Empowering Sustainability: Examining Local Initiatives in India
As our world becomes increasingly populated, the drive toward sustainability has never been more important. One such region where sustainability is becoming increasingly significant is India. With a population of over 1.4 billion people, the country is home to some groundbreaking sustainability initiatives that not only benefit the atmosphere but also the local population.
In this composition, we'll examine some notable local initiatives in different states of India aimed at encouraging sustainable living. These projects are the result of inspired individuals and community groups who believe in the power of sustainability to create a better future for generations to come.
One such initiative is the “Green Pledge” crusade launched by the Delhi administration in 2015 (1). This initiative is directed at reducing the carbon footprint of the capital city by promoting the planting of trees, sequestering waste at source, and conserving water resources. The juggernaut was successful in encouraging over a million citizens to take the pledge and has created a pronounced reduction in pollution across the megacity.
Another exceptional example of local sustainability initiatives in India is the “ Swacch Bharat Abhiyan” scheme launched by the Indian Government in 2014 (2). This project aims to substantiate a cleaner India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Some of the directives of the project include clean drinking water, proper sanitation establishments, and the eradication of open defecation. The administration has taken this initiative to heart, and over 35 states have declared themselves open-defecation-free as of 2021.
While it’s easy to tout large-scale initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, smaller actions can be just as poignant when it comes to sustainability. One similar example is the “Do It Yourself (DIY) eco-friendly household products" project, which started in Mumbai and has spread to other megacities like Chennai and Bangalore. The project encourages individuals to make their house cleaners using natural products, thereby reducing the waste produced by commercial cleaning products. Initiatives like this not only foster sustainable living but also promote self-sufficiency and economic delegation.
The state of Karnataka has been a frontrunner in the launch of innovative sustainability initiatives such as the “Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy," which commenced in 2017 (3). Through this project, the Karnataka state administration offered incentives in the form of grants, tax waivers, and the use of public spaces for setting up charging stations for electric vehicles. This initiative has encouraged the citizens of the state to adopt cleaner modes of transportation, thereby reducing air pollution and promoting better health.
In addition to the forenamed, innumerable other local initiatives across India promote sustainable living practices (4). Still, the question remains: how can individuals not only support such initiatives but also assimilate sustainable living into their day-to-day lives? There are a few ways:
Reuse and recycle: Be aware of the products you buy and opt for eco-friendly ones. Recycle or upcycle the products you have rather than dispose of them.
Save energy: Switch off lights and home electronics when not in use. Use energy-efficient appliances and opt for natural lighting or fans rather than air conditioners.
Conserve water: Take shorter showers, fix leaky faucets, and use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Walk, bike, and use public transport: Avoid using private vehicles for short-distance trips and promote public transport, walking, and cycling for day-to-day commuting.
There are a variety of sustainability initiatives being propelled in different corridors of India, from state-level to individual ménage initiatives. While there's still a long road ahead, the instances presented illustrate the difference a focused and committed sustainable initiative can make. By encouraging others to practice sustainability in their daily lives, we can contribute towards creating better surroundings for our children and future generations.
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