Harsh Vardhan bats for a minimalist lifestyle on Environment Day
No meeting like the one in Paris or any law can preserve the environment if people don't come forward to address the issue, Union minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said on the eve of World Environment Day.
Addressing a function, the minister said it is futile to celebrate World Environment Day if people don't inculcate in themselves the idea of conserving the environment throughout the year and batted for a minimalist lifestyle to save the planet.
He also mooted that the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) take up the role of a facilitator, and not just a regulator, by initiating proactive steps for conservation of earth with the involvement of people.
"No law or meetings in Paris can protect our environment. It can only happen if people become aware of the issues and do things on their own to protect it. All NGOs should work together to achieve this goal," the minister said.
India has said it is committed to the Paris agreement "irrespective" of the stand taken by any other country after the United States announced its withdrawal from the UN climate deal.
Advocating a change in lifestyle to save environment, especially in the cities, the minister said, "we should learn how to lead simpler lives, simple thought, the concept of early to bed and early to rise, to eat less, to live long".
He urged the people to opt for public transport and cycles more, reduce the use of air-conditioners and work towards realising the Prime Minister's vision of Swachh Bharat and cleanliness.
He also appealed to the people to use water judiciously.
He directed the ministry officials to start water conservation in the right earnest in the Environment Ministry itself.
He stressed that the Ministry should "not work only as a regulator, but more like a facilitator in a true sense".