Getting Back to the Main Purpose of Going Environmental

The title of today’s post might sound weird, but it is what all of us should do because we often tend to accidentally miss out the point of going green when we are pushing for a sustainable cause. As an environmentalist (no matter you are studying or working in any field), we want the best for the environment and we also hope that people around us do the same as well. Besides showering our peers with ‘environmental-friendly behaviour’, we might involve ourselves as the organisers or volunteers for some green events and projects. We want to conserve water by avoiding wastage, we want to encourage the reduction of plastic bag usage, we want to stop the invasion of polystyrene containers to our garbage dump. It seems that the list is endless and we are working hard to attract people’s attention on these issues. The problem is, do we miss the target?

(photo taken duringĀ my first fieldwork in UPM)
Just a pile of leaves to capture your attention for awhile, hahaha…

I believe that the following scenes that I describe are somehow familiar:
– an environmental seminar being held in a freezing-ly cold conference room
– lots of free cloth bags being given out as door gift of some events
– people are asked to turn off the tap when not in use but the tap is leaking uncontrollably
– boxes and boxes of mineral water in 500mL plastic bottle provided
– cycling lane being flooded every time after rain
– recycling bins are provided but no one knows exactly what can be recycled and vice versa
– hundreds of flyers are given out as strategy for publicity
– the amount of food provided looks like the main focus of the event

The original motives are good: to attract public attention, to increase the support towards the events, to involve more people directly in green movement. Unintentionally we leave out the small details which can make up a huge number of resources being wasted unnecessarily. I do agree that it might be some kind of give-and-take, but most of the time the resources used do not worth the outcome and can be substituted with a better eco-friendlier choice.

Organising a good environmental event is not an easy task (as what we have experienced), there are lots of things to be considered including the sustainability of the whole event. Plan carefully and look into the details, experiences make us grow better. Cheers!


P/S: This article was taken from the Confessions of An Environmental Student.

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