On this World Environment Day, this Wednesday, June 5, let's focus on small actions that can have a big impact on protecting the environment. An appeal is launched to citizens to adopt an eco-attitude.

An appeal is launched to citizens to adopt an eco-attitude and contribute to the preservation of our environment. Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, environmental engineer and oceanographer, explains that the first thing to do is to reconnect with nature and the environment.

“It is important to reconnect with our environment, even if we are facing small financial or health concerns. We work hard, but we often forget to connect to the environment and the importance of each action we take,” says the environmental engineer.

Vassen Kauppaymuthoo continues that if the environment deteriorates, humanity will not be able to survive. “We risk global collapse, and what is already chaotic will become even more so. Our personal choices influence the environment. For example, instead of buying plastic bottles, we can opt for glass bottles. It’s more economical to have a reusable glass bottle than to constantly buy plastic bottles,” he emphasizes.

He argues that as long as there is demand for plastic products, producers will continue to make them. “By changing our habits, producers will have to adapt. Citizens must take back control. For example, sharing a car, avoiding land speculation at all levels – because many areas are subject to flooding. Be careful about the real estate you buy, especially in mountainous and flood-prone areas,” he recommends.

Maurice has reached his limit in terms of physical development, continues Vassen Kauppaymuthoo. “It is time to transform our country. If every citizen planted a tree, we could greatly contribute to the environment,” he explains.

Although we don't want to talk about politics, in this election year, Vassen Kauppaymuthoo says citizens need to put pressure on politicians to commit to the environment. “It should not only be a classic campaign theme, but politicians must make concrete commitments, especially for people living in flood zones,” he believes.

The latter adds that “we are at a pivotal time – our country is very exposed to the impacts of climate change and we must adapt. Some areas will become uninhabitable. It is crucial to make peace with the environment.”

Sharveen Persand, a specialist in physical oceanography, says that when it comes to the environment, it's the small actions that help improve it. It is essential to adopt a trend where everyone does things that help the environment. “Empowerment of individuals plays a crucial role. When people realize their responsibility, we will be able to envisage a healthier future for our environment. This must start from a young age – don’t throw waste anywhere, recycle what we can,” he advocates.

He points out that as a small island, our contribution to climate change is minimal, but we can adopt practices that benefit the environment. “By doing this, we can inspire others to do the same.” For example, in terms of energy, we should turn to renewable energies. Many people are already using solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint,” he maintains.

These ecological actions to adopt

Use of public transport: Choose public transport such as the Metro Express to reduce CO2 emissions and relieve congestion on the roads.
Carpooling: Encourage carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and reduce pollution.

Reducing plastic waste: Avoid single-use plastics. Since 2021, Mauritius has banned several types of disposable plastics.
Sorting: Sort and recycle your waste.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: By limiting waste and recycling materials, we reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and the demand for new resources.

Composting: Compost your organic waste to enrich your soil and reduce waste sent to landfills.

Local and seasonal products: Buy local and seasonal products to support the local economy and reduce the carbon footprint linked to transportation.

Organic farming: Choose products from organic farming to reduce the use of pesticides and chemicals.

Less food waste: Plan your meals and store food properly to avoid waste.

Renewable energy: Use renewable energy sources like solar panels.

Solar energy: Install solar water heaters to reduce electrical energy consumption.

LED bulbs: Use LED bulbs to reduce your energy consumption.

Turn off appliances: Unplug electrical appliances when not in use to avoid standby power consumption.

Natural lighting: Maximize the use of natural light to reduce electrical energy consumption. Eco-friendly household products: Use eco-friendly household products to avoid harmful chemicals.

Use reusable products: Opt for glass bottles, reusable bags for your purchases and durable containers.

Save water: Use water-saving devices and repair leaks. Use water-saving gardening techniques, such as mulching and drip irrigation.

Rainwater Harvesting: Use rainwater to water plants and the garden.

Natural beauty products: Opt for natural and biodegradable beauty products.

Buy in bulk: Choose stores that sell products in bulk to reduce plastic packaging.

Biodiversity: Plant local species and honey plants to support biodiversity and pollinators.

Community Participation: Participate in beach cleanups and other environmental initiatives.

Virtual meetings: Favor online meetings to reduce travel and the associated carbon footprint.

Teleworking: When possible, opt for teleworking to reduce commuting.

Repairs and upcycling: Repair and transform your used items into new useful products.

Energy-efficient products: Choose household appliances with a good energy label.

Grow your own garden: If possible, grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs to reduce dependence on imported produce.

Education and awareness: Take training on sustainability and ecology and raise awareness of environmental issues among those around you.

Support sustainable businesses: Buy from companies that adopt sustainable and ethical practices.

Reduce printing: Use digital documents rather than printing to reduce paper consumption. Use recycled paper if you must print.

Equipment Sharing: Share or rent equipment that you don't use frequently.

Extend appliance life: Maintain your appliances to extend their life and reduce electronic waste.

Minimalism: Adopt a minimalist lifestyle to reduce overconsumption and waste.

Bicycles: Use bicycles for short trips instead of the car.

Coastal Zone Protection: Participate in programs to protect and restore coastal ecosystems.

Encourage endemic species: Plant and protect endemic plant species in Mauritius.

Sustainable fishing practices: Encourage and practice sustainable fishing techniques to preserve marine resources.

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