A few days ago, I stumbled upon a Sustainability pledge, and I was amazed at the commitment, thoughtfulness, and show of patriotism towards the sustainability mantra. There and then, I thought about how we can support and promote environmental sustainability in our little ways. Well, I had to personalize it, as it is a collective responsibility.
Before we dig deep into how to support and promote environmental sustainability, let us peruse the Sustainability Pledge; perhaps you’ll agree with me that it’s worth the hype.
“I pledge my support to [the University’s] efforts to become more sustainable. I pledge also to incorporate the ideals of environmental sustainability in my own daily life; to live out the practices that strive for energy efficiency, water conservation, pollution and litter prevention, global warming prevention, and social justice. I make this pledge with the hope that the needs of our generation may be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” — Culled from The University of Scranton
How to Support and Promote Environmental Sustainability
The world is facing long-term environmental and social challenges. Interestingly, with the explosive world’s population, there is an ever-increasing pressure on the environment and resources, leading to various negative impacts on our environment. We understand that multilateral efforts such as the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Paris Climate Agreement, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, among other initiatives and frameworks, are working ceaselessly to ensure a sustainable community and environment.
But how can we as individuals, families, corporate organizations, and nations promote and support environmental sustainability in our little ways (little drops, they say, make an ocean). Remember: “What we give to our environment is what our environment throws back to us…”
To enable little drops make an ocean, what is your responsibility? What is my responsibility? Let’s get on!
As individuals, we are quick to blame big industries for global pollution and blame the government for not putting necessary measures to ensure a sustainable environment. We often blame everything but ourselves.
Do not forget that we have huge roles in a sustainable environment because promoting environmental sustainability is a collective responsibility and bottom-top approach.
Here are a few things you can start doing to promote and support environmental sustainability:
Save Energy at home
By utilizing less energy at home, you are helping to reduce carbon emissions. So, before you step out of your house, endeavor to switch off standby appliances; and before sleeping at night, switch off electrical appliances. Also, replace your traditional incandescent light bulbs (yellow, red, blue bulbs) with energy-saving bulbs such as the incandescent bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as they utilize less electricity and last longer compared to our traditional bulbs.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
According to Energy Sage, on average, household electrical appliances use roughly 13% of total household energy use. To promote environmental sustainability through energy conservation, it is recommended that you use electrical appliances with the Energy Star label. You can check out the label when purchasing your next electrical appliance.
Reuse, Reduce and Recycle Household Materials
Instead of disposing used household items like plastic bottles, grocery bags, sachets among others, opt for reusing such materials. For example, you can use grocery bags for consecutive shopping. Also, you can gather used bottles and water sachets to give to recycling initiatives such as Waste2Wealth so that they can recycle it. You may even pick up some cash in exchange for your waste.
Proper Waste Disposal
During rainy season, a lot of people wrongly dispose of waste in running water. As easy as this disposal method seems, it is detrimental to the environment, as it causes cases of severe flooding, drainage blockage, among others. As such, we should try to dispose of our waste properly using the available State Waste Agencies.
Partake in Environmental Sanitation Exercises
In Nigeria, states like Lagos slate every last Saturday for environmental sanitation exercises, and individuals are expected to clean and take care of the drainage system and environment in general. As much as possible, find out which sanitation programs are available in your locality, and join in these sanitation exercises. Even if there are not any around you, take responsibility to clean your surroundings. Only when you and I become responsible for our immediate environments can we have a cleaner environment and safer planet.
Do some research, and join Sustainable Initiatives like REES Africa, whose major target is promoting sustainability in all ramifications.
Corporate Organizations Responsibility
Corporate Organizations and industries also have their quota to play in supporting and promoting environmental sustainability. No one is left out, as it is a collective responsibility. Organizations can do these to contribute their quota to environmental sustainability:
Conserve Energy within the Office
By making sure that workers turn off lights and switch off electrical appliances when they are not in use, there will be a huge improvement on energy consumption. Organizations need to have methods in place to ensure that during during off-hours, there are no appliances running. That way, there’s a reduction in energy consumption and the environment is kept safe.
Promote a Paperless Office
There are numerous digital and cloud computing solutions that can be utilized for effective collaboration and efficiency within the workspace. As such, organizations should utilize the world of technology to ensure a digital and eco-friendly office.
Promote the Use of Office Plants
Beyond serving aesthetic purposes, office plants help in promoting environmental sustainability. A research conducted by NASA reveals that indoor plants reduce 87 percent of indoor air pollutants. Also, indoor plants can boost oxygen levels and remove harmful pollutants.
When an organization incorporates the Environmental Social Governance Framework into their modus operandi, the sustainability vision and green perspective is broadened and fulfilled. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, organizations can provide education and campaigns on environmental sustainability.
It’s Time to Promote Environmental Sustainability
Promoting environmental sustainability is our collective responsibility because our day-to-day activities impact the environment and planet.
Like the University of Scranton Sustainability Pledge, let’s do our best, no matter how little, to pledge our allegiance to promoting and supporting environmental sustainability.
Are you doing your part? If not, you can start TODAY.