World Environment Day: How celebs are making a difference to protect nature
From cutting down the use of plastic to driving an electric car to using glass jars to natural beauty preservatives to making sculptures out of waste paper, here’s what celebrities are doing to save the environment.Updated: Jun 05, 2019, 16:55 IST
Do you feel the heat? The scorching sun, the dipping groundwater level, and lack of winds have made this summer unbearable. This World Environment Day (June 5), don’t just be an armchair activist, and do your bit for the environment. Whether it’s turning off the electrical appliances when not in use or turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, every action counts. And if you need an inspiration, here are some well-known celebrities who are implementing green practices around them. So, be responsible and build a greener tomorrow.
Actor Richa Chadha, who never shies away from voicing her opinion, practices what she preaches. She says, “I care deeply about the environment. In India, approximately 1.2 million people die due to air pollution causes, every degree Celsius rise in global temperatures is expected to cause 30,000 deaths a year. We already have 9 or 10 most polluted cities in the world. There’s poison in our water, in our food. We’re staring a drought in the face in Maharashtra, yet I don’t see any urgency in tackling this issue in society or leadership. Despite it being a threat to our basic survival, forests are being chopped as if they’re someone’s personal property. In my personal life, I have minimised the use of plastic and banned single use plastic. I cycle wherever I can, and I am vegan. My next step would be to make a greenhouse that uses solar power and rainwater harvesting.”
Actor Gul Panag, who is an avid traveller and drives an electric vehicle, has implemented many green practices. She says, “I’ve been driving an electric car for five years now. Moreover, I have a weekend home outside Mumbai, which is basically a green and sustainable home. My entire focus is on generating solar energy; be it my house in Noida, Punjab or the weekend home. Even at the society where I stay in Mumbai, I have started the practice of water harvesting and waste segregation.”
Celeb chef and MasterChef Australia contestant, Sarah Todd strives to do away with plastic boxes, and has replaced them with glass jars and metal boxes. She says, “In my restaurant, [Antares Restaurant & Beach Club in Goa], we try to use all parts of the vegetables in multiple dishes so that there’s no wastage. We procure veggies from a local producer so that there’s less carbon footprint, and also those are more nutritious and tasty. We’re not using plastic straws, and use glass jars. In my personal life, my son’s lunch box is a naked box made from metal, instead of plastic. We don’t use butter paper to wrap sandwiches, and try to fit the dish as it is. Although it’s a little hard in India but whenever I am travelling, very rarely do I drive; I use public transport most of the times, or simply prefer to walk places even 10-15 kms far.”
Beauty and wellness expert Blossom Kochhar, who uses natural ingredients to make beauty products, ensures that they have a long shelf life even sans chemicals. She says, “I use essential oils, which are natural preservatives. In fact, essential oils have been used in Egypt to preserve mummies so they can keep natural products safe for a long time without the use of any chemical preservatives.”
Kochhar’s organisation also does its bit for the environment by treating water. She adds, “We have a whole treatment plant so that the water used is safe for the product. We use absolutely natural ingredients to manufacture our products. We use vegetable oils, waxes and emulsifiers. Everything is environment friendly and does not harm water or soil,” she adds. They have tied up with the NGO Give Me Trees Trust and planted and conserved 5,400 trees, out of which 2250 are neem trees.”
Artist Rameshwar Broota has been making sculptures with waste paper, for last three years. The thought behind it, he says, came from resin. Broota says, “It’s such a transparent medium that one is compelled to work innovatively with it. I’ve a shredding machine, and one day while emptying it I got the idea of using it in a sculpture. Old papers, janam patris and coins — things which are really old and need to be preserved — can be preserved like this. More than art, it’s also preservation of time. When I need a solid block to make a sculpture, I use discarded cardboard boxes and make a mould out of them. I also use waste bottles and broken glasses as moulds.”
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