I do wish to live in the dreamy world. I think all of us do. Dreamy in that sense which is green and sustainable, the world that is potent, fully managed and whole in itself. But, the irony of fate is that, the world is suffering from innumerable environmental hazards that are rampant everywhere. Deforestation, bio-diversity loss, global warming, melting of glaciers and rise in sea level, ozone layer depletion,desertification, salinity and acidity of soil, acid rainfall, etc are the life threatening environmental hazards among many others. These problems have been seen as the cross cutting issues that have been hindering our peaceful existence in this globe. We have lost a massive ideal environment for animals and human to survive.
In order to raise the awareness regarding the environmental hazards we have been facing, different countries are conducting green campaigns now a days.
- In Canada programs have been launched to offset CO2 emissions for the greener tomorrow. To save the planet people are planting trees. Government is motivating people to move together to make the difference. Now a days, campaigns like say no to bottled water is popular there. Similarly, cycling and eco-hiking are in practice now a days.
- USA has undergone green power partnership program.
- In South Africa, a new environmental campaign go green has been launched to introduce energy saving technologies. Those companies which don’t follow the campaign must pay green tax.
- Tourism Ministry of Malaysia has embarked on a new national wide campaign 1 Malaysia Green and Clean to cultivate the sense of love to cleanliness in people.
- My Earth My Duty campaign was started in India two years to make people aware about climate change.
- The longest green campaign ever, Clean and Green Singapore( CGS ) that has accomplished two decades already performed regular events, activities and community projects all over the country all the time with the view to build sustainable environment.
- In Nepal green campaigns to ban plastic bags and plastic mineral water bottles in all National Parks and trekking areas. Other campaigns include cleaning-up programs on special occasions, educating school children about ways to reduce carbon emission, empowering communities to adapt and live in sustainable fashion,etc. Some days ago Kathmandu has been declared plastic free city ( on 15th June, 2013) by Kathmandu Municipality.
Though green campaigns are launched and conducted in different countries of the world, no proper yardsticks have been set to measure the effectiveness of these campaigns. We are still the part of the problem rather than the solution. Different factors are still hindering with the accomplishment of the green campaigns.
- Some problems like deforestation, sanitation problems,global warming are given emphasis extremely while others like bio-diversity loss, acid rainfall, acidity and salinity are more or less off the track.
- Different protocols have been signed to reduce carbon footprints. But those nations where industrial development is the main source of economy have hardly become able to do so.
- In different African and Asian countries like Nepal, joining hand to mouth is still a alarming problem. People are more concerned in filling the empty appetite rather than protecting the environment. For that they keep on exploiting the environment as they don’t have their own resource. Green campaigns don’t work until the people are hungry.
- The trend rampant in the world and specially in the developing nations is that green campaigns are conducted on the special occasions like Earth Day, World Environment Day, etc. So the effectiveness of green campaigns have been questioned.
- Green campaigns aim to afforest the deforested land in one part of the country, while trees are cut down in the other part of the country to construct or to widen the roads ( trees are being cut down to widen ring road in Nepal ) , to build commercial buildings, to carry out agricultural operations,etc.
- Rainforest which once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface, now merely cover 6%. This fact is the biggest threat to the environment as it causes bio-diversity loss to the larger extent. Cutting down of Amazon Rainforest is contributing to drought in Amazon and Southeast Asia. Green campaigns haven’t been able to address these global issues and stop them. This is why effectiveness of green campaigns are being questioned.
- Last but not the least green campaigns are concentrated in the urban areas mostly. We have neglected the fact that environmental problems are out there in the rural areas also and continuing to do so can really be problematic in the coming future.
How can we make green campaigns effective ?
Only wearing green t-shirts and carrying green banners with numerous slogans printed in them during campaigns or awareness rally makes no difference. This cannot make the green campaigns achieve the goal that we are waiting for. So what should we do?
- First thing is that we must crack out ourselves, change ourselves to change the world. I am sure that we can spend our minimum effort in bringing back the chocolate rappers back home and dispose them in the dustbin separately. We can take permanent shopping bag to grocery and malls for sure.
- We need to aware people and help them reduce, reuse and recycle according to the nature of the material and biodegradability.
- We can cut down the use of bottled water. Installing drinking water fountains and taps in corridors, near the toilets,near the libraries,etc in campus building (this is available here in Rampur Campus ), offices and public places can cut the use of plastic bottles and let green campaigns succeed.
- No campaigns will achieve their goal until people are poor cause they continue to exploit the resources in devastating rate as far as available. So, green campaigns must first focus on improving the economic condition of the people and help them achieve life free from inaccessibility to basic needs.
- The saying that We must plant 5 trees if we cut 1 must be brought into action. Development of physical infrastructures is the need of developing nations. But we should plant more trees if we cut one for building those infrastructures.
- Green campaigns only on special occasions are of no influence. It’s ok, if we don’t conduct them 365 days, but we must act daily to achieve the objectives of those campaigns.
- Green campaigns must focus on controlling the acidity, salinity and fertility problems of agricultural and other lands. We cannot go hungry for the campaign if the land doesn’t provide us with enough food.
- Each and every country must act according to their commitment in different protocols about reducing carbon footprints, conserving bio-diversity,etc. Otherwise, countries like Maldives and other Himalayan countries will continue being the host of global warming, while developed industrial countries will continue gaining a lot from industrial development putting other countries in the brink of disaster.
- Green campaigns should bring all the urban and rural people together, all the rich and poor together.
- Last but not the least, we must make the government and people aware not to destroy the natural resources for the achievement of time being, otherwise it might be really devastating in the future. This will certainly count for the effectiveness of green campaigns.