Sarika Baheti

 What has been the most bewildering lesson of the year 2020?

If you believe that Nature is annoyed with us and purging human race, you’re absolutely right!  The answer to the question above is to listen to the evident signals and align our connection with the elements of nature deeper. We do not have any argument left to explain why the raging crises are happening. Humans have behaved inhumanly, like predators on Earth. A pandemic like COVID-19 was bound to happen. We need a realignment with the nature, our source of nurturance, remembering everything that we need and use comes from Mother Earth.

Going back eons, the Universe, made of matter and energy, is assumed to be 13.5 billion years old. That was the beginning of physics, as we know it. The atoms and molecules that appeared, started chemistry at the cosmic level. Eventually, life on earth began with the five basic elements of nature – Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Water is indeed one of the most precious natural products on earth. We all know that water is so essential that life will cease to exist without it. More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water – just like the body composition of several species on earth. Water, the ethereal fluid, flows like blood in our body, circulating in the arteries and veins of humans, carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide, to and from the tissues of the body to the heart.

As the Theory of Evolution goes, the evolution of Homo sapiens to modern-day humans happened, and as the human population grew, so did the detrimental changes in the composition of nature. Our discoveries and inventions led to the industrial revolution, which further led to newer inventions and innovations. From here, the pace of development started growing at an exponential rate. Consequently, that gave rise to the concept of extensive consumerism as well. Without realising the need for sustainable growth, the so-called development became an incessant menace for the environment. The trio of Air, Water and Land pollution started taking a toll in multiple ways. With carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere at nearly 415 ppm, the United Nations has already warned global leaders for the urgency to act now. It is expected that CO2 shall cross 427 ppm within five years.

Let us now geek around how ‘Water’ is involved here. Scientists discovered the conditions prevailing in a million-year-old atmosphere. As the snow compresses into ice, it traps bubbles of the atmosphere at that time. These bubbles act as samples that can be used to study the past million years. Besides this, several indirect measures like studying the density of stomata of plants and examining the ocean sediments are used to further our understanding. These are unprecedented times where we have such high levels of pollution. We have already reached around 1° rise in the average global temperatures since pre-industrial levels. As per the warning of WMO (World Meteorological Organization), there is a 70% probability that at least one of the next five years shall see a 1.5° rise in temperatures. The rise in atmospheric temperature is directly related to the speedy melting of glaciers, thereby increasing the sea level at many places and the subsequent submerging of lower islands. The direct and strong link of pollution of the natural elements and its detrimental effects on our health are quite notably obvious.

Oh, the vicious cycle – that what pollutes land, also pollutes the water bodies, air and us!Health begins with a cell

To be healthy, our approach should not be pertaining only to the discomfort, illness or disease from the outside, but we also need to peel a few layers and look deep inside our bodies to locate and address its root causes. We need to understand the human body inside out. Illness is never simply one individual factor. It is a bundle; a patient’s whole life, ranging from genetics to diet, to the environment. These influences are often complexly layered, creating the thing we call ’disease’. Fortunately, the body knows how to fix itself — as long as we provide it with the proper nutrition it needs, remove the toxins or poisons that may have become lodged within the cells, and support it with substances that facilitate these functions.

Start at the foundation… the cellular level and water

In a healthy cell, all necessary nutrients penetrate the cell, and the waste/toxins leave the cell. A cell membrane’s job is to protect the cell from its surroundings. The cell membrane is selectively permeable and able to regulate what enters and exits the cell. An adequate amount of potable water keeps the cell healthy and functioning properly. When a cell is unhealthy, only a limited amount of nutrients are able to penetrate the cell and just partial waste (toxins) are able to exit, thus leaving the cell lacking in the essential nutrients, withholding excess toxins. If the cell membrane is not functioning optimally, the cell will not function correctly, resulting in insufficient nutrients entering through the cell walls and insufficient waste (toxins) exiting the cell. This leaves us with toxic and unhealthy cells, tissues and organs that lower our immunity and can bring about the onset of disease or prevent the cell from effectively dealing with disease. Water helps normalize the cell membrane to be soft and permeable. Therefore, the antidote for any illness or disease is building our immune system by eating plant-based diet, natural medicines, drinking more water, living a healthy lifestyle with a positive mental approach. You can feel the difference by relax-fully sitting in a natural environment, soaking up sunshine.

The need to improve the quality of the outer and inner environment

Instead of playing the blame game, we need to focus on the remedial actions. The majorly accused reasons for the rise in pollution are the reckless disposal of industrial and domestic wastes, construction activities, stubble burning, burning of fuel by automobiles (whether on Land, Water or Air), high consumption of electricity, fire crackers and the non-recycled/non-biodegradable materials.

Essential pointers for a healthy environment

Controlling population will certainly help reduce the burden on earth and its resources. A lesser population can flourish more in the abundance of natural resources. Lesser number of people can bring in more peace and prosperity. Need based living will obviously reduce the ill-effects of materialistic greed.

Improving infrastructures and effective implementation of pro-environment, sustainable technologies are the need of the hour, for a healthier future. India should tap its abundant natural resources like solar, wind and hydro power to harness energy.

Reducing the concept of consumerism is equally vital. Curbing the ceaseless desire to buy more would reduce the load to produce and subsequently be dumped as non-biodegradable waste.

Reusing and re-inventing things out of the existing can also help reduce the waste, which ultimately ends up as trash on land and in water bodies. Not to forget, the sea creatures are equally an important part of our vulnerable eco-system.

Recycling materials need innovations to be dynamic and connected in contemporary sensibilities. The world needs to reduce the cost of recycling of water and other materials. Thiswill contribute in saving time, money, energy and man-made and natural resources.

Promoting the usage of indigenous and eco-friendly products, packaged with minimal material, will help make the whole system sustainable without compromising on health issues.

A healthy lifestyle with a blend of old-age wisdom and new-era knowledge willlead to healthier minds and fitter bodies, and thus, happier individuals. The domino effect of this very happy individual will create a prosperous society and a progressive nation. After all, the future lies in the hands of the fittest.

Keeping our environment clean is as essential as keeping our homes clean. We must ensure that adjoining areas to our homes are clean and that garbage is disposed responsibly in ways that will segregate its contents to expedite therecycling process, instead of being piled up as stinking landfills and choked-up water bodies.

The PPE comprising of  the plastic protection gear like gloves, masks and the body suits – so critical in this ‘war’ against COVID-19, will also contribute to the mountains of trash in our cities – if it is not incinerated in properly controlled and managed medical waste disposal facilities. The fumes further end up further polluting the land, air & water.

The series of lockdowns all over the nation have taught us new ways of living and working. The lower AQI and PM in the air have given us a fresh whiff of ideas. Yes, we can adapt to what’s important and indeed better.

There are innumerable more ways in which we can contribute towards a healthier environment. Understanding the need for a clean environment, we also know that the solution requires unprecedented efforts and willpower. Hope the leaders embrace the challenge to act now. Simultaneously, we should individually/collectively work responsibly towards it. So, let’s thank our Mother Earth for having given us the gift of life. Be Humble. Slow down. Observe and Listen.

The best cure is always found in nature and, undoubtedly, in water. Always.


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