WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 06 June 2012
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations Environment Program and began in 1972. It is an annual event that is aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues and to encourage political attention and action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.
Unfortunately, Greece is many years behind the rest of the ‘developed’ world in relation to environmental protection and adherence to environmental laws. At a local level, awareness of the importance of keeping areas litter free, recycling (which has stopped for now due to resource issues), over-use of plastic bags, provision of clean potable water, noise pollution are just some of the issues that need addressing by the ‘powers that be’.
However, we as individuals can all do something to help. Often I feel useless and think what is the point? However, I as an individual can lead by example by using reusable carrier bags for shopping. ,
It would be great to reduce the number of plastic bags used by consumers, reducing the number of plastic bags going to landfill and the number of plastic bags littering the landscape. In other countries there is a charge for plastic bags of up to 10 euro cents per plastic bag and consumers choose to bring their own shopping bags reducing their ‘shopping bill expenses’.
I personally prefer calico bags as they are strong and washable. I have had the same calico bags for more than 10 years, they are durable and can carry heavier items such as milk, juice. Usually I can fit the equivalent of two plastic bags into one calico bag and I don’t have to worry about the bag tearing before I get home. As recycling has stopped on the island, we as individuals can help reduce the amount of ‘waste’ we produce by reducing the amount of plastic bags we bring home.
One thing I personally dislike is when people pack nappy packs (that have a carry handle on them) in another plastic bag or fruit and vegetables that are already in plastic carrier bags into another plastic bag – double bagging.
I recall a few years back giving a old lady I know a couple of calico bags for her shopping while we were at the check-out, explaining to her she could use them for her shopping. She packed her items into the calico bags and then took about 20 plastic bags with her as she would need them – funny but true. Another time I was shopping and an elderly gentleman approached me and asked how much I paid for my calico bags, I told him that I would pay around 1 euro for these bags but they are better for the environment and are stronger. He said are you crazy? Why buy bags when you can use the plastic bags here for free? He did not understand that I was trying to help the environment and give example to my children (plus ensure that I would arrive home with all my purchased items while juggling two young children).
Respect not only for the environment but also towards other human beings should not be something that is given so that we get something in return. It should be something we want to do. We need to help raise awareness that the environment does not belong to us but that we belong to it and only for a short time..
Make a change – TODAY for world environment day 06 June 2012. Buy a reusable bag and USE it. Maybe cycle to the beach, school, shop if you live nearby rather than ‘hopping’ into the car, plant a tree, start a compost heap. Your options are endless and every little helps.
What can you do to make your environment a better place to live starting today?
Submitted by Veronica Boland