Climate Action – Patrick Tuyishime

How (Rwandan) students can take climate action into their own hands

Healthy ecosystems clean our water, purify our air, maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients, and provide us with food. They are at the foundation of all civilization and sustain our economies.

Students understand the need for protecting the environment and they are prepared to fight against its destruction. They have taken it upon themselves to spread the word and communicate the need of environmental protection to society.

                                                Recycle/Reuse Your Books

At the end of a semester or trimester, do not throw away your exercise notebooks and books, as they could be used by someone else. This will not only reduce waste of natural resources, but you will also be giving someone else the chance to study without having to spend money on buying new materials. 

On another note: Also refrain from throwing away your test booklets or work sheets, as they can be recycled or upcycled into other, high quality products.

                                           Ditch the Paper

One of the lessons we have learned from the COVID – 19 pandemic, is, that shifting our education online is very much possible. There is no need of using paper. Just enroll in your course online, download learning materials and take lecture notes on your phones or tablets if you can. 

                               Buy a Refillable Water Bottle

Annually approximately a million plastic bottles are used worldwide per minute. Only 28.6 percent are recycled others end up in the ocean. 

By carrying your own refillable bottle of water, you would be contributing to the reduction of tons of plastic, which are killing aquatic animals when being dumped in water lakes, streams, and oceans. 

    Avoid Using Motos and Busses for Transport When Possible

A big percentage of students in Rwanda do not live far from their school or university. On average, they spend about 30 minutes on walking to the location. If you want to protect the environment, wake up early and walk or cycle to school. In addition, you will be burning off that plate of chips you ate the night before. 

                                            Save Water 

Our (Rwandan) government spends a lot of money in water treatment, but you can also help by not washing dishes with the water running continuously, by taking short showers, by checking and fixing any water leaks, by reporting leakage on main water supplying pipes to WASAC and by following our country’s water use restrictions or guidelines. By doing so, you will be saving both the environment and your money!

                                        Spread the Word

If you are concerned about the well-being of our environment, advocate for the protection of it! You can use your social media platforms to share news, events, and latest figures on the environment. By doing so, you will be making people more conscious of the decisions affecting our planet and encourage them to take action and make a change. 

Patrick Tuyishime