Have you ever looked back and wondered what we could do to make our Earth happy for all the things that it does for us? As the number of people are increasing, the resources available on Earth are decreasing relatively. Considering the current rate, our future generations might have nothing left to survive with. In order to save our resources, we have to think about sustainable living. Even better, if you can start working towards uplifting the environment, you are doing much more than you can to revive Earth. Radhika Sundaresan, an Environmentalist from Chennai, is one such person who is doing just that, to make Earth a beautiful haven. Let’s find out more about her!
Making a difference!
Radhika works as the head of Environmental Education at Pitchandikulam Forest Consultant, which is based out of Auroville. Currently she is working out of a restored urban wetland in Chennai.
Environmental Education is a must when it come to schools and colleges. Instilling an awareness about the ecosystem and the nature of mother Earth at a very young age, develops a sense of responsibility in the young minds as they grow. As a result of this, we could probably see an increase in sustainable living methods. Radhika and her team, work on devising environmental education syllabus for each academic year that are distributed to the schools. The other part of her work is directed at restoring degraded landscape.
Becoming an Environmentalist
Radhika graduated as an Engineer and went on to work for an MNC for almost 2 years when she realised it wasn’t her cup of tea. She loved to interact with the locals whenever she went on treks and tours and was amazed by the impact that Tourism is creating on the environment. When she realised that her learning curve was taking a hit at her current job, she decided to take a course on Liberal Arts in the Young India Fellowship. This course allowed her to work on a project on Responsible Tourism for 8 months. This was about exploring how to establish proper tourism facilities in a particular region and she ended up in Rajasthan. This opened eyes to further exploration and she started reaching out to people. She went on to join an NGO in Delhi where she worked on upcylcing and general environment.
After her stint in Delhi, she resorted to Chennai where she started working on Climate finance, helping write proposal for the Government. In addition to this, she was also involved in Impact assessment, where she had to go visit places where projects have been laid out, prepare a report depending on the evaluation.
What she thinks!
“We should start at a very personal level. We should look at the things around you. You can start with waste management by segregating your waste. You can create compost with the organic wastes and establish a garden in your house. If there are space constraints, you can give the organic waste to places that make compost." says Radhika when asked about how once can start living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Waste segregation is a huge concern today. Some people might have segregated waste at their house level but when it reaches the dump yard, it goes together as one. This stands as a concern and can only be eradicated when awareness is created among the public about the importance of waste segregation. One can start taking initiative by talking to their area’s representative about the important of segregating wastes.
“We should look at the products that we use. The soaps, washing powder and phenol is made up of chemicals. When we use the water gets drained and reaches the water bodies and ends up polluting the same. We have ecological alternatives for these products and that will help a lot.” says Radhika.
Radhika is planning to explore and learn about Watershed Management in the days to come. She also wants to learn in depth about Restoration Ecology, in order to restore degraded landscape and research about Urban Water Management.
“Just look around you and observe. Observe the trees and the environment and the way the water is moving. Is the water moving to the right place? When you observe things on a day to day basis, you start reflecting and you take steps to make things better. Do whatever you can at a personal level, be it Solid Waste Management or changing the products that you use.” quotes Radhika.
If you would like to contact Radhika, you can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.