Suggestions on preserving our environment

There are things that can be done at an individual level to preserve our environment. Here are some tentative suggestions. You can follow any that might appeal to you and feel free to discard the rest.

1. While printing, one can use both sides of the sheet to print, instead of printing on just one side.

2. You could use recycled paper, in situations where this is a plausible alternative to normal paper.

3. One might want to use cloth bags to carry grocery and other items, and reduce the use of plastic bags.

4. In situations where cycling or walking is possible, this could a preferable alternative over motor vehicles. (Further, cycling and walking are considered to be good for health.)

5. One can plant trees, if possible.

6. This one’s not related to preservation of the environment as the above: Do not pluck leaves from trees (It has been pointed out that such actions are for a tree what plucking hair from one’s head is for us.)

7. Try not to litter in public places.

8. Spread awareness among people regarding environmental preservation.

The following two points are not directly related to environmental preservation. These are excellent points, suggested to me by Srividya K. R. (author of the SanAtana Dharma blog).

9. Do not buy more food than you think you can eat. Do not think you can eat all the food you buy if you know you cant. Wasting food is a crime. Every time you throw away food, remember that you deprived a starving malnourished child of that food.

10. Do not take a bath in the bath-tub and waste so much water if you can be content with just a shower. The volume of water in the bath tub could have been used as drinking water by an entire village. Just remember that to satisfy your greed, you just deprived an entire village of drinking water (in some corner of the world) for an entire week.

(In light of the preceding two points, here are two slokas from our ancient scriptures. These have been taken from Sri M. S. Golwalkar’s “Bunch of Thoughts”.

ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किंच जगत्यां जगत्

तेन त्यक्तेनभुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद् धनम् ।।

(God permeates all Creation. Whatever is left over by Him, after offering Him, enjoy only that much. Do not rob what belongs to others)

Let us therefore acquire maximum of material wealth so that we can serve God in the form of society in the best possible manner. And out of all that wealth, only that minimum should be used for our sake the denial of which will hamper our capacity for service. To claim or to make a personal use of more than that, is verily an act of theft against society.

In Bhagavata Narada says :

यावद् भ्रीयेत् जठरं तावत् स्वत्वं हि देहिनाम्

अधिकं योभिमन्येत स्तेनो दंडमर्हति ।।

(Take whatever is essential for bodily sustenance. To take more is an act of theft and deserves to be punished)

Thus we are only the trustees of society. It is only when we become trustees in the true sense that we can serve society best. Such a pure attitude of service will leave no scope for ego or self-adulation. )

11. Try to conserve electricity.

As was mentioned above, you are free to follow any of these,  and may discard the others.

2 Responses to Suggestions on preserving our environment

  1. srivi019 says:

    Would you mind adding a 9th and 10th point to this one –

    9. Do not buy more food than you think you can eat. Do not think you can eat all the food you buy if you know you cant. Wasting food is a crime. Every time you throw away food, remember that you deprived a starving malnourished child of that food.

    10. Do not take a bath in the bath-tub and waste so much water if you can be content with just a shower. The volume of water in the bath tub could have been used as drinking water by an entire village. Just remember that to satisfy your greed, you just deprived an entire village of drinking water (in some corner of the world) for an entire week.

    Thanks,
    -Srividya K R
    http://ourdharma.wordpress.com

    • tkramesh says:

      Hi

      Both are excellent points. I myself have started taking the point on not wasting food seriously. The point regarding wastage of drinking water is also good.

      Apart from an obligation towards preserving the environment, each one of us has an inherent obligation to serve those who lack the materially comfortable life that we lead, and in the process we will elevate ourselves.

      There’s an incident from Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa’s life in “Bunch of Thoughts”, that can serve as a guide.

      ” I remembered an incident in the life of Sri Ramakrishna. Once some of his disciples were talking about helping the poor, showing compassion to them and so on. Sri Ramakrishna came there in a God-intoxicated mood and admonished them saying, “Who are you to show compassion to them? Who are you to help them? They are the living manifestations of Narayana himself. So you can only serve them”.

      There is another passage from the same book, where Sri Golwalkar says:
      Quote
      “There are millions of human beings all around us who live in hunger and destitution, deprived of even the barest necessities of life, and whose stories of misery will move the stoniest of hearts. It is verily God who has taken those forms of the poor, the destitute and the suffering. What for? Does He want anything? He is the very embodiment of all power, all knowledge, and is the Master of all. Then what is it that He wants? He comes in those forms to give us an opportunity to serve Him. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa called them Daridra Narayana (destitute God)
      Once our life becomes soaked with this true spirit of service, we will feel that all our individual and family possessions, however abundant they may be, do not really belong to us. These are only the means to worship God in the form of society. Our whole life will then be an offering in the service of society. The Upanishads say :

      ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किंच जगत्यां जगत् ।
      तेन त्यक्तेनभुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद् धनम् ।।

      (God permeates all Creation. Whatever is left over by Him, after offering Him, enjoy only that much. Do not rob what belongs to others)

      Let us therefore acquire maximum of material wealth so that we can serve God in the form of society in the best possible manner. And out of all that wealth, only that minimum should be used for our sake the denial of which will hamper our capacity for service. To claim or to make a personal use of more than that, is verily an act of theft against society.
      In Bhagavata Narada says :

      यावद् भ्रीयेत् जठरं तावत् स्वत्वं हि देहिनाम् ।
      अधिकं योभिमन्येत स स्तेनो दंडमर्हति ।।

      (Take whatever is essential for bodily sustenance. To take more is an act of theft and deserves to be punished)

      Thus we are only the trustees of society. It is only when we become trustees in the true sense that we can serve society best. Such a pure attitude of service will leave no scope for ego or self-adulation. ”
      Unquote.

      Thanks for reading, and for the excellent suggestions.

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