All characters in this blog are non-fictitious. Any resemblance of “I” to any person, living or dead, is purely intentional.
Every year, on the 5th of June, I am a tree hugger — I wear a green tee, update all my social media statuses with a greeting, and proclaim myself as a warrior. I sign-up for campaigns, sign petitions against tree felling or illegal-anything-everything. And also authoritatively command others to do their thing. With very little to do by myself, I raise my eyebrows and question everyone, policies, and government. I argue like a child to make my point and declare my righteousness. I must not be questioned or criticized about my impeccable methods in any way, and I cannot and will not correct myself.
I am not civilized enough or taught in school to understand how important is my environment. Even if I do have little sense, I pretend it to be a luxury than a part of myself. I also do not bother to learn any further.
There are numerous speculations about the recent pandemic outbreak that it is a cause of extensive exploitation of nature. Of course, I neither ate a bat nor pet a pig. I did not do anything, yet I am stuck at home for more than a year, fearing a minuscule infectious agent. Now, I have the right to point at someone else, at their fault. Are people dying because of my negligence, or mother nature protesting, “Die, Humans!” for my deeds?
I am directly or indirectly responsible for squeezing the breath out of more than 869 plant and animal species in the last 500 years. I have also nominated more than 16,928 plant and animal species to the IUCN Red List of Threatened to Extinction Species. Habitat loss and degradation affect 89% of all threatened birds, 83% of threatened mammals, and 91% of threatened plants.* Agricultural practices to feed my species are a threat to the other species and inturn on us. I do not care about other species until I am alive.
*Quoted from IUCN Red List — ‘Species Extinction — The Facts’
I have slept under a tree, I have enjoyed and admired the stroll in the forest canopies, and I have relished the freshest fruits. But shamelessly, I have never nurtured a tree and watch it grow. I need a mass campaigner to beg me to register and then allow me to post a selfie on my social media account, tagging everyone in my friend list with a placard reading — “Save Trees, Save Earth.”. I cannot stand up firmly against a tree being axed unless I sign the petition first. Until I have running water and electricity, I do not worry much about the rest. It is always my comfort first. I do not know and cannot give it back to my mother nature.
I now buy new clothes when my favorite store or the online site runs a deal. The joy of wearing something new during an occasion or when necessary is replaced with the satisfaction of the best deal I could grab. The bell-bottom pants and the large-thick framed eyeglasses are making a comeback. So, the fashion was never outdated?! So the refreshing-your-wardrobe sale was a scam? Basic need; fashion or clothing?
The online shopping bot prompts me that my items in the cart are not eligible for free delivery or I cannot avail of the discount, so I add more products that I never intended to buy. Frequently bought together and customers who bought this also bought these is a honeytrap. The product comparison section, number one seller, brand new product tags, and version upgrades are tactics to upsell goods. Quality, durable, repairable, and fixable products do not contribute to the growing economy as much as buying a new one, so my society forces me to buy the latest from the shelves. My wants become a burden on the natural resources. Should I be economy-friendly or environment-friendly? Does the economy run with my wants and not my needs?!
The highly convenient online shopping delivers all my orders to my doorstep the next day with fancy packing. I crave to eat from every other food outlet, to boast about eating as a hobby. I prefer the brunch, the snacks, and the late-night binge eating straight from the delivered cutlery and dispose of it in the morning, washing away my guilt of eating outside. I do not bother if my holy offering to the god is defiled by carrying it in the plastic bag. I always prefer the cling film wrapped, perfect shape, color, and shine, and neatly arranged food items from the grocery shop, nothing less. I march and swing, with pride, the bunch of plastic bags in my hand, without the slightest guilt of not taking a carry bag from home. I am least concerned if that packaging contaminates the product. I live with the convenient single-use plastic — it is always just one straw, one disposable cup, and one plastic bag. I do not care if it ends up in landfills unless the landfill is next to my house. The convenience, is it a curse in disguise?
Loosely, the more I borrow and spend, my credit score would skyrocket. I will be eligible to borrow more with my higher credit score. Then I again spend the borrowed money. I get rewarded with points when I buy with a credit that I can redeem for buying more things. I spend more to get more points so that I can further buy more things. In this entire endless cycle, I have never bothered to check what is my actual need.
Looking at all my behavior and I wondered about my carbon footprint, I now know I’m such a criminal stabbing my mother’s womb. I did not dare to check my carbon footprint here — carbonfootprint.com — Carbon Footprint Calculator. I have plenty of free advice by which I can cut down on consumption and reduce my carbon footprint. It is just advice that I care little to follow any.
Oh, I nearly forgot; happy World Environment Day. Ecosystem Restoration is the theme for this year. SAVE TREES, SAVE EARTH. Now I am a responsible child of mother earth?!
Some videos that shook me (Should I say inspiring?) —
- Video credits to the video creator/owner.
- Illustrations by Manasa S Putty(email@example.com).