Part I – Every drop in the ocean counts

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Don't Wait For Your Government, Save Your Environment!

Due to the unforgivingCovid-19 pandemic crisis lockdown regle globally locking humanity inwards in exchange for our planet's chance to thrive and survive out there, biodiversity negatively influenced by habitat loss and degradation due to human activity, climate change, and pollution, among other elements have resulted in numerous impacts on our climate and environment .

Business is certainly not as usual but the good news is that with travel bans based on global travel trends and factory shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns have led to an increase in air quality with a huge drop on air pollution all around the world. In China, lockdowns and other measures resulted in a 25% reduction in carbon emissions and 50% reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions, which one Earth systems scientist estimated may have saved at least 77,000 lives over two months. As long as our quality of life is enhanced, we still have an opportunity to rebuild what we lost and even more.

Because common sense is not so common anymore, we tend to complain about a lot of things and wonder why everyone's not moving on the same vibration at the same pace. 'People are not doing enough to save the environment,’ is a phrase I hear quite often, but the bigger question here is, ”who are these people?” And what if "these people" in question genuinely want to save their environment but just don’t know where to start or what to do? In response to managing expectations around the environment and how each of us could play a role, I would like to share 5 tips on this 3-part series around what we can do to save our planet; it is our responsibility afterall. And if you are still asking why, here’s why.

Do you remember when the Covid-19 virus hit the globe and the world changed right in front of our eyes? And then we were asked to stay in lockdown, wash our hands, sanitize, wear masks and stay in?

Did you stay in? Of course you did, if you are reading this right now, you stayed in and did everything you were asked to do diligently so you could still save your life while you could. The reason behind those guidelines were and are still intended to help those who are able and willing to do something and everything they can to reduce their risk of getting affected by the virus.

On the same note, just because CNN or BBC may not be reporting on how many lives could be saved by saving the planet on their headline news does not mean you should do nothing about it.

Here are some simple practices we can put to play to reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean.

1.Get yourself a breathable re-usable mask

With covid-19's pandemic crisis having created a new wardrobe staple, masks are everywhere; on your faces, on the beach, on the streets, and then everywhere else. However, if we do not change the way we consume and dispose of masks, we will no longer be complaining about plastics in the ocean because masks will have taken over once again.

The COVID-19 detritus has meant that discarded face masks floating like jelly fish and latex gloves lining the seafloor are adding to the world's plastic waste crisis. "With a lifespan of 450 years, these masks are an ecological time-bomb given their lasting environmental consequences for our planet,"

When you can use your 2/3 ply mask and wash it after use to reuse it again like you do with your clothes, chances of it landing as ocean waste is less likely and helps reduce the waste currently competing with the marine life in the ocean.

“Take responsibility and do better so we can enjoy this planet in its best.”

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2. Reduce plastic usage

With 127 countries worldwide having instituted legislation that bans single-use plastic bags including manufacturing, importing and distribution, 34 of these countries are from Africa, followed by Europe with 29. Where are you?

Kenya introduced one of the toughest bans on single-use plastic bags in August 2017 with penalties of jail time for up to four years or fines of $40,000 for Kenyans producing, selling or using plastic bags. In my country of origin that used about 100 million plastic bags a year, this ban has been a great achievement in protecting our environment resulting into a cleaner Kenya.