Tired Of Environmental Degradation? Great! Here Is The Solution!

Mention environmental conservation and what rings in the minds of most people is the government, environmental conservation bodies, and large corporations. That it is their responsibility to conserve the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, this is the reason global environmental conservation efforts are dismal. Only a handful of environmentally conscious individuals participate, as the rest sit back and leave the fight to its “owners.”

The point that eludes subscribers to this hands-off approach is that the fight does not need grand ideas. On the contrary, they simply need to tweak their lifestyles slightly, both at home and at work. The resultant impact would be adequate to take environmental conservation efforts a notch higher.

Governments and corporations would have little else left to do. To make this seemingly distant dream a reality, here are a few minor adjustments individuals can make.

A Simple Lifestyle Change

Every one desires a cozy life. How they achieve it is the distinguishing factor between environmentally conscious people and the rest. If, for example, people use lights and heating/cooling systems only when absolutely necessary, the resultant impact will be massive.

Also, if everyone goes for toilets with separate flushing systems for short and long calls so that short calls consume less water, the pressure on water resources will decrease tremendously. Simple as these ideas sound, they are the real deal. True wisdom is never complex.

Responsible Resource Exploitation

Another vicious enemy of environmental conservation is greed. People exhibit appalling levels of the vice. This is evident in how we use resources. Individuals and organizations knowingly exploit resources beyond their regenerative capacity.

As a result, forests are disappearing at alarming rates, fish resources are dwindling,  and rivers are drying up. Yet, all we need to guarantee sustainability are simply brief periods of non-exploitation to encourage regeneration.

It is easy to imagine that “others” are the problem, but this behavior is very much alive in our homes. We fill our houses with things we think we need only to throw most of them away later on. The tragic part of this tendency is that as a few individuals hoard more than they need, the majority are left without. Out of desperation, they resort to environmentally harmful practices.

If everyone kept only what they need, as the world’s “primitive” societies do, environmental degradation trends would reverse in no time. Easy, right?

A Change of Mentality

The mother of all these adjustments is a change of mentality. Most people believe that they can do whatever they please with the resources at their disposal. In fact, this is the reason behind the innumerable conflicts around the world.

People blame one another for a wrong done here and another one there, but without taking the requisite action to rectify the mistake. The wrongdoers, for their part, cite sovereignty and self-determinism as reasons to defend their misdeeds. If everyone stopped for a moment and looked at Mother Earth as the only home for all humanity, I am sure they would do what it takes to save it.

The ongoing blame game has created a tension-filled world where the noblest of ideas are regarded with suspicion and skepticism because of their origins. If efforts like those that go into preventing a full-scale global nuclear war were replicated in the fight against environmental degradation, Mother Earth’s sustainability would be restored in a few decades.

Organizations and governments also need to desist from the cheap PR campaigns they disguise as conservation initiatives. If the motive is to make a profit, the effort should be rightly branded as a marketing campaign and divorced from environmental conservation.

Conclusion

Although not exhaustive, these suggestions demonstrate how easy environmental conservation can be for individuals. It doesn’t have to be hard; it has never been. Essentially, everyone simply needs to take responsibility for their immediate surroundings.

We would then work both individually and collectively to ensure that nothing goes to waste. This is exactly what Mother Earth needs currently.

Don’t wait to see your neighbor go first. Most likely, that neighbor is also waiting to see you take the first step. Take the first step and see the difference it makes.

Charity begins at Home – Kenya Will Finally be a Place to Proudly Call Home

They say charity begins at home, right?

Well, that is exactly what I’m going to do with this initial post. It highlights what I consider a triumph for environmental conservation efforts in Kenya, at home.

On March 14, 2017, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu announced a ban on the importation, manufacture, and use of all plastic bags intended for commercial and household packaging. The ban was to take effect in six months from the date of gazettement.

On August 28, 2017,  global news media went into a frenzy with reports on Kenya’s plastic bag ban, as it took effect. It was cited as the toughest of its kind, with punishments of up to four years in prison and/or fines of up to KShs. 4 million (about $40,000) for the offenders.

Finally, after several failed attempts at implementation, there was something to smile about! The plastic bag ban was in force.

To people like me, this was good news. Plastic bags had become a nuisance, littering every available space and turning into ugly, smelly heaps at every corner.

With this ban, Kenya joins the ranks of close to 50 countries across the world, which have similar laws in place. It is a bold move for Kenya and a step in the right direction for global environmental conservation.

The good news is that this new law will not only boost conservation efforts but also regional integration. This is because Kenya was previously cited by her neighbors as the stumbling block to a regional (East African) plastic bags ban due to her reluctance to outlaw the bags.

Interestingly, even after a grace period of six months to prepare for the ban, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers moved to court to seek a suspension of the ban before it came into force. Their argument was that up to 60,000 Kenyans would lose their means of livelihood due to the ban.

I empathize with the 60,000, but the ban serves the greater good. A suspension of the ban would encourage the manufacturers to go back to the production of new plastic bags instead of clearing their stocks as claimed.

Naturally, such changes are bound to attract some resistance. I, therefore, applaud the High Court’s decision to uphold Kenya’s big achievement. History shall remember it fondly.

It is a hurray moment for me and other lovers of the environment here in Kenya. The move is a small dent in the global environmental conservation campaign, but a welcome one nonetheless.

If you believe, as I do, that this is a step in the right direction and that all it takes to make a difference are such bold steps. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

You are also free to bring anything you think I should know to my attention, whether related to this post or not. You can tell me about similar or better success stories in your locality.

Just head over to the comments section and drop a line or two. Let me hear your thoughts folks.