Invest in 'little green warriors', environmentalist says

Environmentalist Ms Catherine Gichungu. [Joseph Ochieng, Mizizi Eco Circle]

Parents, institutions of learning and policy makers should invest in transforming the young into “little green warriors” to conserve, preserve and sustainably use the environment.

Speaking after the “Run for nature” event at Mizizi Eco Circle in Karen, environmentalist Ms Catherine Gichungu said although nurturing environment is the duty of young and old, greater focus should be placed on getting the young to begin to play their roles as green warriors early in life.

Her centre, Greenit Decors + Mizizi Eco Circle, prepares the young to play an active role in environmental conservation, including through planting and caring for indigenous trees and sustainable use of resources.

'Green warriors' planting a treet during the event. [Joseph Ochieng, Mizizi Eco Circle]

The centre hosted the run on Saturday, ahead of the “World Environment Day” that was marked today. Hundreds of people participated in the half day run, which also entailed environmental chit-chat and planting of trees.

“There is a common saying that we have borrowed the earth from our children hence the reason we should teach them about nature from early age. You have also heard it said that when the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind. It cannot get clearer than that,” she said.

At the event, three main crises facing the planet were cited, and discussed: Climate Change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

'Run for nature' participants. [Joseph Ochieng, Mizizi Eco Circle]

Participants were encouraged to plant indigenous Kenyan trees that are easily adaptable to the local environment, to know the trees they plant, to preserve soil quality sustainably, through among other things, composting.

“There are many ways to play our roles, even from a user perspective. For instance, we can say no to single use plastic, and insist on eco-friendly packaging for the things we buy, including flowers,” Gichungu said.

They were also encouraged to stop the biodiversity loss by planting plants for pollinators like bees, beetles and birds. Indigenous Kenyan trees Acacia, Croton and Muthiga tree (Warbugia Ugandensis) are perfect for this.

Half-day run participants. [Joseph Ochieng, Mizizi Eco Circle]

Other dangers to biodiversity discussed, with solutions, was the harmful use and application of chemicals and single use of resources which can be recycled.

Besides training youngsters into becoming green warriors, Mizizi Eco Centre also runs other environment programmes among them school tours, green journal program and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact initiative.