Do my actions safeguard or destroy our environment?
The University has a responsibility to ensure that its operations, students, and staff are oriented towards environmental protection and sustainability. As an institution guided by the need to ensure sustainability, we strive to closely integrate sustainable practices within our campus. The administrative department would like to bring to your attention some of the initiatives we undertake on environmental sustainability that require your support and contribution.
Environmental sustainability calls for deeper introspection into our behavior. We need to start asking ourselves where we have gone wrong, how we can improve and how we can help future generations to embrace actions that are more geared towards sustainability. We should be asking ourselves: What do I do that can harm the environment? What practices can be improved to achieve sustainability within campus? Do my actions count or are they destructive?
As an ethical principle, sustainability requires lasting decisions that focus not only on current actions but more on encouraging our society to do good towards the environment and do more to ensure sustainability- environmental ethics.
In Philosophy studies environmental ethics is defined as the relationship of human beings to the values and moral status of the environment. Environmental sustainability is defined differently by the various international bodies and scholars. The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines sustainability as the capacity to improve the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the Earth’s supporting eco-systems. The third definition is from Paul Haken, an environmentalist, who defines sustainability as the ability to stabilize the current disruptive relationship between earth’s two most complex systems – human culture and living world. In summary, environmental sustainability revolves around human values and morals (culture) that affects current and future needs with the aim of improving the quality of life.
Guided by these principles, some of the projects we have initiated are:
- Waste management through recycling initiatives
- Energy and water management
- Safe and clean environment
Waste Management and Recycling
We have set up a recycling collection centre at the sports field where wastepaper and plastic bottle are collected and sold for recycling purposes.
We call upon all staff and students to help us collect as much as possible by using our designated recycling bins around campus.
Do good by:
- Dropping off your bottle and paper in the bins labeled for recycling.
- Avoiding littering around and within campus.
- Using printing paper, tissue paper and any other paper/ university resources well.
- Reducing printing and adopting paperless communication/ transactions.
- Carrying a reusable bottle and/ or food containers.
- Sharing ideas on how we can improve waste within campus especially on e- waste and food waste.
Safe and Clean Environment
A clean and well maintained environment is attractive to everyone. The University strives to achieve this through the support of security, maintenance, landscaper and housekeeping team and constantly seeking more ways to improve and maintain standards. We rely on the entire University community to adhere to the standards and maintain order within campus as well as give us feedback and ideas in areas that need attention in terms of repairs and maintenance etc.
Do good by:
- Keeping off grass and using designated footpaths
- Planting more trees
- Reporting maintenance and repair issues
- Respecting the cleaning signs.
- Keeping left while walking on corridors/ staircases
- Respecting all workers within Campus.
Be more by:
- Sharing ideas on how we can improve and sustain our environment.
- Donating trees for planting around campus.
- Partnering with admin office to carry out campaigns on environmental sustainability.
- Encouraging your teams/ staff to practice and adopt environmental sustainability practices.
- Researching on environmental sustainability practices that can be adopted in Kenya.
Read part two of this article next week.
This article was written by Esther K. Muriithi, Manager, Administration Services Department.
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