9. Environmental Care
Caring for the world is caring for your own self.
The state of our environment requires urgent attention and care. Increased urbanisation has resulted in grave environmental pollution and destruction. Natural resource depletion and rising carbon emissions have become a major concern. Hence, increasing our sensitivity towards how we damage the environment in our daily lives and taking steps towards its conservation and enrichment is the need of the hour. The values of Jainism and the principles of ecology are in consonance and can go a long way in positively rectifying the current scenario.
‘Environmental Care’ works towards environmental protection and sustainability by striving to increase awareness of the efficient use of natural resources, by supporting tree plantations, water conservation, use of recycled products, alternate energy resources and 'eco-friendly' products.
Shrimad Rajchandra Grow Green is an initiative to enrich the environment through tree plantations. Trees enhance the environment by moderating the climate, improving air quality, conserving water and harbouring wildlife. They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses like sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide from the air. In fact, one large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people!
Deforestation remains a pressing environmental concern, particularly in India. Approximately 45% of the land has been degraded primarily due to deforestation caused by unsustainable agricultural practices, mining and excessive groundwater extraction.
To offset some of the damage caused by deforestation and make our environment more beautiful and healthy, Shrimad Rajchandra Grow Green conducts tree plantation drives across the globe. Through this programme, SRLC also organises awareness campaigns to protect and nourish the natural environment.
Shrimad Rajchandra Water Conservation Programme implements measures to conserve water. Less than 1% of all the water on earth is suitable for drinking. More than a billion people in the world do not have access to safe water, and in rural areas, 4 out of 5 people do not have access. Water scarcity is only going to intensify in the future, as global consumption of water has been doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth. If the current trends persist, by 2025 the demand for freshwater is expected to rise by 56% beyond availability. This will result in as much as 2/3rd of the world’s population being unable to access clean water.
In 2018, SRLC undertook the task of deepening and desilting lakes and check dams in the villages of Barolia, Kangvi, Ambatalat and Savarmal in South Gujarat in support of the Government of Gujarat’s ‘Sujalam Sufalam Yojana’. The Government of Gujarat’s Sujalam Sufalam Yojana has targeted to accumulate 11000 lakh cubic feet of water by repairing 32 rivers and water canals and deepening and desilting of 13000 lakes and check dams which would bring immediate and long term benefits to the community, farmers, animals and birds.
To increase awareness in the community about the importance of conserving water, SRLC undertakes campaigns to teach farmers, business owners and local villagers about ways to save this precious natural resource.
Shrimad Rajchandra Alternate Energy Programme promotes the use of alternate energy sources. This initiative is committed to conserving energy by spreading awareness about ways to reduce consumption and encouraging the use of wind and solar energy where feasible.
Conventional energy resources like coal and gas are in limited supply and their voracious consumption and rapid depletion is a threat for future generations. Moreover, these forms of energy emit greenhouses gases, which damage the ozone layer. Close to 75% of the annual increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
Shrimad Rajchandra Eco Paper Drive saves trees through use of eco-friendly paper. Over 4 billion trees are sacrificed every year to cater to the global requirement for paper. Every ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees and 60 thousand gallons of water. Moreover, trees are living organisms and all life is precious and should be valued. To preserve the environment and prevent the killing of trees for paper, SRLC promotes the usage of eco-friendly paper, which is made from bagasse (dry sugarcane extract).
Under this initiative, SRLC manufactures notebooks made of eco-friendly paper and distributes them to rural school children.
Awareness Programme (REAP)
Shrimad Rajchandra Recycling & Environment Awareness Programme (REAP) cultivates an eco-friendly culture and encourages recycling of waste products.
Did you know:
- Recycling twenty cans consume the same energy required to produce one new can.
- Recycling one aluminium can save enough energy to run your television for three hours.
- Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, power a computer for 30 minutes or a television for 20 minutes.
- Recycled paper production creates 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution than virgin paper production.
- Every pound of recycled plastic used in place of virgin material reduces energy usage in plastic production by 84% and greenhouse gas emissions by 71%.
Clearly, there are multiple benefits of recycling aluminium, plastic, glass, paper and other forms of waste. To cultivate an eco-friendly culture, SRLC undertakes projects to promote and encourage the recycling of these waste products.