On the occasion of World Environment Day 2018, Zee Business's Anil Singhvi, Managing Editor at Zee Business, spoke at length with Bollywood actress Dia Mirza about environment-related issues.
Dia has been associated with environment-related programs and has won several titles like IIFA 2012 Green Award because of her contribution towards the environment. She has also been appointed as the brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India and UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India among others.
During the conversation, Dia talked about things that she practices to save the environment.
Q: You have been involved with the environment related issues from quite long time. What is the reason behind it and where did it start?
A: I have been directly associated with environment-related issues for past 10 years. In fact, everything depends on the kind of environment in which you have grown up. What you learnt from the family and at school. The discussion on climate change was started back in the 1980s, the time when we were taught a lot about the concerns related to the environment in school like plastics are non-biodegradable material and the process of composting. Generally, people try to implement things that they learnt as a child.
I always consider myself a part of nature. Hope that people will also realise the same and start protecting the materials that are provided to use free of cost by Mother Nature.
Q: Actually, everyone knows what should be done and why it should be done. Despite this, they think that what will happen if I do not do it. How can we change this notion of people?
A: Rumi has said, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop” and that's why I think they should take inspiration from those who are working on the lines. In fact, the action of every person is connected to the other and no one's efforts can be termed as less. I have a number of examples to cite and two of them are Aditya Mukherjee and Rajeshwari Singh.
Aditya Singh is a 14-year-old boy who has started a movement in Delhi in which he goes to institutions and industrialists and asks them to stop their plastic stocks. Similarly, Rajeshwari Singh, a 32-Year-Old Woman, has walked from Gujarat to Delhi with an aim to raise awareness about plastic pollution and to catalyse people to stop the usage of single-use plastic items. She undertook the journey on foot interacting with locals from the cities she passed.
Interestingly, Singh didn't carry a water bottle during her entire trip and was able to get water in almost every 500meters on her way to the capital city. She says that people keep water in earthen pots on the highways so that anyone who is thirsty can get water.
Q: When it comes to the environment, would you like to give a message to our viewers?
A: If we want, we can reduce or end use of plastic in our everyday life at an ease. For the purpose, I would like to share my personal choices and think that they may apply some of them in their lives.
I don't use plastic brushes, in fact, I have replaced them with Bamboo brush.
I don't use plastic earbuds and have replaced them with earbuds made of bamboo and cotton.
I have replaced regular sanitary napkins, which are mostly made of plastics, with bio-degradable napkins.
I carry my personal metallic water bottle so that I can refill them wherever I get a filter. This has helped me to say no to packaged plastic water bottles.
Apart from this, whenever I go to the restaurant and order a drink then I always ask the waiter not to provide a plastic straw to me.