Green action, green thinking and green lifestyle – Green talk session 4

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“Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises” – Padro Caldero

Green is the colour of life and growth. Green concepts and practices can ensure the long term survival of our planet with all its residents. From our birth to death, each and every small act we do is linked with the environment and can cause a certain impact. As responsible citizens we need to be cautious and take measures to correct our negative impacts. Well, some people are already doing so. But do you think having few eco-friendly individuals would be enough to save a planet that holds more than 7.7 billion humans and many other life forms?. In this combat against the damage inflicted on the environment all hands should contribute to make a significant impact. This is the reason why the Center for Environmental Initiatives of University of Colombo continues to have green talk sessions providing knowledge and guidance.

The Green talk session 4 was held successfully on 14th February at the main library auditorium of University of Colombo, as the first session for the year 2019. The theme for the session was “Green action, Green thinking and Green lifestyle” and conservation expert Mr. Ravi De Silva delivered the guest lecture.  Mr. Ravi De Silva is a civil engineer, a consultant in Environmental management and conservation. He is well known for being the project manager at Kandalama hotel project which is undoubtfully the greenest hotel in Sri Lanka.

Throughout the session several key points were highlighted. One such point was the importance in shifting from linear economics to circular economics. Linear economy is an unidirectional model that goes from resource extraction to waste disposal. Linear economic practices generate tons of waste that keep covering the planet. But as the word implies circular economics have an additional step of  “Recycling” that would close the loop hole between waste disposal and resource extraction and convert the unidirectional flow into a cyclic model. Under circular economic practices either waste production is minimal or no waste is generated. So getting accustomed to circular economics is a plus point for a green lifestyle.

Can a person become zero waste? Yes; was the answer of Mr. Ravi de Silva. He justified his answer by elaborating the 3R concept into 7R.

  1. Reject
  2. Reduce
  3. Reuse
  4. Reclaim
  5. Replace
  6. Repair
  7. Recycle

The application of 7R concept can lead to Zero dumping of waste as we convert the waste into a usable form. Mr. Ravi de Silva emphasized the fact that waste can be turned into a resource when disposed properly with separation. It is us who convert it into garbage by mixing everything together. Proper waste management is again a plus point in a green lifestyle.

Green lifestyle is not always about large scale noticeable changes. But paying attention to our day to day minor activities such as switching off excess lights and fans, shutting down leaking taps, improving water conservation within household, shifting towards more energy efficient appliances etc. can also make a difference.

Mr.Lahiru Wirathunga introducing their concept

In parallel to green talk session a new project was launched in the evening to encourage the concept of recycling. Modern Pack Lanka (Pvt) Ltd with collaboration of the University of Colombo launched the first ever yogurt cup recycling programme in Sri Lanka. As explained by Mr. Lahiru Wijerathna , the general manager for Modern Pack Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, they hope to produce nursery trays for farmers using the recycled plastics and he mentioned about the need to wash the yogurt cups before discarding as it would facilitate the recycling process.

The session was adjourned with a take home message that caring for nature, being true valentines of nature, is an ideal way to express our love towards the present and many more generations to come.

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