There is much that each of us can do to cut down our individual impact on the environment — buy less, travel sustainably, regift and reuse, reduce the use of plastic, plant trees, grow flowers on our balconies in pots — and much more.
A substantial chunk of our environmental footprint comes, however, from the systems we are embedded in — the fossil fuel-produced electricity we rely on, the industrial farming systems that produce our food, and the kinds of building materials we use for our homes and offices. Changing this requires a systemic shift. It requires public awareness, educating each other through conversation, and— that dirty word— activism. Especially, environmental activism.
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Harini Nagendra is a faculty member at Azim Premji University.