But just how many people really comprehend what “going green” is all about, or what it involves?
In June we carried a report on a major environmental expo that took place at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) to mark this year’s World Environment Day celebrations.
The expo was themed Greening the Economy and it attracted a large number of internationally recognised organisations that put on display efforts they are making to “green” things up in their business operations.
Just as they wrapped things up at the HICC, another expo kicked off at Mukuvisi Woodland, attracting an equally large number of participants.
This one was themed Ecosystems Management and the Green Economy — Education for Sustainable Development.
Although the latter’s theme was more detailed, it was hard to miss the trending environmental catch phrase at both expos: going green.
Looking at the direction the “going green” campaign is going, it would seem the companies that are serious about building a positive company image and care about good publicity have had to join the bandwagon.
Those that have been left out are in danger of being labelled laggards and irresponsible.
This explains why more companies continue to join in the campaign and more continue to show an interest in issues to do with the environment.
However, this has resulted in some companies being accused of using the “going green” line as a marketing gimmick, which of course they continue to passionately deny maintaining that their zeal has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with their love and sense of responsibility for the environment.
Big companies must not take all the blame for pollution
Perhaps the question that the ordinary people on the streets might really want an answer to is: What is going green and why is everyone the world over suddenly so concerned about it?
According to the Living Green website, going green “is to live life as an individual as well as a community, in a way that is friendly to the natural environment and is sustainable for the earth.”
On the website, it goes on to describe the concept as “taking steps, whether big or small, to minimise the harm you do to the environment (including the carbon footprints you leave behind) as a result of inhabiting this planet.”
The fact that organisations have taken the front seat in the going green campaign has evidently left many people convinced that taking the going green initiative is a preserve for organisations.
But this is very far from the truth because the going green campaign was formulated as a result of the panic that gripped the world following the full realisation of the overwhelming damage that everyone was causing on the environment.
Making things right will only be a possibility when every individual does what they can in their different capacities to go green.
Reduction of pollution and conserving resources are important principles in going green and it involves reducing consumption and waste and making efforts to protect the earth’s ecological balance.
When it comes to polluting the environment, it’s about time everyone knew it does not only take industrial work and heavy operations to pollute the environment as such seemingly harmless day-to-day activities like shampooing one’s hair or simply having a meal in a fast food place can cause a fair share of damage.
The fight is not for the corporate world, NGOs or the Environment ministry alone, it is everyone’s responsibility.
It starts by making an effort each day to do things differently, in a way that does not adversely affect the environment, but enhances it.
There are so many things that each of us can do in the fight to go green and better our environment.
Just think of all the wrappers used for the food and all the resources used to process them, among other considerations.
Think of the type of car you drive everyday and how much it emits into the atmosphere.
Couldn’t you possibly acquire one that lets out less emissions and is more environmentally friendly?
And do you really need to drive everywhere you go, even to a nearby shopping mall?
Couldn’t you walk once in a while? After all, your body will thank you for it. And how about switching to organically engineered products?