The past couple of days in regions across Southern Africa have been so unbearably scorching they got me thinking about my mother! Growing up living under my mother’s green tendencies had its indelible effect on me. Mama was ever averse to a littered home environment –both indoors and outdoors. Seeing a lighted room which was not in use grated her to the bone! And I will not even elaborate on how priceless a drop of water was to her! They say an apple doesn’t fall far from a tree? I only have to look at the way my sisters and I have turned out with our own households and children –on matters of conserving our environment and resources –to confirm that apple-tree idiom.
The heat though! The heat experienced of late got me thinking whether I am doing enough about playing my own part in slowing global warming and climate change. And then it got me wondering who else is making a deliberate effort to ‘live green’. And finally –naturally –I landed at the children –our children. How clued up are they about ‘living green’ and is it just a ‘pretty concept’ to them or a very important matter? If the weather can be so stiflingly hot now, can you imagine what temperatures our children will have to bear 10-15 years down the line if they are not raised in eco-awareness and conditioned to think green? We are sitting on a deadly time-bomb if we do not embrace the ‘Going Green Movement’ together with our children.
Perhaps, it may be necessary to elaborate on what going green means and why it is so important before looking at practical ways to get involved in this very important matter. Going green basically means to live life (as an individual and as a community) in a way that is friendly for the natural environment and sustainable for the earth. It entails embracing five basic principles in your life:
- Reducing pollution
- Conserving resources
- Conserving energy
- Reducing consumption and waste
- Protecting the earth’s ecological balance
And why is it important to GO GREEN?
For starters, it is to slow down the growing intensity and frequency of the heat waves experienced around Southern Africa recently –which are a direct result of global warming. So the first reason would be: to reduce the rate of global warming and climate change. Other reasons for going green are:
- It is a much cheaper way to live, in the long run
- It is a cleaner and healthier way to live
- It is a more sustainable way to live
- It is a resourceful way to live
- It is so that your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and those coming after, will still be able to enjoy living on this earth
In the article following we look at practical ways in which we can live green and impart the same principles to our children. We will also look at practical measures being taken by schools and communities in South Africa to live green and raise eco-awareness.