Start doing your bit now

In an era obsessed with consumerism, where some governments show little to no concern about the state of the earth, and most of the population have blinkers on as to what is becoming more and more evident around them, it is heartwarming to be part of a movement that (hopefully) will become more prominent in time.

Being ‘green’ is not a statement, a fad or a ‘stage’ that will eventually pass; it’s a conscious decision to be a part of the solution to an escalating problem.

In my local area, I have noted how the estuary has become more polluted by “weekenders”. How the small plots of undeveloped land that we would explore as children have disappeared. There are some people around the neighbourhood who make an effort by organizing “clean the vlei” days and so forth, but they are generally scoffed at by the general layman, referred to as “hippies”, tree huggers and other defamatory names that are present in their vocabulary. A lot of people have good intentions but after a while, recycling becomes too much of an effort, Saturdays would rather be spent sleeping in instead of picking up other people’s trash etc. This lack of concern is rather disheartening.

For example, a few years back there was a proposed ring road that would consist of a six-lane highway that would cut through a large portion of a protected wetland which is home to the endangered leopard toad. What do we care if a toad becomes extinct? You may ask. Remember that the environment is made up of ecosystems dependant on each creature to function effectively. If one goes, it becomes dysfunctional and ineffective, which in turn creates problems for the environment. Don’t forget that we are just as much part of the environment as the diminishing leopard toad. Anyway, I digress, back to the ring road. The developers of this road took every back alley they could, trying to avoid as much public attention as possible, lucky for us we found out and organized a protest against this injustice. I was there early on Saturday morning, but looking around, I was greatly saddened by the fact that most of the protesters were B.Sci students and people from other areas. People I knew personally, who would be greatly affected by the road, weren’t even present.

I’m not saying go picketing every weekend, or burn bra’s/ flags, I’m just saying become a little more aware of what’s going on around you, take note of the state of your environment. Instill minor things into your daily activities, like recycling perhaps, or not throwing a chip packet out the window. Read your local newspapers and find out what developments are being proposed in your area that may have an adverse effect on your community. Just be aware. Any input from you will help.

Remember, it takes only one person to change the course of history…