Many of us rail against environmental injustices perpetrated in the country, but we don’t seem to have any issues with going to a grocery store and returning with products stuffed into polythene bags – maybe we need to address this double standard before we start pointing fingers at others.
The focus of the environmental debate in Bangladesh has always been on large-scale practices that have adverse macro-level effects.
These macro problems certainly exist, but they are not caused only by bad policy-making and inefficient/unscrupulous industrial practices – they are also caused by the perception that pervades the Bangladeshi mentality, where we don’t do our part, because we consider our contribution to pollution negligible.
What the people of the country require is a reassessment of the way we conduct ourselves on a daily basis.
It is time for realignment. We must, of course, continue to speak out against large-scale environmental issues, but we must couple that with taking action in our own lives to promote positive social change.
The steps we can take are simple: Carrying a reusable bag when we go grocery shopping, using energy efficient lighting and appliances, sorting and recycling our household trash – there are a lot of small things that have the potential to make a big difference.
Given the myriad of problems we face with regard to environmental issues, we would do well to realise that we too are a part of the overall problem and must do our part diligently.