World Environment Day is celebrated globally today with activities and events to remind us of our impact on the environment and also the things we can do to improve and protect the environment. Everyone can do something for the environment. For a start, we could consider the six steps described below. One, respect life and renew our bond with nature. Without respect for nature and its biodiversity, there will be no desire to protect them. Developing respect means recognising that all living things have a right to live on this planet and that we should do no harm to them.
It is also time for us to renew our bond with nature, and start appreciating the natural world around us. Two, improve our environmental awareness and knowledge. It would be good to first read up on local and global environmental issues. What are the current environmental trends and problems? What needs to be done? Ideally, a holistic view on the environment should be adopted so that the interdependence of various environmental problems can be understood. Three, practise the 3 ‘Rs’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in order of sequence). The sequence is important as source reduction is usually the best way to minimise wastage.
Reduce by not creating the wastage or minimising the waste in the beginning. Reuse by using the waste several times or for another purpose. Recycle by sending the waste to be processed as a resource. Four, spread the environmental message and influence others. We can go a step further by spreading the environmental message and educating family members, friends, classmates or colleagues. Furthermore, we can influence the organisation that we belong to, whether it is a school, a company or a social group, to be more environmentally friendly.
Five, support local environmental initiatives and groups. Instead of relying or expecting the Government to take care of the environment, it is time for us to take responsibility. We can participate in government initiatives and campaigns or support the local environmental causes, non-governmental organisations and environmental groups. We can join their activities or volunteer our time with them. Six, use our rights as citizens and consumers. As citizens, we have the rights to participate in the formulation of government policies regarding the environment.
Don’t allow your children to free those colorful balloons in mid air. Teach your children not to release these balloons. For balloons that escaped the grasps of your children that will get into oceans and seas will be mistaken as yummy jellyfish by sea turtles. Sea turtles takes a lot of years to mature and unfortunately some of them got killed by eating balloon or plastic bags. Sea turtles are part of the delicate cycle and if their population is affected other species of marine creatures are also under threat. 2.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Make it a habit to reduce the things we need or we consume. Purchase only things that we only need and eat only what you can. Let us do our share not to be part of the problem or should I say part of the garbage problem. Reuse all the things that can still be repaired/fixed or those things that are still okay. Recycle things to conserve our resources, collect old newspapers, books, magazines, used papers, bottles (plastic and glass), and any other things that you could sell in junkyards.
There is money in garbage and at the same time we’re doing our part in recycling process. 3. Be kind to trees. As much as possible use forests products and timber very well with optimum efficiency. You may use the back of coupons, use pencils until it become as small as possible, and don’t play with matches. Try to get involved in tree planting in your local conservation program. This could be fun as trees can give us added oxygen, shades for people and a refuge to different insects and birds.