During the last weeks of last year, I was invited into a webinar on how solid waste leads to climate change. Packed with youth and experts who expounded over and above on what is ailing us when it comes to curbing or at least fighting climate change.
We have been in fight mode, especially when it comes to activism. Forgetting that we have more people joining that may not understand the whole concept.
Knowledge is key
It’s great to support each other as we fight for all injustices, including climate one. But make an effort to learn more about it. Get to know the basics, and how you as a person can do at a personal level to fight climate change. We have all seen how everyone is now pushing for less talk and more action. This doesn’t only apply to our leaders, but also us as consumers and a bigger part of the solutions.
If we all spoke the same language when it comes to climate action, leaders will not have an option. But just to comply. The polluters too will have no one supporting their harmful action, then we can start experiencing positive progress.
Thanks to the internet, you can always research things you are not sure of. Reach out to people with the same interests, attend workshops/webinars/conferences /social media live sessions. To understand more about what you are fighting for.
This also comes in handy, when it comes to policies. We may make noise the loudest, but bad policies or lack of good policies implementation may lender all that effort useless. By understanding these policies, you will get to understand the gaps and strengths of laws pro-environment preservation.
A good example is our current fight on the Forest Conservation and Management Amendment Bill 2021 (in Kenya). Which seeks to repeal Section 34 of the Act that protects forests from activities that may endanger any rare, threatened, or endangered species. With knowledge and understanding of such laws, we can quickly pick on such amendments by our selfish leaders, and stand for our planet.
Climate Change education and awareness are vital as we push for climate action. It helps to know where to start, correct and push. It is yet to be part of all studies, making a little bit under understood for those who learned nothing about the environment in their fields. Youth continue to explore climate action, hence taking such opportunities seriously. After all, Knowledge is power.
Gerald Kutney and Svein Tweitdal
Gerald Kutney and Svein Tweitdal were the main speakers, who had amazing presentations and discussions. After years of experience in climate action, it was incredible to hear them explore how things have changed. They were not shy to acknowledge the youth doing their best in this field, despite the limited knowledge.
What stood up from the two speakers was their encouragement to the youth. They urged us to push our leaders in heading the right direction. That is after we embrace what is needed of us. More of action, and less of talking.
They gave us the reality of what is happening and needs addressing if we want that change when it comes to climate action.
A good number of the participants had already interacted with them on different social media platforms, on these topics for a while. And took the opportunity to learn more about the Q and A sessions.
It was clear that both speakers agreed that something urgent needs to be done in this fight against climate change. And our leaders should be accountable.
Solid waste is still underestimated when it comes to its contributions to climate change.
No one thinks hard about what they throw away. Maybe the collection people aid you in disposing of your waste, or you have other arrangements. But the endpoint is always somewhere in our environment. The emissions continue to contribute to harmful greenhouse gases that promote global warming.
Being responsible and avoiding producing waste, plus strong policies on such, is a forward step to reduced waste.
No one is too young to speak up for our planet.
Reflections on COP 26
Just like any other meetings post COP26, we had an opportunity to revisit what went down in Glasgow. It was encouraging to hear hopeful comments from the participants. All is not lost, and people are not yet ready to give up on their only planet. Again, the need for pushing of both local and international leaders came up.
Good political will was echoed throughout the webinar. As we all understand the importance of good policies, as well as their implementation.
- Manufacturers need to produce products that can accommodate the 4Rs. At the moment, we may be willing to embrace the 4Rs (Reuse, Recycle, Reduce and Refuse). But the products are of poor quality leading to more damage as they release micro-plastics into our environment.
- Solid waste contribution towards climate change has not been given the much-needed attention it needs. Maybe we should have tight policies to help do away with stuff like Single-used plastics everywhere.
- Manufacturers should embrace a circular economy, to produce products designed to be reused.
Waste segregation from the source
- Proper policies implementation will came in handy when it comes to solid waste.
- Leaders should have climate issues in mind while making decisions, not only in big climate change meetings.
It was a great webinar that reminded us of the importance of keeping the fight on, despite the disappointment at COP26.
It will continue to get worse, we have to catch up.