2023 is here!
As we begin a new year, we can put the festive season behind us. It’s time to make projections for the year ahead, bearing in mind how we thought we fared in 2022.
The management and staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wish all our readers a prosperous 2023. The Agency hope that the last twelve months that you spent with us were not just rewarding, but also reinforced your passion for nature and environmental protection.
It is usual for people, going into the new year, to make resolutions about things they would like to accomplish. It is unfortunate that most new year resolutions fall by the wayside, because of complacency and the tendency to fall back into our old habits.
Habits are not easy to change; therefore, it is important to be persistent and committed to the goals we set for the new year. As we make our resolutions and opt to keep them, let us examine our actions towards the environment, and include some resolutions to enhance the quality of the environment and our lives.
With a better understanding of our role in life regarding protecting and managing our environment, it should be our desire to be better stewards of the environment.
Here are some little but significant actions you can take to help the environment in 2023; we can call them our “Green Resolutions”.
We can think about our choices:
Choose alternatives to plastic
Switching to a reusable alternative over plastic would slow down the rate at which plastics enter our landfills, oceans and waterways; prevent wildlife such as our turtles from ingesting harmful toxic chemicals from which plastics are manufactured; and, most importantly, change our ‘throwaway culture’.
Choosing alternatives which include cloth, paper, bamboo etc. over plastics would increase the use to reusable alternatives like tote bags; paper cups/mugs; and metal, paper, or even glass straws.
Choose reusable over disposable
Without becoming a hoarder, it is good practice to find new uses for everything before we commit to throwing anything out. Reducing and recycling are already at the top of our minds on a daily basis, but it is evident that many of us are quick to throw out things which in fact can be reused in more ways than one. We can significantly reduce the amount of waste we generate. This can also help us save money, or create a new source of income for crafty hands!
Choose to plant a tree
Some spaces have it, some don’t. Whether you plant a flower, herb or tree, this one act of greenness can change the future, and is another small yet ever-so-significant resolution we can so easily commit to. If we each planted one tree in 2023, the world would indeed be a greener and better place to live in. Trees and plants will store carbon dioxide throughout their lives, helping to slow the buildup of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere, which has been rapidly warming.
Choose to conserve water
As children, we were often lectured about conserving water. It is not until we are forced to live and function without water that we realise how much water we use, and how much we need water. Even as water is becoming a scarce resource, humans still abuse this natural element of our earth. Take steps to use water sustainably, including fixing leaky pipes, harvesting and using rainwater, and avoiding food waste.
Being aware of the millions of people who are forced to go without clean water on a daily basis helps us to value what many of us have taken for granted for years. With the Sustainable Development Goal 6 being about “clean water and sanitation for all”, we are impelled to make an effort to be conscious and aware of how much water we need, want, and use in 2023.
Conserving water can make so profound an impact that it would be beneficial to us for years and centuries to come.
There are, of course, many other Earth-friendly habits we can incorporate into our daily lives, going forward.
Happy New Year! And best wishes to all our readers for a productive and rewarding 2023, as we work together for a clean and healthy Guyana.