How to Change the World Starting From Home?

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

The Earth5R team has worked on the grass-roots level, as well as with various global governments, intergovernmental organizations in order to create a better environment and promote sustainability.

Earth5R’s Home Equals Planet project is a product of all the learnings and takeaways from it’s previous programs and actions. Home Equals Planet is an initiative towards a more sustainable lifestyle whilst solving environmental issues. It comprises 15 tangible actions that are taken by citizens on a personal level, leading to a healthier planet and a healthier lifestyle.

The 15 actions are designed, keeping in mind normal day-to-day activities and the impacts they make that are often ignored. The 15 actions also take in consideration the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations General Assembly. The SDGs are 17 interlinked goals that address the global challenges like poverty, climate change, inequality, environmental degradation, peace and justice, in order to achieve a sustainable future for all by 2030. 

Global annual greenhouse gas emissions have grown 41% since 1990

By taking steps to reduce the individual emissions, one can prevent 100s of tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

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Graph showing increase in CO2 emissions globally (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

Today, we have two of Earth5R’s citizen volunteers sharing their experiences with the Home Equals Planet’s 15 actions to change the world.

Siya Wadhwa is a 12th grade student in Mumbai. She enjoys dancing and music. Siya is committed towards social work and always ready to take action for a social or environmental cause. She joined Earth5R to take action for the things that matter to her.

Richa Yadav is currently working as a junior Data Scientist in Vashi. After working for a year, her concern for the environment made her realise that she needs to do more to create a change. That’s when she joined Earth5R in her quest to save the world.

SIYA WADHWA : “I think 15 actions is a great initiative to spread awareness. The actions that are talked about in the training can be implemented on a very personal, individual level, so everyone can do it. By these individual efforts we can make a collective impact altogether. The 15 actions of Home Equals Planet are very doable.

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Siya’s training session

After I got trained, I realised the impact every small action taken can make. I was able to analyse my actions and what changes I have to bring in myself and my surroundings. Since then, I have fixed the number of times I eat outside in a month and have reduced the number.

Earlier I used to eat outside 2-3 times a month, whereas, after the 15 actions training, it has reduced to a maximum of once a month.

I am trying to work on energy conservation, I am more conscious about saving energy now.

Where I would rate myself a 7/10 for energy conservation, I am now moving on to a 9/10 and would choose energy conservation over my convenience.

People generally avoid being a part of such programs thinking that it’s a lot of work. But, the Home Equals Planet’s 15 actions are so personal and easy for people to implement. I like the fact that they are more realistic and doable.”

These actions taken by Siya will not only benefit the environment but will also improve her quality of life.

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Siya further conducted the 15 Action training for her family

People who eat home cooked meals more than five times a week consume 62.3 g more fruit and 97.8 g more vegetables than the ones who eat home cooked meals less than three times a week.

RICHA YADAV : “The 15 action training was very impactful and it brought a lot of positive changes in me. I have started going to the gym everyday, which is a huge achievement as I wasn’t physically active earlier.

My weekly workout was 0 hours earlier, and now it is 7 hours a week!

I learned that a lot of families do really segregate their waste and recycle their kitchen waste through composting. But my family did not take this seriously. I wanted to educate them on this, so I conducted a training for my family members and explained to them the entire concept of waste segregation and composting.

Post the training, we have started segregating our waste into wet waste and dry waste and we recycle our kitchen waste into compost.

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Unsegregated waste from Richa’s home

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Post training segregated waste from Richa’s home

One thing that I loved about this project is that it focuses on both the individual perspective and the environmental and community perspective. The actions we take will not only benefit the environment, but will also be beneficial for us, leading to a better and healthier lifestyle.

The training had a wholesome list of 15 actions, looking at everything and everyone.

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Richa further conducting training for her family

Also, these actions are fairly simple to implement, and action can easily be taken if one prioritises and responsibly makes effort.

Most workshops and training are around more of explaining, but the Home Equals Planet training was more interactive and involved. It was more focused on what is the individual status of every trainee and it was more personal.

Whenever we have to create a big change, it always starts small. In this scenario, where we are talking about the planet, the smallest unit is a home. When a couple of people living together in a home, understand these problems faced by the environment, they together take action on a small scale. They learn and teach others, and motivate other people to do the same. The 15 actions are a very simple, scalable and an efficient way to beat all the environmental issues.”

Richa’s decision to join the gym is a great way to get physically active and move towards a healthier lifestyle. 

Exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and can lower the risk of early death by up to 30%

Citizen volunteers like Richa and Siya are supporting the Sustainable Development Goals in their way. For example, by going to the gym, Richa is promoting the 3rd SDG, that is Good health and well-being. On the other hand, Siya, by conserving energy, is fighting Climate Change, that is the 13th SDG.

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations)

The 15 Actions of Home Equals Planet are a starting point for a global movement that will create changes starting from individuals. Our individual efforts will create a collective chain reaction of actions that will give us all a healthier planet while improving our own lifestyle.

The Earth5R team would like to appeal to all the citizens to participate, take action and further encourage others to take action. Reach out to Earth5R to know more about the Home Equals Planet program. Visit their website at https://earth5r.org/.

ABOUT EARTH5R

Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office at Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs across India.

Earth5R specializes in circular economy based projects. Earth5R also offers short term and long term environmental courses and fellowships.

Interviewed by Aishani Raghav

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