When we talk about moving towards greener and cleaner lifestyle, three things come in our mind that can prove to be the steps towards greener and cleaner way of living i.e. implementation of laws, awareness among the people and self-motivation of every individual.

Many of us believe that setting up laws, framing policies and signing different agreements and petitions could solve this problem but the reality is, things on paper never works. We need action if we actually want to deal with this environmental destruction. Article 11 (3) of Constitution of Pakistan in part II prohibits the employment of children below the age of fourteen years in any factory, mine or other hazardous employment, but it seems to be extremely common that hundreds and thousands of teens are being employed in many small and large setups. National Environmental Quality Standards For Ambient Air established by Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency for SO2 permits 80 µg/m3 on average per annum but is their any check and balance routine for the brick kilns production of SO2, are they emitting SO2 within the prescribed limit by NEQS?

There are too many examples like these that proves that laws and policies are not enough. We need to aware the general masses on grass root level. We have to spread awareness in every nook and corner. But the matter of fact is we are not having that appropriate curriculum in our schools that can spread awareness on environment to young minds of our nation. Secondly, we as a nation are so poor that environment never comes on our priority, our economic conditions never allow us to be eco-friendly and how could we expect this from a nation that are not sure about their next meal!

The only thing which we can do for greener lifestyle is we should change ourselves. We need to be self-motivated. We have to stop that habit of asking couple of polythene bags for the product we buy. It should not be a problem for us to bring our own cloth bags. We need to reduce waste and ambient air emissions at first place. It is not so difficult to adopt carpooling and using public transport. The government, Ministry Of Environment and Solid Waste Management Companies can do nothing if the public does not show its involvement for saving this environment. Laws, policies, agreements, awareness sessions will be useless if public is not motivated. However, strict actions are needed to adhere the public with the laws otherwise leniency leads to violence of laws and policies.

About the Author: Maryam Eqan, Founder (The Earth Needs Love)