Our Planet, Our Responsibility.
Whether we wish to admit it or not, you and I, individually, contribute to earth’s steadily worsening condition. Granted, giant multinational corporations and other entities hold most of the guilt but you and I, we are just as blameworthy.
Let us begin straight off with this: Climate change is not something out of a sci-fi movie. It is not something that only governments, environmental agencies or National Geographic should worry about.
It is real, it is scary and it directly affects us. Here are some of its signs; please feel free to do your own research:
Warming oceans, sea level rise, droughts, storms, extreme events such as persistent high temperatures, global temperature rise, animal species becoming endangered and not just from poaching!
I have lived in Kenya for most of my life. I remember as a child visiting Nairobi during school holidays and it. was. frigid. Now it barely warrants an extra scarf. Mombasa, on the other hand, was never this hot I can attest to that. This is global warming right here, people.
There is a whole ocean of facts and information about climate change that it is our duty as citizens of this planet to acquaint ourselves with.
It is October and countries all around the world are holding climate change week. You and I need to do our part as well.
You might be thinking how can I, one person amongst billions, possibly do anything to make a difference either way? That is where you would be wrong. Every little thing that we do either hurts or contributes to saving this little earth we call home.
Ever heard of the carbon footprint?
The dictionary defines it as “the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation or community. “
Each of us has to work towards reducing our individual carbon footprint.
Doing our part can be as simple as:
- Fixing a leaky faucet: Not only will you put a stop to that irritating plop plop but you will be conserving water as well.
- Speaking of water, try not to use more than you need when you are washing dishes, brushing your teeth or even washing your hands. Don’t leave it running either. The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) forbade wastefulness of any kind and of water even when one is in the river.
- Stepping away from the chemicals; I have written elsewhere on this blog about the harmfulness of the chemicals in our personal care products but what about the ones that are present in our detergents and other cleaning supplies? These are used and then poured literally down the drain to go harm the fish and the organisms in the soil which in turn come back to hurt us in the shape of our food.
- Reusing and recycling. Step away from using disposable bottles, plates, or paper towels. Mop up your spills with a cloth towel; have a glass water bottle or stainless steel one to refill instead of buying singles, use tins with resealable lids. Donate your old unused things or find new uses for them instead of throwing them out.
- Stepping away from the plastic. Plastic is not biodegradable and so will live for eternity in the land fill. Replace the plastic in your home with glass or recycled materials. Bonus: there is something quite classy about glass and stainless steel utensils…
- Being careful what you buy and how often you buy it. Products come in packages and wrapping. Products are born in factories which emit greenhouse gases; they also contribute to pollution of our air and our water. If it sounds horrible; it’s actual much worse than that. All you need is to do an internet search to see the extent.
- Switching off the lights, other electrical appliances and cutting down on electricity consumption. Open a window when the weather allows instead of switching on the fan or the AC. Pull back the curtains to draw in more natural light. Not only will that cut down on your power bill, you will be doing the planet and yourself a favour.
- Walking or biking to school or work or carpooling to reduce not only congestion on roads but the fumes and the pollution.
- Buying local, buying seasonal. It’s best for you, your country and the planet at large. Besides, any food that got on a plane and travelled many miles to reach you probably has many nasties injected into it to keep it “fresh”. It is also an unnecessary use of resources which puts further strain on the environment.
- Saying NO! to littering.
- Creating awareness; let others know what you are doing and why. Bring them on board. The effects of climate change and global warming do not discriminate.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall (British primatologist and conservationist)
“Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse.” — Desmond Tutu (Anti-apartheid and human rights activist)
“And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption” (The Holy Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 205)