Kyoto, Rio, Copenhagen…. did not manage to create an effective international treaty on climate change mitigation – Paris, at Le Bourget site, from 30 November to 11 December 2015 might do just that.

And Mother Earth Day, on April 22, has been chosen every year, for the past 45 years, to remind us of that. This year

‘The power to change begins with you,’ says Ban, urging sustainable choices on Mother Earth Day

Five-Leaf System - Mother_Earth_Day 2015_UN photo

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Today, people all over the globe are fighting, in their individual, small ways, for action from their leaders, asking them to recognize the catastrophic implications of climate change.

But alas! action really starts with us…. so perhaps, since most of earth’s population live in cities we should think about ways in which individuals should fight to keep cities green. Ask yourselves:

1. What has happened to all our local green areas….they are the lungs of the city! There are many ways in which you can help – look at all the abandoned and derelict areas in your city, find out who is responsible for them and suggest ways in which they can be greened…even if it starts by the place being cleaned up and some potted plants and a garden seat fixed in a corner…

2. Improving livelihoods and localities…. become a waste warrior! Kids can be great helping volunteers straighten up a place, making it inviting for people to come out of their flats and use the outdoors more. Being out means that you will be made to notice more your local environment and become aware of what is missing to make it worth sharing.

3. Put the forests back in town…. and water them from rooftop rainwater collection! Lots of city areas can be planted with trees, not only to provide shaded areas for people to walk under or cars to park, but it also helps to bring down air temperature which is usually higher in towns. Planting trees and creating green city areas will reduce CO2 levels in your neighbourhood.

4. Create a lake in the city….if you live in a place where it really rains, at least some part of the year! A lake is a great way to collect water and at the same time, it can bring together a community. Think of what could spring from that…bird watching, nature walks, community labour keeping it clean…and you could suggest to your local authorities that inviting photographers, ornithologists, horticulturists to come, help and advise them is easier than they think. People are always willing to help good causes.

5. Grow fresh air…indoor pollution is a silent killer… Sick Building Syndrome (Poor Indoor Air Quality – IAQ) may harbour VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds, PM (Particulate Matter), NO2 (Nitrogen Oxides, CO (Carbon Monoxide), O3 (Ozone) and SO2 (Sulpur Dioxide)… so use Green technology to purify indoor air.

Why not start by using Phytoremeditation … the use of plants to improve IAQ… the best you can get are:

  1. Areca Palm…. it will give you oxygen during the day….
  2. Money plant… more oxygen during the day…
  3. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue…. even more oxygen during the night….

Instant results:

  • Eye irritation – down 52%
  • Respiratory symptoms – down 34%
  • Headaches – down 12%
  • Lung impairment – down 24%
  • Asthma – down 9%
  • Productivity – up 15-20%! (through better health and fewer sick days…)

6. Turn your rooftops green and start an urban food farm up there…fresh, local and seasonal food available to the residents of your flat or local public building….all you need is some community spirit and there are lots of examples to learn from. Check out Germany and India and you’ll be astounded by their progress.

7. Keep your trash and …. compost it! You can have these earthenware or terracotta containers in your flat, verandah, apartment complex, restaurant, hotel, office, hospital, school… can start at home but grow to a neighbourhood scale easily enough and placed back into the system if you green an area or a rooftop locally.

8. Use 100 per cent organic, natural and non-toxic alternative to cleaning products…this is just a simple way to help keep the water in your region freer from pollutants and helping in your small way to keep mother earth happier.

9. Car-sharing is also fun….let’s pick up some friends on the way to school, work, theatre, cinema….create your own logos, stickers, badges and posters and advertise your ideas to other people who ride beside you….save on fumes, and your local air will thank you. People might start choosing to live in your area because of what you are doing.

10. And don’t forget to catch the sun….choose a system which does not need a battery bank….one that auto-synchronises the solar power directly with the plant grid…thus eliminating the danger of land and water contamination due to the spillage of acid while operating and maintaining the battery bank…. make sure your solar plant is eco-friendly.

Enough commandments for now… – let’s all go out and enjoy Mother Earth today!

Five-Leaf System - earth-lost-grass-dreamstime

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By Silvia Pelham