February 22, 2024

Can 2021 be green?

We started this year with the Veganuary trend that motivates people to go vegan on the month of January and beyond. Genius! Wouldn’t be fantastic if every single month of the year was inspired by that kind of green event, promoting and helping the sustainability of our planet? Let’s see if we can come up with some names: Oceanary, Nomarchplastic, Stoppollutionapril, Recyclay, … Well.

See that there are so many topics towards the benefit of the environment that give opportunities to each one to do their part. “Do your part”, you can see those posters on every street in Male regarding the stop of the COVID spreading. Could we do our part to save our planet as well? It doesn’t have to cost any money; it is actually the opposite. If we take the example of this slogan – Refuse, Reuse, Recycle – it can save you much money on the log run!

·        Refuse – you kindly decline when the cashier is putting your groceries in plastic bags and bring your own tote bag instead;

·        Reuse – you just finished your bottles of water? Instead of throwing them in the sea, keep them as cute containers for your plants:

·        Recycle – “I don’t like vegetables! I can’t finish my plate!” sounds familiar? Did you know that the best way to recycle and then reduce the food waste is through composting? “Around 30% of what we throw away are food scraps and yard waste, says the EPA. Composting not only reduces methane gas production (which is a major factor in global warming), but it also controls trash can odour. And the biggest payoff? You'll be left with a rich fertilizer you can use in your own garden or donate to your favourite cause“ (source:

Of course, start to be eco-friendly will cost you a bit at the beginning; buying this tote bag I mentioned earlier, using a metal or bamboo straw is more expensive than using the plastic ones they provide for free at the café, ordering online what I cannot find in my city is also more costly… Agreed, BUT it is an investment for the future (months of added savings and the future of the planet, remember this!). Also the feeling of satisfaction that you are contributing and that your actions have a positive impact on the environment….. is priceless!

Personally, I love this quote “Just as you leave your footprint in the sand when you walk on the beach, our activities leave a footprint on the world”. It reminds me that, especially in the Maldives where the environment is most of our living resources (but it is true everywhere else as well), our actions are not without consequences. And the good news is, there are many easy ways to reverse the trend by changing our habits! Few examples to consider today would include turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, switching off the lights when you leave a room, using your legs rather than your car to go few miles away, taking the stairs rather than the lift to go to the gym, trying meatless alternatives once in a while, avoid buying plastic wrapped products, starting a sustainable and green activity such as diving, surfing or swimming… You can find a more comprehensive list here.

We are aware about what is going on nowadays – plastic and air pollution, global warming from fossil fuels, food and water insecurity, biodiversity loss… Nothing new, simply gets worse day after day. What if we could delete one issue from the equation? Or at least reducing our own impact? Should we start today?

Written by
Nancy Kapesi