Just right for Kids: Gimme Green

Just right for Kids: Gimme Green

So You Want to Know About the Environment Bijal Vachharajani Red Turtle/Rupa 170 pages; ` 195 Appropriate for: 11+ I began reading this book at a coffee shop, sipping on a café mocha, whose beans, the menu assured, had come straight from Ghana. About 60-odd pages into the book, I guiltily pushed away the drink. Vachharajani had just introduced me to http://www.foodmiles.com/ that helps calculate how many miles our food has travelled . And, why is that important? Simply because, the miles it has travelled is directly proportional to the amount of carbon footprint it has created. For every consumer rejoicing at the easy availability of “fresh” Malta oranges or coffee beans from Ghana at the nearest supermarket, it’s a rap on the knuckles. What we eat has environmental repercussions no less than how we live. At a time when the US President has repeatedly negated the impact of climate change and has threatened to pull out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, Delhi continues to make it to the list of the world’s most polluted cities, and ill-conceived river linkage projects threaten to undermine India’s green belts, Vachharajani’s book reminds us why we would do well to be concerned about our planet’s wellbeing. She begins with some straight talk — it’s not the earth that needs saving. It’s our future that is precarious, thanks to landfills, oceans full of plastic and increasingly unpredictable weather. Will our individual effort make a difference? Perhaps, in small ways. But, warding off climate change also needs a larger, global mobilisation at the level of policy making — in this shrinking universe, it’s only collective social responsibility that can make a difference. She explains the complex framework of demand, production and supply that governs consumption, slips in interesting accounts of climate change warriors, or little-known facts about how our daily business of life impedes our planet’s well-being. Did you know, for instance, that, Delhi alone generates 8,000 metric tonnes of garbage every single day? Or, that, in various parts of the world, farmers have come together to form seed banks to free them from the tyra…