An Open Letter to Earth's Young People

Dear Youth,

How has the voyage on life's great sea been? I hope you have continuously learnt the lessons and kept your ship sailing after the early storms hit. More waters remain to be covered - more trends to be set. Therefore, hold on to your vigour and captain on. I am like you. I am young. I have vigour.

For a while now, sustainable development has been in the consciousness of leaders in almost all positive spheres of life, often it is on their lips, in their deeds it is also seen. This recent global action stirred me into reflection for a period. I reflected harder than I did when complex calculus problems stared up at me impatiently. Reflections on what little things you and I could do together for earth and her people with the fire in our bones, youthful values, knowledge, skills and vigour. I came up with simple Promethean ideas. These I will share with you.

Friend, I hit on the first idea on one of those days when I wasn't at a loss, when I didn't notice the unfair and imbalanced ratio between the vowels and consonants in words like 'hymn' and 'church'. Just like a perfectly designed spider web, we can connect, we can network. Yes, networking was the idea. By creating networks in our neighborhood, classes, markets etc we would exchange ideas, share and discuss or debate about the most up-to-date knowledge and technologies relating to people in our society and earth with the brightest of minds. The first network I belonged to, used WhatsApp as a platform for discussions. As simple as it was, we achieved by doing the little things that matter.
Also, you and I can support recycling. We may not have the resources for building a recycling factory but we can play parts in local ways. We can set up a small collection point in our lanes and drives for these factories with our plastic or paper labelled drums and baskets. We can gather recyclable materials with our friends. Moreover, using our Facebook and Twitter accounts we can create campaigns to promote recycling. By doing these, we fight land and air pollution, protect the environment, reduce energy consumption, amount of waste to land fills and global warming, conserve natural resources and ensure sustainable use of resources. I believe in you. You can do this. Small acts, great advantages.

It is an inarguable truth that water is life in another form. Recently, evaporation rates of water bodies have become more rapid due to global warming. Hence, water conservation is necessary as plants and humans cannot survive without it. We can preserve the planet by conserving water in the little ways possible; by not running the tap while brushing and by reducing our shower time. This is the third action plan, simple and practicable. Sounds doable? I trust your vigour.

Another thing we can do for the people and planet is to grow a tree (not plant a tree) and start thinking green. I didn't see a difference between planting and growing till I read a quote of a female Kenyan environmental activist. Wangari Maathai said, "Anybody can dig a hole and plant a tree. But make sure it survives. You have to nurture it, you have to water it, you have to keep at it until it becomes rooted so it can take care or itself. There are so many enemies of trees". You see the difference too? When we grow a 'lung of the planet', the air is purified and our people are given fresh strength. 

Lets-go-green-placard

Thinking green is being mindful of and sensitive to the natural environment in which we find ourselves daily! Everyday is Earth Day.

Lastly, we can share with and teach other people the importance of preserving the planet. We would take what we know and pass it to others. If every person we know could take one small step toward being greener, the collective effort could be phenomenal.

I believe in you. I believe in your vigour.

Yours Sincerely,

Your friend


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen , a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a decolonized African, environmentalist and ready volunteer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, 2015 Senior Category Gold Winner of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, and youth correspondent at yourcommonwealth.org . His growing passions lie within the circle of Climate Action, Media and Information, IT, Youth Education and Leadership. Apart from volunteering with Earthplus, The Green Campus Initiative, and doing creative writing, Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via chrischovwen@gmail.com