Let’s change our habits for Mother Earth
Amazing that every month or day is a something day whether it be father, mother, all sorts of illnesses, you name it – and then we have whole months dedicated to more than one cause these days.
Usually I dump press releases. In our old-journalist lingo I “spike” the story, which used to mean you actually got the satisfaction of taking a lousy story and stabbing it onto a big spike, gone forever – but we no longer have spikes or bins from which to derive this spiteful pleasure so a delete button on a computer has to do.
As my finger hovered over “delete” when I saw this press release from I HEART PR, I read further and got hooked.
Okay, so World Environmental Health Day was on 26 September and this public relations company is milking that angle, but some of it is very relevant, interesting and even scary.
According to this press release, around the world, 1-million plastic bottles are bought each minute, and an estimated 8-billion metric tons (the weight of about 25 000 Empire State Buildings or 1 billion elephants) of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
Tips offered include the following:
Kick the plastic habit as plastic is one of the biggest enemies to the environment today and a municipal waste disaster. Since synthetic plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it just piles up in landfills and is regularly eaten by various sea and land animals, with fatal consequences. One of the biggest contributors is disposable water bottles and plastic bags. So, try to keep a filled, reusable water bottle with you when you’re on the go to avoid having to grab a disposable one in the grocery line, and keep a stock of shopping bags in your boot or handbag.
Get water-wise, because as Cape Town residents prepare themselves for Level 5 water restrictions and with fines for noncompliance in the area of R5 000 to R10 000, it is a reminder to all of us of the severe consequence of wasting water.
Get composting – and what could be simpler? The veggie peels and the rest of the organic waste you accumulate on a daily basis is right in front of you. If you think it sounds like a huge schlep, at least give some of it to the hungry Knysna animals.
Get recycling as more and more plastic, paper and glass collection points are springing up all over South Africa, so be sure to make a conscious effort to find out where those nearest to you are. Many “pickers” on SA’s streets (and the evergrowing number of car guards on the Knysna streets) will also be happy to take these materials to the collection point in exchange for much-needed cash.
How hard is this really, since the Knysna municipality provides black bags for all rubbish and see-through brownish bags for recycling? All this takes is discipline to sort garbage.
Give old technology a new lease of life as phone batteries and electronic components that find their way to landfills can be extremely toxic to the surrounding environment, so find an alternative way to dispose of them. Look for charity shops in your area that buy and sell second-hand goods. They are extremely resourceful and often have people that can fix old cellphones, printers and other electronics, or, at the very least, dispose of them in an environmentally responsible way.
“We are a worldwide community of 7.5-billion people. This brings with it massive people power to change our situation for the better. If each of us implements just a few of these tips into our everyday lives and think twice before carelessly throwing things away or using unnecessary power, we’d be doing our planet, and our pockets, a massive favour,” concludes the press release.
There are many websites and Facebook pages that offer easy tips on how to implement simple changes for the good of the environment. Why not do your own research and find solutions that work for you? C’mon Knysna, let’s be the change!