It was World Environment Day – the annual reminder to dust off that catchy slogan reduce, reuse, and recycle. Each year, the call to restore the planet has increased in urgency. Now, this call demands to be at the top of our to-do list, every day.
Ikigai- is a co-working space surrounded by lush green vegetation & serene surroundings, makes it easy to forget the urgency and believe the threat is far away. A quick trip around Nairobi is a stark reminder that the need is not only great but of utmost importance.
It can be daunting to think about restoring a city like Nairobi, let alone the whole planet that has undergone centuries of damage from environmentally unsound practices in the name of development, and that is why we must think beyond the age-old slogan of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
This year, we are taking stock of our daily actions and introducing an additional ‘R’ we can do to preserve and protect the environment at home or at work, every day – Reimagine.
Start with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
While there was previously less emphasis in developing countries to recycle, repairing our planet will take work from everyone. This is a model that has worked in Rwanda – which is home to Africa’s greenest city. In a practice called Umuganda, the collective comes together to tend to the environment by picking litter or planting trees. Engrained into a monthly routine enforced by the Rwandese government, Umuganda has drastically changed the mindset and practices of Rwandese citizens to sustainable thinking and prioritizing environmentally-friendly habits.
Behavior becomes a habit and a first step can be as simple as creating a recycling habit at home or at the office. This has been made easier by PETCO – PET Recycling Company – who use recycled items to create other products, minimizing the waste that would have otherwise gone into a landfill in Dandora.
PETCO has dropoff sites conveniently located in popular shopping malls such as Two Rivers, Galleria Mall, Capital Centre making it easier to recycle household items. At Ikigai,
However, this is just the beginning, we need to create systems that put the environment at the center of development and innovation.
Re-imagine Innovation & Development:
Termed as the circular economy, it urges businesses to approach development from a sustainable perspective that benefits the environment and the people by using discarded items to make new products.
Circling back to Rwanda, encouraging entrepreneurs has inspired them to create solutions to tackle climate change. An article by Forbes highlights Rosette Muhoza a green entrepreneur and winner of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Award for her idea to re-imagine discarded plastic as an affordable alternative for construction.
This is one instance of the many innovations sprouting across the continent.
Here at home, renewable energy projects such as those by Ikigai members – GridX Africa and Namene Solar – provide growing businesses with cost-effective energy solutions that safeguard the environment while galvanizing development. They demonstrate we do not have to compromise the environment for development.
Reimagining our approach to development through recycling, reusing & reducing our negative footprints on the environment might be a movement and mindset that will take some time to adopt. Nonetheless, it is a great reminder that the success of our environment is also our success.
This World Environment Day, go beyond reduce, reuse and recycle; reimagine how we can restore the environment at home, in our workspaces, offices, and our community in general.
Remember no matter how small, every action counts.
Ikigai is a collective of beautifully designed workspaces across Nairobi in Westlands, Lavington, Lower Kabete, and soon, Riverside! We provide beautifully designed nature-inspired workspace designed to support you and your team as you grow. Visit any of our locations today to find the perfect office space for you.