Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Start Small for Our Environment
It was Rachel Carson who woke up the US government’s attention to this condition by publishing a book entitled “Silent Spring”. She showed how dangerous the effect of DDT by posing many studies and many expert opinions. Eventually, in 1966, US government started stopping the use of DDT in two years (www.voaspecialenglish.com).
Another story comes from Japan. It was Yasuyo Tabete, who was the climate champion of British Council, who created a simple action, but this had a great and futuristic objection. This action is called “mug action”. He began not to use a paper cup to drink coffee. He thinks that drinking coffee just spends not more than 5 minute, but then he throw the cup out.
Yasuyo has an honorable objection that this action can decrease the number of deforestation. Wherever he goes, he brings his own mug and starts invite others to follow him. A great changes and positive effect, according to him, can be started from individual actions (www.kompas.com).
A Little Lesson
The story of Rachel Carson and Yasuyo Tabete is a little example that we can get many lessons from both of them. They never give up in struggling keeping their environment being safe. Both of them of course are from abroad. From the home, it is Victor Emanuel Rayun (Baba Akang) who struggles to keep the mangrove forest in Ndete coast, Flores. He has been doing his valuable action since 1992. In a program called Kick Andi Heroes 2009, he got an honor “Pahlawan Bangsa” together with six other heroes (Media Indonesia, 2009).
A little lesson that we can get from the stories is like what Yoris Sebastian said, “starts small”. In term of Indonesia, we can explore so many environmental problems. This problem, severely, damage the balance of our nature. We will find that the number of deforestation of Indonesia is the biggest number in the world, which Brazil is just the same. We will find that we have a big problem of garbage management.
The data from Kementrian Negara Lingkungan Hidup shows us, each person in this country produces 800/gr/day/person in average. This number looks a little bit common, but let’s times it to the number of Indonesian population which is more than 200 million. The number will be so fantastic. Indonesia has 160 thousand ton garbage per day.
If that number is managed well, there will not be a problem, but the condition looks so different. That big number seems haphazard managed. The garbage which has some types is not separated well. This makes the after-use process becoming difficult to exercise. Besides, there is a problem with this nation people behavior. They do not have such “do not litter” behavior. To be honest, it is so difficult to find a really green area, where every body will get their best pleasure to be in.
There is no willingness to be aware to the environment condition. The willingness to clean their public area seems very seldom. In the end of the show, the garbage will meet the drainages then plug them up. Tragically, it is common to be occurred in many big cities, like Jakarta and Surabaya.
Of course, simply, we can say that this is why Indonesia is likely a subscriber of flood. Despite, the number of budget in order to handle this one is so much expensive. For example, Jakarta has 762 billion rupiahs for it (Kompas, 2009).
To solve such problem is not just a simple way. Many complicated studies must be taken to get the best solution. But, as a simple, to solve this problem, it is not necessary to get a structural approach. Make such legal binding through some bills will not get any effect. This is just going to make somebody become stressful. And sometimes, the effect will be in the opposite position of our expectation.
It is interesting to remember Gandhi statement that “reconciliation will takes times without any violence, but violence will never get any reconciliation” (Kompas, 2010). This statement shows us that any pressure will not get any success. In term of environment, there must be such soft approach. This of course takes time, but it really works. This kind of approach sometimes called cultural approach. We will not doubt about it because this kind of approach had been done by Rachel Carson, Yasuyo Tabete, Baba Akang, and other environmental activists.
In the day of earth, this is a very good opportunity to pose and discuss that issue. Many youngsters, who have so many fresh ideas, from many countries, have to gather together and ready to give a creative solution to the world. To me, it is the right time to tell the world that to be environmentalist is an urgent, in current context. Many youngsters from many countries can share some information.
This information will become so important because of the different context. By collecting many facts from the attending countries, there will be a kind of common platform to create common understanding. Because, we realize, that environmental issue is not only in a developing country, but also in a developed one.
This is important to create something like a community to pose and campaign ‘Save this earth!’ This is the cultural approach that I mean. In term of Indonesia, to ‘save the earth’ of course is not the same with what Rachel Carson or Yasuyo Tabete had done.
Discussing this phenomenon in a community is really interesting to take. Facing the fact that garbage is a problem, realized or not, an action must be taken as soon as possible. It is even the problem of developing country like India, Brazil, and many more.
Some action can be a very simple but important like campaigning “do not litter” by us ourselves to some people around us. If necessary, this will be continued to the bigger society or government, but it is not the priority.
The youngster has to take this rule very well. Youngsters have much more power to initiate and accomplish change than what others may believe. Then, youngsters often achieve much more than they ever expect they will.
Through community, there will be some important general point for action, but the implementation is certainly different from each country (www.greenkampong.com). Like Yoris Sebastian said, we create an out of the box idea, but the execution is inside the box. Certainly, different pond, different fish.
Shortly, by gathering in community, posing this kind fo issue in a global forum, we can create such way against earth destruction that called community-based cultural approach. Back to the home, the youngster, including me, have to campaign how to be a green citizen, to be a citizen who has awareness for their environment.
In term of Indonesia, this will be focused on garbage management issue. The campaign is not such big event like a concert or such Clean and Green Week, but this is an individual campaign. The target is not a mass people, but the people around us, start from our family and friends.
In home, it is necessary to create such community to get more power but the action still individually. Saving the environment means more than just holding large public events targeted at adults. Just as a simple like “do not litter” campaign, in my opinion, it has a big impact to start being aware to the garbage management and saving the environment.
Youngsters can make a certain difference, through smaller actions at home or larger campaigns. By influencing families, corporations and government, youngster can have a significant positive impact.
So working with community can be the start to making big changes. This change is a cultural-and-communal-based. Taking times but really working. This small action of course can have a big impact. With these small and symbolic yet highly impactful changes, youngsters have an effect beyond just their own actions.(*)
*sumber gambar bisa diklik langsung pada gambarnya.