Monday, 11 May 2015


Until fairly recently mankind acted as if he could
go on for ever exploiting the ecosystems and
natural resources such as soil, water, forests and
grasslands on the Earth’s surface and extracting
minerals and fossil fuels from underground.
But, in the last few decades, it has become increasingly
evident that the global ecosystem has
the capacity to sustain only a limited level of
utilization. Biological systems cannot go on replenishing
resources if they are overused or misused.
At a critical point, increasing pressure destabilizes
their natural balance. Even biological
resources traditionally classified as ‘renewable’
- such as those from our oceans, forests, grasslands
and wetlands, are being degraded by overuse
and may be permanently destroyed. And
no natural resource is limitless. ‘Non-renewable’
resources will be rapidly exhausted if we continue
to use them as intensively as at present.
The two most damaging factors leading to the
current rapid depletion of all forms of natural
resources are increasing ‘consumerism’ on the
part of the affluent sections of society, and rapid
population growth. Both factors are the results
of choices we make as individuals. As individuals
we need to decide;
• What will we leave to our children? (Are
we thinking of short-term or long-term
• Is my material gain someone else’s loss?
Greed for material goods has become a way of
life for a majority of people in the developed
world. Population growth and the resulting
shortage of resources most severely affects
people in the developing countries. In nations
such as ours, which are both developing rapidly,
and suffering from a population explosion,
both factors are responsible for environmental
degradation. We must ask ourselves if we have
perhaps reached a critical flash point, at which
economic ‘development’ affects the lives of
people more adversely than the benefits it provides.
What can you do to save electricity?
• Turn off lights and fans as soon as you leave
the room.
• Use tube lights and energy efficient bulbs
that save energy rather than bulbs. A 40-
watt tube light gives as much light as a 100
watt bulb.
• Keep the bulbs and tubes clean. Dust on
tubes and bulbs decreases lighting levels by
20 to 30 percent.
• Switch off the television or radio as soon as
the program of interest is over.
• A pressure cooker can save up to 75 percent
of energy required for cooking. It is
also faster.
• Keeping the vessel covered with a lid during
cooking, helps to cook faster, thus saving