Be creative and help to heal mother earth

2016-04-20 06:00
WE only have one earth and we need to protect it. Plant a tree for Earth Day 2016.  Photo: www.aaranews.ea

WE only have one earth and we need to protect it. Plant a tree for Earth Day 2016. Photo: www.aaranews.ea

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HEAPS of rubbish, broken pipes wasting water, rivers and their inhabitants smothering in modern world waste . . .

Not slowly and very surely, the side-effects of modern society are creeping into our open spaces. Friday (22/04) Earth Day is celebrated. What does it mean?

Ask yourself: How long will you be able to step over the heap of rubbish before the rodents living there will start to make you sick?

How long will you be able to ignore the sickly-green river covered in waste or just walk around a broken water pipe before you have no fresh water in your well or tap?

A plastic bag takes at least ten years to decompose, aluminum cans up to 200 years and disposable nappies over 500 years.

Taking this and the rate of population growth into account Z where will we be in a short time from now? Through wasting and turning a blind eye, we are changing our living world into a toxic one.

The theme for Earth Day 2016 is Trees for the Earth. Our planet is currently losing over 15 billion trees each year due to deforestation, land development and bad forest management (that is roughly 48 football fields every minute). The Earth Day Network (EDN) has announced their Trees for the Earth (#Trees4Earth) project, aiming to plant 7,8 billion trees by Earth Day’s 50th celebrations in 2020.

Learn about the environment

Start to understand how things you do everyday have an influence on the earth around you.
Join an environmental group

In most communities, you will find groups that host clean-ups, fight air and water pollution, plant trees and install community gardens.
Spread the word

Just talking about the environment with people is a good way to celebrate Earth Day.
Go to an Earth Day event

It is the perfect day to get together for a fun and educational celebration of the earth.
Cook a special Earth Day meal

To decorate for the meal, use recycled decorations made by you and your friends.
Remember that every day is Earth Day

Leading by example will help others remember that the earth is important every day.
Plant a tree or three

Planting a tree is the most important, long-lasting act you can do for mother earth.
Clean up litter in your community

Use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roads and neighbourhood streets of litter.
) Sell or donate used items

Hold a sale, donate, or re-use household items. Many of us have stuff we do not really need, want or use. But there are a lot of people who do not have basic necessities.
Drive the speed limit

It increases the fuel consumption of your vehicle and saves you money. Plan your trips.
Carry your own water bottle

Reduce the amount of plastic water bottle waste in the world by carrying your own.
Conserve water in your house

Close the tap while brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Install a grey-water system in your home by recycling water from the house to the garden. Wash your car using a bucket and not a hose. Repair leaky faucets or toilets.
Control the “electric vampires”

Turn off all appliances and electronics when it is not in use. Do not forget to unplug items such as cellphone chargers. Your chargers use electricity even though your electronic devices are not connected to them.

They are called “vampire” appliances since they still “suck” electricity even when they are “off”. According to a study done in the United States, vampire appliances use about 4% or 5% of the energy in an average home.

Things kids can do for Earth Day birthday

  • DECORATE a re-usable shopping bag with paint, material, buttons, or any re-usable items you can think of.
  • In planting season, help them choose and plant vegetables or nice fruit, such as strawberries, in recycled containers.
  • Send them on a scavenger hunt in the garden or nearby field and tell them to collect ten items.

When they come back with the items, explain the use of each.

For example, sticks or grass are gathered by birds to make nests to live in.

Flowers have nectar that bees carry back to their hives to make honey.

Paper and plastic items, on the other hand, are litter that do not belong in nature and should be recycled so they do not pollute or harm the environment.

  • Pick up trash in your neighbourhood. Sort and separate recyclables and if possible, sell it and give the money to your child.
  • Help them to create something from cardboard boxes, old magazines, fabric, ribbons, buttons, empty plastic bottles or any other re-usable waste. This way they will learn that nearly everything has a re-use value.
  • Build a birdhouse or make a bird feeder from an empty two-litre plastic bottle.
  • Convert unused CDs into a starship.
  • Take your children to a recycling centre to show them how things are recycled.
  • Recite nature poems or tell nature stories in the park.
  • Get their group of friends to wear green and brown.

When people ask why they are dressed like trees, use the opportunity to talk about Earth Day.

Recycling valuable Z trash is cash

IN South Africa, recycling is actually just a fashion word and not much is done about it.

Most South Africans think they have done their bit by sorting their rubbish into colour-coded bins to separate plastic, cans, bottles and paper and throwing the decomposables on the compost heap.

Unfortunately, in most municipalities in South Africa, the consumer must take these sorted recyclables directly to a recycling site. If it is put out with the rest of the rubbish, it just gets mixed up again when being collected by the municipalities.

According to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States (US), only about 30% of their waste is recycled.

Aluminium cans, for example, only have a 51,2% recycling rate in the US. The value of the unrecycled aluminium cans is estimated at $954 million. Glass bottles only have a 22% recycling rate, with the value of the unrecycled glass estimated as $18 million.

According to a presentation, Are there jobs in recycling, by Dr. Linda Godfrey from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), there are many opportunities to create jobs in recycling.

These jobs may be in the formal or informal sector. There is no doubt that there is cash in trash. Proper recycling can create many jobs and mother earth can be healed if we reuse all these products.

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