birth to several diseases such as tuberculosis, deafness, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc. The Union Carbide gas factory at Bhopal made thousands of people blind. Pollution also creates mental diseases. The tendency of urbanization also contributes to this problem at a rapid rate. The rural population started moving towards the cities and the cities went on expanding. Due to the housing problem, the life of big cities became more complex.

Conserving Environment

If environmental education is given to future citizens in the present day schools by formal and informal methods, humanity can get rid of this danger. We find around us air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, nuclear pollution, ecological imbalance and increase in heat and radiation. Today’s environment is not pure and natural due to these pollutions. The following action can help in conserving environment:

For checking pollution, more and more parks should be created in order to make the environment healthy and clean. Factories should find place at a long distance from the dwellings.

Rivers are to be protected from dirty water and filth. Vehicles are to be checked from emitting smoke. They should be fitted with silencers to reduce noise. Drinking water should be drawn from greater depth and put in clean and well covered pots.

Vanamahotsava programme should be a continuous process. Ways and means are to be adopted to check soil erosion. Special cleanliness drives should be undertaken at regular intervals in the cities. Milk dairies are to be established at the outskirt of the city. There is needed to take steps to prevent the spread of various diseases. In this, family planning should form an integral part of the whole scheme.