This is a post by Nina from Almora, Uttarakhand. She runs a small school in the hills and is passionate about the environment. She is one of the trainers with 350.org and just like her writing suggests, a fun person to be around. This is another post as part of the blogathon that was organized on June 5th by IYCN and 350.org.
It’s a sad thing, but somehow I feel that ‘the environment’ has become a tired and boring topic for most people. We have all heard the doomsday predictions, the shock factor has worn off, we have all bought the jute bags and recycled some trash and yet get the feeling that there is no cure, the problems go on and on.
It’s like that sick old Auntyji who comes to visit once a year, her poor knee is arthritic and just when it gets a little better, her sinuses get blocked. She can list endlessly all the medicines that don’t work for her bad coughs, and of course, her indigestion doesn’t show any sign of ever improving. You have to listen with a show of sympathy, but the moment she’s finally heaved herself away, you sigh with relief, wipe the frozen cringing expression off your face, forget all about creaky old Auntyji and get on with your life.
And whenever I said to folks today, “Hey, you know what? It’s World Environment Day!” I got the kind of look I might have given Auntyji! An ‘Oh-no! Are-you-going-to-bore-us-with-your-long-moralizing-stories-now?’ apprehensive sort of look.
Although I do believe that most people care what happens around them, we seem to have lost the ability to really get passionate about the environment. The problems seem too big and like poor Auntyji’s troubles, there seems to be no permanent solution. And we environmentalists as a group are often such an earnest bunch, I fear that we sometimes scare away those we want to involve.
So how should we go about making the environment a priority, encouraging people to find solutions, getting involved, but all in a fun way? Perhaps instead of seminars, a party would be better and instead of a march with banners, an acapella event? After all, we pride ourselves not just on our farsightedness but also on our creativity, so it should be easy for us to find ways to make it fun to care about the environment.
We need to find a way to make people feel happy and positive about the things they do for the environment, to make people enjoy taking care of our resources and to make them have fun as they look for solutions to environmental issues, we need to make Auntyji get up and dance! (Image below : Himalayan village kids dance for the environment)