Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Reduce Domestic Waste

Do you know remember what Uncle Atta said when he visited the Upper East Region?  - well that's if you an an "environmental ear" to hear in the first place-. Our President said:

"I have gone round during the last two days, and the sight that has greeted me has been most unwelcome. The sight of polythene bags here, polythene bags there, polythene bags everywhere".
And then he added by beginning with his usual cliché,
"My brothers and sisters, we have to take care of our environment".

Does it bother you that there is so much waste around. A friend of mine said: Once upon a time in Ghana, if you found a black polythene bag on the ground, which you rarely did, there was a high chance of finding some coins or goodies in it. Nowadays, if you see one, please FLEEEE, because you have a higher chance of picking up human excreta. Now that's not nice.

So what are we sharing today. While closing my last post I promised to share with you how we can reduce domestic waste. So that's just what I will do. Twenty points for us all....

  1. Replace disposable cups and plastics with reusable ones
  2. Replace disposable alkaline batteries with rechargeable batteries
  3. Donate still useful items to charitable groups, you may not be using them, and you will be blessed too!
  4. Maximize the life of electrical appliances by performing regular maintenance
  5. Do you drive? Keep tires inflated, they'll last longer and your car will pollute less
  6. Repair and refinish well-used furniture
  7. Maintain your property, goods, and stuff--they will last  longer
  8. Reuse wrapping paper to re-wrap or line shelves and drawers
  9. Bring a "no garbage" lunch to work or school, using reusable containers, bags, and a thermos
  10. Dry clothing on clothesline instead of using a gas or electric dryer
  11. Buy what you need, use what you buy
  12. Repair durable goods instead of dumping them when they fail
  13. Be water smart; install low-flow plumbing fixtures
  14. Make note pads out of print overruns, computer printouts, outdated forms and stationery
  15. Print and copy on both sides of the paper
  16. Buy the large size of items you use often
  17. Going to shop? Take a re-usable bag
  18. Turn your computer monitor off when leaving for more than an hour
  19. Look for durability in products you buy and use, not just lower price
  20. Pass this list on to someone else!!!!

He who has an environmental ear, let him hear what My Green Piece of Mind shares! Ciao

Posted via email from dankasa's posterous

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Accra in danger as waste disposal site nears full capacity

These days the colour variations make the refuse bins an attractive sight, at least, until its contents come to mind. Imagine collecting all the refuse in your house, putting it into your blue Zoomlion waste bin and hoping that soon (and very soon) the collectors would come around. Then, the soon turns into hours, days and, oh no, weeks? Before long the unwelcomed visitors start trooping in, from houseflies to bees, pests, other insects and, yuck, cockroaches. And they do not come alone, they come with their annoyingly buzzing songs of dirt praise.

What you go do? Accra Mayor, what should we do?

I am not writing a fiction oh, fellow Ghanaians, at least if you have been reading this blog you would have noticed that I do more of information dissemination. This is what has started in our nation's capital.

An environmental crisis is starring its ugly face at Accra. If a new waste disposal site is not developed by December, residents may have their refuse bins sitting in front of their houses for days. And oh, residents of Teshie are already experiencing this for the past three weeks. Is your community next? I hope not.

Sources indicate that the city's main and only waste disposal site, the Saba landfill site, is about to get full. Ironically, out of the 2200 tons of waste generated daily in the city, only 700 is collected. (This represents about 31.8%, though some research papers indicate Accra's waste collection is between 70-80%).  Nonetheless, please don't imagine what would have been been the situation if our waste collection efficiency was very high. I bet that buzzing sound will be our daily lullaby.

According to the Mayor, Mr. Alfred Vanderpuije, a team is working on a finding new land fill site that will be effectively and scientifically managed. And if the "visitors" have already began their march, Mr. Mayor says you should report to your sub-metro office.

As they continue their search, Zoomlion is already working on a compost plant that should be completed by the end of August. Mr. Lawrence Laryea, the Operations Manager, said the plant will be able to process 300 tons of waste on an eight hour shift. Indeed that is good news.

But I guess the better news I want to share is this, Reduce Domestic Waste. In my next post, I will tell you how. 

Until then, think green, save Accra!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

UN Secretary-General's Message on the World Environment Day - June 5 2011

Nearly 20 years after the 1992 Earth Summit, the world is once again on the road to Rio – the site of the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.  Much has changed in the past two decades, geopolitically and environmentally.  Hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Latin America – and, increasingly, in Africa – have risen from poverty.  Yet, evidence is also accumulating of profound and potentially irreversible changes in the ability of the planet to sustain our progress.  

Rapid economic growth has come with costs that traditionally rarely feature in national accounting.  These range from atmospheric and water pollution to degraded fisheries and forests, all of which impact prosperity and human well-being.  The theme of World Environment Day this year, “Forests: Nature at Your Service”, emphasizes the multi-trillion dollar value of these and other ecosystems to society – especially the poor.

Despite growing global awareness of the dangers of environmental decline – including climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification – progress since the Earth Summit has been too slow.  We will not build a just and equitable world unless we give equal weight to all three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental.  To sustainably reduce poverty, guarantee food and nutrition security and provide decent employment for growing populations, we must make the most intelligent use of our natural capital.

India, the global host of World Environment Day in 2011, is among a growing number of countries working to address the pressures of ecological change.  It is also helping to pioneer a better assessment of the economic value of nature-based services, with the assistance of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank.  India’s Rural Employment Act and the country’s encouragement of renewable energy are significant examples of how to scale up green growth and accelerate the transition to a green economy.

No single day can transform development onto a sustainable path.  But on the road to Rio +20, this year’s World Environment Day can send a message that those with influence in government and the private sector can – and must – take the necessary steps that will fulfill the promise of the Earth Summit.  The global public is watching, and expects nothing less.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

21 Days of Yellow Care 2011

The MTN Logo
Image via Wikipedia
"What do we use weedicides for, precisely we use it to kill plants and any living plant that you pour weedicide on dies and it does not only die. It means that little plants or seeds that are even on the ground, they are also destroyed all together….Strong winds will carry that away, water will erode the rest away and then it remains the hardcore sand or stone which cannot sustain plant life so the use of agro-chemicals are very detrimental to the environment’’.

These were the words of the Ashanti Regional Deputy Manager of the Forestry Commission, Mr. James Ware. He was speaking at the launch in Kumasi of MTN’s annual community service initiative, known as the ‘21 days of yellow care’. 

During this year's programme MTN hopes to plant nine thousand trees nationwide with the support of Forestry Commission, Friends Water and River Bodies as well as Zoomlion Ghana Limited.

Why has this become necessary?

Worldwide, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that more than 130 thousand square kilometers of the world’s forest are lost annually to deforestation.

This accounts for 20 per cent of global greenhouse emissions which contribute to global warming.

Back home in Ghana, the situation is worse. Half of our 238,533 square kilometers of land is prone to disaster. 

Out of 8.3 million hectares of high forest that existed in the past ten years, only 1.8 million hectares is available now. The country loses 70,000 of its forest cover annually.

The lost has been attributed to bad farming practices such as the use of use of agriculture chemicals, bush fires, logging, and mining among others. 

At this rate, Ghana is definitely on the brink of an environmental disaster if nothing is done to curb the rapid deforestation and degradation of the environment, and this must prompt all Ghanaians to change our attitudes towards the environment.  

While I join the Kumasi Metro Chief Executive, Samuel Sarpong, to commend MTN staff for their volunteerism, I entreat all of us to support the green revolution and join the tree planting exercise when it reaches our doorsteps.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Think green, stay safe!

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