February 2009: It is simple, its brief and most importantly, it’s about you. For all those baffled by climate change and the plethora of environmental issues being discussed today, this series published by CERE-India is a godsend. Compiled into six concise segments, these booklets cover the essential aspects of environmental sustainability with a specific focus on climate change.
The topics covered are energy, water, biodiversity, waste, citizenship and climate change. Books on the environment bring to mind thick dusty voluminous works and are often put off as heavy reads. These, on the other hand, are a far cry from the gloom and doom of biblical works on sustainability; they are hopeful and encouraging, revealing solutions so simple you can hardly believe they escaped you.
The intrinsic value of these books lies in their titles, ‘Waste and I’, ‘Water And I’ and so on. They epitomise the belief that people can make a difference, regarding the reader as a valuable player in the fight against climate change. Without negating the importance and urgency of the situation they reveal how complex problems such as these can be solved by minor lifestyle changes and the smallest of actions. For a layman, such issues can often be overwhelming and the books seek to destroy the myth that environmental problems can be solved in courtrooms and the houses of parliament alone. Getting down to the root of the problem – the dearth of responsible citizens, they gently chide you for your lack of participation and offer you the tools to become a part of the solution.
Using a brief and understandable format, filled with anecdotes, little-known facts, explanatory diagrams and useful tips, they are suited for all audiences and are an excellent resource for educationists.
Published by Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE)-India
Softcover, 40-48 pages per booklet Rs. 50 per booklet, Rs. 300 for the entire series
Reviewed by Swati Hingorani