Numbers can tell us a lot about our planet today. Carbon dioxide levels have increased up to 413 ppm, which is the highest level recorded in the past 650,000 years. The ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are losing 427 gigatonnes of mass per year. Sea levels are rising 3.3 millimetres every year on average. But, chances are you already knew all of this. It’s been a regular news feature at any given time. Even the corporate world is steadily starting to take notice of this. Ask any child, and even they would be able to highlight the actions that are affecting our environment adversely. And therein lies one of the greatest ironies in our legacy as a species.

So, what’s the great irony?

Needless to say, our report card isn’t very pretty, and we know it. Climate change and environmental degradation have been part of public discourse for a few decades now. Children are learning about it at school, and we’re also seeing new products that would never have been required, had we just taken measured steps to prevent the current crises!

Our greatest irony – one that is defining us as a whole – is that we are aware of the crisis, but take little to no action to prevent it. It is ongoing and its fallout is impending, yet we do very little to mitigate it. Whether we choose to look at the problem at an individual or a national level, we have actively chosen the comfort and convenience of the status quo over meaningful and impactful change. And like any good procrastinator can assure you, tasks that are postponed only pile up. And our bill is long overdue.

What good is an inspiration, if not backed up by action?

Our great irony is teeming with hypocrisy. It’s not uncommon to find news outlets covering special stories like cute animal videos or how a celebrity called out somebody for littering and then have parallel segments covering how oil-producing countries need to ramp up oil production. So many of us speak in support of animal conservation and recognise the pressing need to act towards saving the planet. Yet, we continue to consume products and create a demand for industries that pose an active threat to the ecosystem!

Take the Black Monday market crash of 1987 for example. It led to so much havoc and immediate panic with a 20% downfall of stocks. While a large amount of the onus is attributed to an error by program traders, the exact cause is unknown. The crash affected many economies directly associated with the United States. Thus, there was a comprehensive team effort to ensure normalcy and stability. Immediately after addressing the immediate cause, stock exchanges also introduced rules and precautions to slow down the impact of irregularities in the future.

So why does a crashed stock market illicit such a response, but there’s little to no outrage when it comes to the planet’s crises? Are profits more critical to the population today than the health of our future generations? Is this the kind of pressure that causes a majority of corporations to care more about the shareholders – ROI/profits than the environment? Clearly, there is an acute need to look beyond the bottom line and look towards the long run of the smartest species on Earth. We don’t have a second option, there’s no planet B that we can turn to.

This irony can only be tackled on a larger level only if we as consumers and individuals understand the power of demand and supply. Even gold is worthless without the worth we choose to attach to it. At the moment, oil is seeing a severe loss of demand in the midst of a pandemic that has deteriorated its value completely. We need to leverage this power of the consumer and demand change starting from today. Better late than never indeed, and the time to spark this change is now. We simply cannot afford to go on like this any further!

Making a difference, one step at a time

With great power comes great responsibility! Organisations and companies can create a massive positive impact through the simplest of initiatives. The need of the hour for corporates is to reevaluate the environmental and social ethics behind their processes. We must urge companies to find their own solutions towards keeping their profits and being environmentally conscious. There are already quite a few who are working towards their levels of carbon footprint. For instance, switching to CFL bulbs, or taking the time out to understand how a car with CVT transmission can also help our environment is tremendous!

The greed of one populace cannot be greater than the need of the environment. If you try and segregate all that you consume down to ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, you will realise how consumerism has grown over the last few years, and how most of it is unnecessary. The approach towards products and profits needs to be thought out much more cohesively, keeping the environment at the forefront. If we choose to ignore climate change and shy away from effective climate action, there’s no coming back for us. Change begins with oneself, and the sooner we realise this, the better it will be for not just us, but our future generations as well. No step is too small, no effort goes to waste, when we take into account each transformation at an individual level. For instance, we can switch to wooden toothbrushes, consuming products with the lowest carbon footprint.

These changes may seem small and simple. But each tiny change is a drop towards better collective transformation! Together, we can all find the solutions to fighting the climate emergency to make for a better planet. At Dropledge, our aim is to bring in a subtle subconscious change in the minds of the population through fun but interactive games. It’s a methodology to entertain the user but also bring in awareness, engagement & real actions in ‘larger numbers’ towards the real causes. This produces a change in the behaviour of the user without him realizing the shift, and it’s been working quite well! We truly believe that our efforts can create advocates for change, who can propel this message further. We invite you all to be part of our journey and help us create a better world, one step at a time.

About the author : Sonia D'Souza-Bhavsar

Founder, Dropledge

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