Nairobi, was initially a Green city in the sun owing to its geographical location, built on an interesting mix of rainforest and savanna grasslands, with several rivers running through. Since its establishment in 1899, the city has exponentially grown both in development and population, and there is a downside to that. Pollution of air, water, and soil.
Recently, the interwebs hosted a trend on ‘Nairobi has lost its Mojo’ and residents of the city and its outskirts as well as those that often visit Nairobi had a lot to say and most sentiments were on environmental pollution. Unfortunately, complaints on the deteriorating state of the environment pointed fingers at the political leaders and their failure to conserve the beautiful city.
Environmental degradation is a part played by everyone existing in a community, County, Country, Continent, and eventually the universe. We all play a part in polluting the environment from the time we wake up to when we go to sleep. We are consumers of products and services and everything we use to enhance our daily living from food to the haircut you get at the barbershop pollutes the environment in one way or the other. The brighter part about this, however, is that you are in control of the impact on the environment of your daily consumption whether it is a service or product.
Nairobi residents dispose of 3,000 Metric Tonnes of waste on a daily basis. This means that if residents don’t embrace individual responsibility, the city will soon be covered in trash and a disastrous break out of communicable diseases. This negative impact will carry on to the next generation. To experience change in Nairobi County and eventually in our country, you have to live change to make a change. We have to stop being people that wait to be served and start serving the environment.
At the individual level, there is a need to reduce what you produce and consume on a daily basis as it is essential to the waste hierarchy. Reducing focuses on what is used and what it is used for. It is important to ask yourself whether something can replace a service or product or if it is really necessary in the first place. For example, it is safer to use e-mail than it is to use paper mail, buying electronic electricity tokens as opposed to printed tokens. Also, it is safe to buy multiple-use electronics for the household and office than many singe use electronics.
It is environment friendly to purchase and cook food that is enough for the day that anticipatory amounts that end up in the trash. Lighting and energy are services provided and you could reduce waste disposed of by turning off bulbs, air conditioners, or heaters when you don’t need them, to cut on fossil fuel emissions. This way, reduced use leads to reduced waste disposed of.
Reusing does not mean you are economically handicapped, backward, or a hoarder, in fact, this is the best practice you can adopt at the individual level to cut down on waste disposal. It is important that we learn how to repurpose items around the house, place of work, and all around the environment.
When product containers and jars are reused as sugar, salt, or soap holders or metal containers are repurposed to build homes and offices, the environment is saved a load of solid waste that would have led to degradation. You can also reuse wood, newspaper, old clothes among others.
This means transforming something into a raw material after its end-stage. You do not have to own a plant that recycles products but you can support these recycling plants by sorting out your waste from the house. For example, separate organic waste from plastics and general waste that is collected on a weekly, monthly basis depending on the arrangement.
These collectors are usually connected with a network of recyclers from those that make fertilizer out of your organic waste to those that purchase plastics to remold them. Dumping the plastics appropriately also helps a big deal in saving the environment. Purchasing products made from recycled material also is another way to conserve the environment.
The three R’s eliminate improper waste disposal such as burning waste, trashing rivers, and contaminating the soil. This lessens the risk of damage to the environment. By adopting a responsible lifestyle and sharing this experience with other community members, you are now entitled by all means to hold policymakers accountable if they do not oblige to their duty…But first, it has to be you who implements.