Keeping our country clean and green! In the course of time, technology has brought about numerous changes in people’s lifestyles. We have all become reliant on gadgets for our lives to operate ordinarily. But have we ever thought concerning the repercussions of such needs on our environment and our country as a whole? No! Sanguinely, the government of Mauritius has eventually become resolute to execute certain schemes in a way that the aftermath that our requirements entail can be mitigated. This has undoubtedly become crucial for the prosperity of our society and our economy altogether.
Why are we obliged to conserve our country’s natural environment? During the 1800s, people were used to perform all their tasks manually. Subsequently, the occurrence of pollution is indisputable. With the passing of time, technological advancement brought about industrialisation as a sequel. Nonetheless ironical though it is, the industrialisation which was being done for the betterment and progress of people has induced pollution hence explaining the mainspring of global warming which is going worse day by day.
Yet, to secure the welfare of the succeeding generations, expedient prophylactic steps are being implemented by the local government which will hopefully bear the fruit later on. It is to be said that behaving rationally is in the betterment of the Mauritians and of their country predominantly. Tree planting being considered a very advantageous initiative for the environment, it is notwithstanding not adequate. Adopting an eco friendly way of life can to a certain extent reform the life of people. But in what way is that possible?
We can start by altering our lifestyles to one that contemplates the outcome of each of our act on everything around us. To do this effectively, it is imperative for us to comprehend the boon and the needfulness of being eco friendly to our society and economy. A green country engenders quite a few aftereffects on the society. Doing their bit for a green country is in favour of the citizens themselves.
They can scrimp and save in terms of money just by realizing the impact of their needs on others. As believed by the Worldwatch Institute which is a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D. C, in order to be able to cut back expenses, one will have to tighten his belt and forego a few nonessential needs. One can use a drying rack instead of a dryer for it is not pricy. To salt away on electricity, energy efficient light bulbs known as compact fluorescent light bulbs can be utilized and during winter times, the thermostat might be set a few degrees lower may also be used. To boot, taking shorter showers along with borrowing books out of the library instead of buying your own print copies can undoubtedly be of very much help.
To cut down on the outgoings on fuel, travelling in public transportation to work as a substitute for car might be benign since the price of fuel is mounting every single day. Adding up to it, carpooling is a great solution for those are not used to any other means of transport except for cars. Also, the waste collect that the municipality organizes several times, helps strengthening the bonds among people for they become used to act together. Even firms gain in numerous ways from maintaining a green country.
One of their countless advantages is that even though the execution of the green country project can be costly in the initial stages, since new equipments that produce less waste will have to be set up or new appliances that cut down on energy use will have to be purchased despite the fact that they can be expensive. However, with the reduced overhead costs, like lower utility bills that effect from installing energy-saving devices, adds up to significant savings over time. Environmentally conscious consumers might be checking the labels for products and packaging made from recycled materials.
This growing awareness keeps the market for green products to continue to expand in a variety of industries. With environmental consciousness growing, consumers demand more green products and services, says the Green Business Bureau website. While public response alone is not necessarily the best motivation for caring for our ecology, it might be a good side effect. With green initiatives increasing in popularity, economic studies have shown that companies utilizing green technology and selling green products are seeing an increase in profits.
Besides, with the assistance of the government, the local municipalities, water districts and electric companies that offer tax incentives and rebates. Also, low-flow toilets, energy-efficient water heaters, solar panels and other green conversions qualified for tax credits and purchase-price rebates can be provided. Not only does this save money when making a building more energy efficient, but this actually boosts the value of the building, hence increasing the return on your investment. Promoting a healthier workplace aids companies through increased productivity and less money paid out in medical benefits for workers.
A healthy workplace includes organic food selections in the company cafeteria or the use of environmentally friendly industrial and cleaning products. Do we realise what our acts are causing to our environment? Pollution has become a common plight which can be seen everywhere across the world and countless people all over the world is living in very bad and unhygienic conditions. People are drinking dirty water and breathing contaminated air which is causing many of them to be attained by various sorts of health problems.
With local citizens doing their best to retrench their costs, the upshot of this on the environment has been pre-eminent. People are now inclining towards environment friendly products for they are harmless, of good standards together with a reasonable price. Using recycled products and reusing certain items instead of throwing them after having used them once in an effort to reduce wastage helps keeping the level of pollution became moderate. Consequently, the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide which emanate are considered to be a significant contributor to global warming are abridged.
Safeguarding the habitats of certain species of wild animals is brought about when preserving our environment too. In addition, lowering your consumption of paper products can help to slow the rate of extinction for species that live in wooded areas since the number of trees that is cut off will be diminished. Promoting a green country also reduces the threat to marine wildlife that perishes annually as a result of encountering pollutants or trash in the water supply.
Our economy indeed reaps some benefits from the going green of the country. By opting for renewable energy, it can be assured that energy needs are being met together with the local environments and populations being protected. Maximizing renewable energy and making it efficiently on a regional as well as national standard will lessen the reliance upon imported fuels; hence reducing price volatility. Renewable energy manufactured and used on a local scale will also provide a degree of local control, security and dependability.
Using renewable energy resources minimizes the demand for non renewable energy sources like fossil fuels and nuclear power and so there is no need to fear concerning their impacts for it is diminished as well. We can say that, renewable energy provides us with the ability to cook without harming our health and environment, we can produce power without mercury emissions occurring, and it even helps ensuring that water supplies are not polluted. Furthermore, in a green economy, there is the creation of more job opportunities.
