Various environmental challenges are arising day after day. A thorough understanding of global environmental changes is imperative to help address the problems and to sustain our environment. An extreme influx of weather patterns, global warming and other forms of pollution are some of the challenges witnessed today.
Greenhouse gas emissions are a direct cause of global warming, which leads to a high global temperature affecting seas and oceans in addition to causing the melting of polar icecaps. It also leads to excessive floods and snow as well as spreading desertification.
Youth environmental initiatives
An initiative undertaken by enthusiastic Egyptian entrepreneurs with an aim to “drive environmental solutions” through a variety of awareness campaigns. The initiative helps businesses and guides them towards green transformation. It provides educational projects that focus on environmental preservation and teaches the importance of going green through the arts, community events and blogs. It aims to employ various innovative techniques and solutions to solve environmental problems in Egypt.
An Egyptian initiative that works on promoting environmental awareness and reducing plastic pollution, particularly in the Nile River, through various eco-friendly activities. The initiative works on maintaining zero-waste by re-using fashion waste through efficient cutting methods.
Hurghada … An environmental success story
The Red Sea Governorate has led a plastic-free initiative for over a year. Fines for use of plastics were enforced by the end of July. According to the Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdullah, the initiative led to banning the usage of plastic bags. At the outset, the initiative was met with some skepticism but eventually it saw growing acceptance and compliance with the help of the awareness campaigns conducted in partnership with sports clubs and civil society.
In order to ensure the full replacement of plastic bags, 15,000 reusable bags were handed out at public places. Consequently, Dahab followed. Hurghada also hosts the first zero plastic hotel and beach giving the town a competitive edge when it comes to eco-friendly tourism.
Towards a revolutionary approach to mitigate climate change
Youth around the world have launched creative initiatives to address this evolving threat and reduce its impact. Some of these initiatives are:
Bamboo Bicycle Project
A group of ten Ghanaian young men started a project for manufacturing bamboo bikes. The aim of this project is to reduce carbon emissions by producing bamboo bikes that consume less energy while recycling. More importantly, bamboo cultivation helps improve the ecosystems by absorbing carbon dioxide and generate up to 35% more oxygen.
Production of Biodiesel from used vegetable oil
A number of high school students in Barbados launched an awareness campaign among youth on the benefits of biodiesel – an alternative diesel extracted from used vegetable oil – as an eco-friendly diesel. As a result, the Environmental Club at the Lester Vaughan Secondary school assembled used oil, in an attempt to promote eco-friendly practices by handing them over to Sole Proprietorship, which is responsible for producing both biodiesel and glycerin.
Energy conservation, reducing carbon emissions
A group of university students from eight universities in China voluntarily participated in a group of awareness campaigns on energy-saving, by conducting door-to-door interviews with households. They also educated households, around 30,000 people, on how to save energy. Surprisingly, after a year of implementation, the average consumption throughout May-September 2010 dropped by 1 kilowatt per hour, and carbon dioxide emissions declined to around 50 tonnes.
In 2007, during their visit to India, two American siblings observed that processing tobacco and burning its leaves produces excessive carbon dioxide emissions. Consequently, they co-founded Project Jatropha. The project aims to promote the cultivation of Jatropha curcas; a perennial shrub which does not produce high carbon dioxide emissions or even degrade lands, as an alternative crop for tobacco. The project includes holding meetings with farmers, providing training workshops on the agronomics of Jatropha and organising field tours where the farmers learn how to extract biofuel and to plant Jatropha.