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Climate Warriors Nandita Das & Ridhima Pandey’s Message On Earth Day Deserves Attention

Everyday is Earth Day, because there is no planet B.

Anannya Chatterjee

Actually, everyday is Earth Day, but April 22 is an annual reminder to do our bit for the environment—because there is no planet B. Acting boldly, innovating broadly, and implementing equitably has never been more important. Keeping up with this year’s theme— invest in our planet—the focus is on climate and environmental literacy, ending plastic pollution, conservation and restoration, food and environment, and acting on climate change. 

From soaring temperatures to forest fires, droughts and floods, the earth has suffered gravely, especially in the past few years. Hence, the urge to make earth a better place is real. The world is slowly adapting to sustainable living practices and making conscious efforts to protect and preserve the planet for the future.  

India’s youngest climate activist Ridhima Pandey shares ways to reduce waste 

Credit: Instagram/Ridhima Pandey

Ridhima Pandey, a 14-year-old climate activist from Uttarakhand—also referred to as India's Greta Thunberg—advised it is never too late to start investing in your planet, and this Earth Day is a good time to start. She told Zee Zest, “Investing in our planet means protecting the natural resources that we all rely on, and one great way to do that is by reducing how much waste we release into the environment.” For the unversed, Ridhima was among the 16 children who filed a complaint against the Indian government at the UN Climate Action Summit for the lack of action on the climate crisis.

Credit: Instagram/Ridhima Pandey

Elaborating further on how to reduce waste, she suggests, “We should use steel lunch boxes and water bottles when we are going to school or anywhere else; we should reduce the amount of plastic products from our daily-use items like toothbrush, comb, plastic bags, and straws as new studies have found that micro particles of plastic are found in human body which would have entered our body through the seafood that we eat. Our plastic waste ends up in the seas and then in the stomach of marine animals and then on our table as food.”

Credit: Instagram/Ridhima Pandey

Stressing on changes that we need to make in our daily lives, she recommended, “We all have water purifiers in our houses so reuse that waste water from your purifiers for watering plants and don't waste water while brushing and bathing; use buckets instead of using showers. Simultaneously, it is also important to work with the government and your local leaders to eliminate the problem of waste management, pollution etc from your society. It is also important to educate your community about all these problems. I want to request all the youths out there to come out and take actions as these actions are going to determine our future.”

All we have to do is consume less: Nandita Das

Bollywood actress Nandita Das has been advocating environment awareness and water conservation for a decade now. She also collaborated with the Centre for Science and Environment and worked as an eco-warrior to help initiate a change. Talking about how bringing in small changes can have a larger impact, she told us, ​“On this Earth Day, we need to take a moment to think—how can I bring about small changes in my life and in my circle of influence to be more mindful in the way we live? The big problems are too overwhelming, and so we end up doing nothing. Instead if we closely examine our own actions, I am sure each one of us will find ways to consume less, become more aware of the way we use natural resources and learn to respect our environment.”

Credit: Instagram/Nandita Das

Nandita also got candid about how her 11-year-old son is determined to take small steps and contribute to the change. “My 11-year-old son and I often talk about the difference between the things we need and the things we want. He once said, all we have to do is consume less. And I think there is a lot of wisdom there. I am trying to remind myself of that all the time. But I know I could do a lot more,” she concluded.

Photo: Shutterstock
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