The localized use of energy efficiency and renewable energy generates employment in all parts of a country and not solely in areas where the conventional energy reserves are situated. This will provide a more equitable employment environment; one which is permanent and not merely cyclical. In the opinion of the World Watch Institute's report, ‘Renewables 2005’, more than 1. 7 million of direct employment was created worldwide from renewable energy manufacturing, operations and maintenance in 2004.
Alternative energy can help steadying energy pricing. The cost of renewable energy is fixed mainly so as to meet the repayment of the capital invested and does not consider the fluctuating and increasing cost of an international resource such as oil or uranium. Because renewables have low environmental and health impacts, it eliminates any future financial liabilities . This is of great importance given that the price of crude oil tends towards being volatile and that the prices of natural gas are instable and deregulated in the electricity market.
This is the reason why many governments and businesses are purchasing energy from renewable sources not only as a socially responsible gesture but as a hedge against high energy prices. To promote the green country project, the Mauritian Government has adopted several strategies. In the primary stage of the scheme, sensitization campaigns were being held such as advertisements on television and in newspapers, posters being sticked in public places and pamphlets being distributed, these being the traditional methods of raising awareness.
On a later stage, innumerable projects aiming at a better Mauritius have seen the light and been successful. In 2008, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navinchandra Ramgoolam revealed his vision of making Mauritius a Sustainable Island and he named the project “Maurice Ile Durable”. The primary objective of concept is to make Mauritius a world model of sustainable development, particularly in the context of Small Island Developing States. While the initial thrust was to minimize dependency on fossil fuels by increasing the utilization of renewable energy and a more efficiency in the use of energy.
The concept soon widened to include all aspects of the economic model, society and the environment that are considered to be pivotal in the quest for a sustainable Mauritius. Into the bargain, in the recent years, the use of compact fluorescent lights which are less energy consuming than normal light bulbs had been promoted by making a special offer of 3 lamps for Rs40; this project has been extended to all public places including schools, hospitals and various other public areas. Moreover, traffic lights have also been replaced with LED ones which are of longer life times, give better visibility and require lower maintenance.
Later on, the government came up with a scheme with the aim to encourage the use of solar water heaters. For this, a grant of Rs10, 000 was being offered to all the ones interested in getting a solar water heater installed at their residence. There was also another soft loan of Rs15, 000 from the Development Bank of Mauritius to appealed citizens. On the basis of the success of this scheme, the project was extended to shelters, elderly homes, hospitals and so on. The Mauritius Commercial Bank took a great step forward while aiming at going green.
They have recently had a new office built at Ebene. This building has been the first one in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve a BREEAM rating which is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. All this because due to its orientation, shading, renewable energy and rainwater re-use. the building is energy-efficient, uses recycled materials and produces part its energy requirements from solar panels. A fund has been set up by the government to help in projects regarding a sustainable Mauritius.
These include the preservation and better handling of natural resources, exploitation of natural renewable energy sources, schemes to lessen the overall energy consumption on the island and encourage self made energy alternatives, programmes to protect the environment through recycling of waste, conducting research with regards to renewable energy technologies, energy management programmes both locally and with foreign partners and sensitization campaigns regarding the wise use of energy and renewable energies.
Special licenses are being sold to traders which authorize them to produce their own electricity from wind turbines or solar panels and sell the surplus to the Central Electricity Board. Many other schemes are being prepared which will be implemented in the future. Going green, one of the most important pillars of this project being to reduce the dependency of Mauritius on fossil fuels for energy with a target autonomy of 65% to be achieved by the year 2028. The use of renewable energies such as solar, water, wind, biomass or biogas is highly encouraged.
Mare Chicose being the home to the island's only household waste landfill site, however, it is under pressure due to the ever increasing amount of waste material created. At about 375,000 tonnes of solid waste were created in 2003 with 1,200 tonnes per day, a growth to 418,000 tonnes in 2014 and 510,000 tonnes in 2034 has been forecasted. To remedy the situation the government has advices the foundation of an incineration plant which would handle around three-quarters of waste created to generate electricity.
There are concerns that the waste in is largely green such as garden waste and vegetables which are not suitable for incineration, and that the chimney impact negatively on public health, environmental and economy. Mauritian environmental agencies propose as a solution to recycle the wastes so as to minimize its creation and to compost green waste, to expand the lifespan of the landfill site sufficiently, hence removing the necessity for an incinerator or for further landfill sites.
Setting up an independent Utility Regulatory Authority for the operation of the electricity market. Upcoming plans include the launching of a Public Private Partnership project at Bigara for 25 to 40 megawatts of wind energy at an estimated cost of Rs 1 billion, the setting up of two new hydro units by the Central Electricity Board at Midlands Dam and La Nicoliere and the developing the Landfill Gas potential at Mare Chicose and using the gas for power generation. Also, Measures to reduce pollution due to traffic and to encourage greater use of public transport.
The sale of hybrid cars in an interesting measure to reduce pollution even if their acquisition might imply a high price to the buyer; it will reduce the costs of running the vehicle. Since all countries worldwide are taking according steps towards a green country. The recycling of paper, plastic, glass and metal is already being done in Mauritius; it is not enough. We will thus have to say, that the state should come up with strategies to encourage more of this recycling to be done in our country.
In Malaysia, to minimize energy wastage, wind vanes and solar cells have been installed on the electric poles to generate energy for street lighting. This might indeed be a very interesting strategy to which the Mauritian government should give some thoughts. As Margaret Mead said: “We won't have a society if we destroy the environment. ” A green environment is the aim of each and every country around the world. Research work is still being carried out to find out further green methods to run the country efficiently and to keep a balance between the social and the economic achievements and at the same time safeguard the environment.