What if you are not pleased with the conditions of your surrounding? Or you know someone who is not? Or how about, you know someone who knows someone who is not? The fact is that the risks posed by these unpleasant conditions in our environment (home and work) affect our health and general wellbeing either directly or indirectly.
On a beautiful day last month, I was at home minding my business but someone else’s business found me out. At first it was just intermittent awful smell without any physical presence but then it gradually manifested into a black, very hostile "authority" commanding those of us in the house to cough like asthmatic patients. "What could this be? fire!" OMG I ran to check the electrical appliances and plug-ins and anything I could think of. They were all in good working conditions. "It could be at my neighbour’s house!" I said to myself. So I checked with them and found them as confused as I was. With my puzzled face, I decided to step outside the gate to find answers. There it lies on an uninhabited land next to where we live…… and it sure was burning refuse.
I live in a small area in the capital city of Nigeria and the majority of the people in my neighbourhood dress sharp speak good English and look intelligent (you know now *Pidgin English accent*). Some of them decided to collect and eliminate the dirt from their homes and immediate surroundings.
No, I would not say this single experience is my only motivation/drive. It is just a part of the several other experiences (some even on a regular basis) that I have to deal with from the moment I open my eyes in the morning every day. At home, at workplace and when I travel. Not sure of what an undertaken of this kind would reflect; I must say it was unexpectedly easy to find committed people with like minds to team up with.
For some weeks, our ambition has been to create a platform (greennative.com) through which we can:
Educate people and discuss concerns about changing situations, present and future environmental threats;
Get people involved in the efforts to positively contribute to caring for the environment (home and workplace);
……and of course, we do not want to just creatively share our stories and experiences. We want to listen to yours and also tell it.
Now going back to my story, there was certainly nothing wrong with some neighbours shinning and polishing their homes and surroundings. The problem was in the means they employed to get rid of their wastes. If you were also wondering what I did after discovering the fire, I responded by putting it off with help from my neighbours. But I did not stop at that, I also paid for a sign post to be made with an instruction that prohibited refuse dumping or burning at that site. It sits there till date :)
So, come on board with us and let’s do this! Be environmentally conscious and be willing to take the right actions.
Burning refuse. Photo: Ademola Olaniran