Titash Chakraborty –
The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, celebrates Oman Environment Day on January 8, upon the directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to embody the role played by the Sultanate in preserving the environment, and support efforts made to protect our natural resources.
We are an integral part of our environment and our actions can have a drastic impact on not only the livelihood of those around us, but also the quality of life of the flora and fauna that we share this earth with. We have one home and it is the responsibility of every individual, community and organisation that we strive towards bettering our lives and of those that depend on us towards a future that is both ethical and sustainable.
There are various ways in which an individual can adapt to their lifestyle, making changes that benefit the environment in many different ways.
Do not throw away water you can use to water plants.
Use a bowl when rinsing fruit or vegetables and re-use the water in your garden.
Put a bucket under a dripping air conditioning unit and use what you collect to water plants.
Fill the sink with water when washing dishes rather than leaving the tap running. Did you know that if you leave the tap running when you brush your teeth you could easily use more than 20 litres of water?
Throw household rubbish and litter away in rubbish bins. Make sure that rubbish is thrown in municipal bins so that it can be collected.
Litter can harm animals. Broken glass and cans can cut animals searching for food.
Litter on the beach may be carried out to sea and harm coral reefs and floating plastic bags can choke turtles and other marine life.
Make your own bird sanctuary. You can encourage birds to visit your garden by putting out a shallow tray of water for them to drink and bathe in. For food, try putting out orange peels and some nuts from a local tree.
Avoid damaging coral. Collecting coral is prohibited by law in Oman! Ensure that you do not anchor boats on coral reefs as they are easily damaged. Avoid collecting live shells which are usually homes to tiny creatures.
Say “No” to plastic bags if you do not need them. Shops often provide plastic bags, even for just one or two items. Make sure that you tell shop clerks that you do not need a bag.
Buy re-usable canvas bags. These can be bought at most supermarkets in Oman now. They can also be used as a beach bag or for purposes other than shopping. Make sure that the bags are kept in your car so that you don’t forget them when you go to the supermarket.
Play an active role in keeping your town clean. Help keep your local beaches or wadis clean by organising your own cleanups. Your municipal office will help dispose of the collected rubbish.
Dispose of household chemicals and used oil properly. If these chemicals are poured into the ground, they could seep into groundwater supplies and pollute our drinking water. Contact the municipality for advice on safe disposal of products you are unsure of.
A perfect Alternative!
An Omani company has taken up the challenge to provide people of the region an alternative to plastic that is both biodegradable and compostable! SainBags are an organic alternative that are made from cassava starch and other materials from renewable resources.
“SainBags start to biodegrade almost instantly at a very fast rate. After 17 days, nearly 94.6 per cent of it completes degrading and it continues, at 45 days, SainBags are at almost 128.4 per cent. On an average, plastic takes thousands of years to break down, while SainBags degrade in less than 3 months,” said Husain Baomer, Chairman of SainBags.
The perfect alternative to plastic, it carries the same functionality and can be used as shopping bags, lifestyle bags, garbage bags or pet waste bags. Additionally, it can also be made into table rolls, aprons and as sheets.
Joining in with the celebrations, SainBags wishes to contribute its little green steps into the peoples’ daily lives, helping them maintain their personal lifestyle as well as saving and protecting the earth at the same time.
“Just the way to safeguard our family’s health, let’s be responsible and protect the environment’s health. Be the change you want to see in the world,” added Husain Baomer.