Stories are powerful medium to communicate and when the anecdotes brings on board the attributes similar to human beings but having non-human or subhuman appearance, it captivates the attention, pester the philosophy behind the tale, in a subtle manner with fascinating outcomes.
Perhaps this is the reason behind our mythological and folklore narration, possessing multitude humans and humanoid, retaining anthropoid traits and highlighting the consequences for their wrong actions.
This transcends from one generation to another adding on different hue to accommodate the needs of time and regions.
These descriptions were never meant to be biased towards the humans, always doing the right thing, rather the counterparts of the humans possess more virtues and courage.
These fictional plots used to have characters like reptiles, quadrupeds, bipeds and elements of earth, sun, moon, wind also have their presence and speak like humans along with their own persona.
These legends used to serve as a portal, drive ways for young children to comprehend their surroundings and most of the grown up persons of present generation would admit that they have heard some mythological stories, having numerous character belonging to different animal species, in their childhood days.
After a long time, in the month of Environment Day celebration, I look back to those story time period with a ray of hope. It might feel like surprising to establish connect between “Environment Day” and “Ray of Hope”, but in reality, this is the need of the hour.
Environment, the unique aspect of earth, in the whole solar planetary system, is the reason behind making life successful on this blue planet. Millions of years had passed since the first emergence of earth along its environment which was then put on a continuous evolution process to accommodate life on this planet.
The world stands testimony to the fact that many eras and civilization had marched forward with the time leading to another civilization with the continuous refining of the environment. But at this juncture of time, due to various anthropogenic reasons for the last two hundred years, the present generation is encountering an environment which is becoming harsh, uncomfortable and unpleasant.
The repulsive and creepy hot days for long period succeeding to incessant relentless rainfall for short time is having its havoc on the ecosystem. Winter days also remarkably shows deviations in its occurrence and pattern, impacting on the ecology and smaller animals. Changes in the seasonality is not the only indicator of changes in environment, frequent occurrence of disasters of various magnitude is a pointer towards this upcoming crisis of human civilization.
What violation, we as human being deed to the environment so that the nature is menacingly punishing us? The answer probably could be human’s endeavor to make life better, ends up in the innovation in certain product like plastics, that interfere in every aspects of smooth functioning of the environment. This artificial substance molecules are arranged in such a manner that the polymer present in the object is difficult to be broken down by the enzymes of microorganism, an important aspect of natural recycling process.
The tiny organism like fungi and bacteria present in nature with their enzyme breakdown the objects into matter having properties different from the original one but helps in building the quality of soil and recharge it with nutrient substances.
This is the natural recycling process of waste management and generation of new beginning, making smooth transition from old to new, continuously making forward move with the time.
Presence of microorganism along with temperature within a particular range and water do all the biodegradation and convert the object to another format that would be absorbed by the soil or else would be consumed by the terrestrial and aquatic animals and serve as food base.
This used to be normal proceedings in the world order till the arrival of plastics, an everlasting object for centuries, thus polluting the soil, water bodies and air as well. The indestructible object, plastic when kept under biodegradable process, leach out certain toxic element that affect the quality of life and life span of the possessor.
In another word the presence of plastics in nature, instead of getting consumed, pollutes the surroundings remaining unaltered and indestructible.
Each element of nature of the present world, be it soil, water bodies, ocean or air is getting chocked and suffocated by the presence of plastics. The animals, ignorant about the plastics are the worst victims of these perpetual and everlasting matters. Presence of plastics in the soil, disrupt the soil formation and healthy growth of trees.
In the water bodies, the presence of these unbreakable shatter proof elements pollutes the whole bayou. The ocean bed is particularly affected by the presence of trillions of plastic objects making the life of aquatic animals susceptible to multiple health hazards. This is the reason behind 2023’s theme of environment day celebration is #Beat Plastic Pollution. Beating plastic pollution is always a forward move towards achieving a greener and sustainable environment.
In contemplation of achieving this target of plastic free world, we need to come up with new narratives, to inculcate the moral of getting rid of the behavior of using plastic in everyday basis. In our stories, we need to demonize the plastic, making trees and other natural entity as saviour of humankind.
Alike our ancestors, who created stories for us having an inclusion approach to all biotic and abiotic elements of nature to give us a perspective of life, we need to come up with stories that depict all the living and nonliving organism as one and fighting the war against indestructible and heinous lord of evil, “The Plastic”.