Green is not just a colour

Oh no the image is broken

Bhushan Tuladhar Kathmandu

Green is not just a colour; it is an attitude. It is a way you see life, it is a way you live life. And until you realise that, you are not going to go green. All of us do know something about the environment, something about going green, something about composting, have heard about rainwater harvesting, about electric cars and have seen Safa tempos on the street of Kathmandu. Yet many of us tend to do two things; first, we complain about Kathmandu ­ the streets are dusty, the garbage is not picked up, Bagmati stinks et cetra. Then, we start pointing fingers saying if only the mayor would do this, if only the Metropolitan Office would do that, if only our politicians would get their act together.

What am I doing about this city? This is the question you and I should be asking ourselves! Many of us see pollution but ignore solution, whereas both the pollution and solution are in front of our eyes.

Almost 70 per cent of the waste produced in Kathamandu are organic and can be composted easily. If you want to get fancy about it, you can make bio-gas out of it too. There are 300,000 bio-gas plants in Nepal, many of them in rural areas and there is no reason why you can’t have one in your house as well.

We complain about the river ­ Bagmati, almost all waste water in Bagmati comes from the toilets in our homes. We don’t have many industries heretoilet water is very easy to clean. Put a septic tank, 40-50 per cent of the pollution is gone.

Air pollution; the solutions are right in front of you.

Nepal’s first bicycle lane is being constructed. Every Saturday for the past 40 weeks thousands of Kathmanduites have come together to clean Bagmati. It is encouraging to see that things are happening in this city. Things are changing. The question is ­ Are you part of this change or not? Do you want to be part of this change or not? There is a Chinese saying ­ “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I become!“ And as Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see.“

The author is an environmental engineer and currently Regional Technical Advisor, South Asia at UN-Habitat.

Source: The Himalayan Times, Feb 22 2014