First held in 1970 in America and going global in 1990, International Mother Earth Day is now considered one of the most widely observed days of environmental action.
According to Earthday.org, more than a billion people worldwide observe Earth Day on 22nd of April each year as a day of action to change human behavior and bring about changes to global, national, and local policy. It is now largely acknowledged as the largest secular commemoration in the world.
International Earth Day’s vision is to keep encouraging sectors to practice their role in our environmental crisis and call for bold, creative solutions. One way to start is to carefully consider the ‘3Ps’ of sustainability; People, Planet and Profits, in all business decisions. As an individual, it is also crucial to realize your power to unite and create a movement that is inclusive, impactful, and impossible to ignore.
As the effects of climate change continue to become more obvious every day, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency.
The global civil society mobilization that is currently at an all-time high is growing along with the awareness of our climate issue. Global citizens are now trying to participate in creating a better environment for humanity and other living organisms, by responsibly using natural resources.
We need a stable environment to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and make profits. Just as the inside of our houses needs different components to make them a home, the state of our environment and our livelihood are interdependent. We get the raw material from our environment to make useful products and sell them for a profit, which keeps our businesses running. Therefore, we need to take care of the source of our livelihood; the environment and replenish it.
So, what can we do as individuals, small business owners and sectors? We can start by being mindful of our immediate environment. We can avoid unnecessary plastics, safely dispose of the ones already in our possession for recycling and consider using plastic alternatives. We can adopt the circular economy model that advocates for plastics to be kept in use and not end up in the environment.
Specifically, we can follow the refuse-reuse-reduce-repair-recycle model. Refuse to buy more unnecessary plastics. Reduce unnecessary plastic waste as a result of refusing. Reuse the plastics that are already in your possession. Repair old devices and donate them to others for use, instead of disposing of them and sending plastics, old clothes and electronic waste to proper recyclers.
Some reputable recyclers in Kenya include Mr. Green, Takataka Solutions and Vintz Plastics for plastics, Africa Collect Textiles (ACT) for old clothes, and WEEE Centre for electronic waste among others. These recyclers often organize drop-off points where people can safely dispose of their old items for recycling.
World Earth Day should not just be observed in one day, it’s an outlook that we should carry in our minds every day. Let’s treat our environment like we do our homes, and invest some time, effort or finances in making it better. As we conduct our businesses and day-to-day lives, let’s remember that our environment is a part of the resources that keep our profits coming. We, the people, our planet and our profit are all interdependent.