Plant more trees, use paper bags to avert climate change

The world and Uganda in particular, has faced the challenge of adjusting to the continuously climatic changes. The traditional climatic seasons have not only been distorted but have also come with drought and hunger as it is the case in Teso today. However, environmentalists and scientists believe that this is just a tip of the iceberg of what is yet to come as a result of the people’s interference with the environment.

The environment is a big resource to life and therefore should be preserved so as not to affect the climatic conditions. Protecting the environment is the only way of recovering the lost climatic conditions of a given area.
Statistics have shown that almost all the activities carried out by human beings to earn a living have in one way or the other contributed to changes in the climate.

For instance, in Uganda today, several homes are supported by family members who work the transport industry - Boda boda riders, taxi or bus drivers and conductors etc.

The transport industry has contributed a great deal towards climate change, given that one molecule of carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for about 20 years before it is diffused.

Industries have worsened the situation by increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Besides, some factories produce polythene papers some of which are used for making bags.

However, polythene paper is detrimental to the environment. It is important to find alternatives to polythene bags and also sensitise people about the dangers of polythene papers. This will help in protecting the environment in order to achieve positive climatic change in the long run. We should also plant trees in our homes. Planting trees is one of the cheapest ways of controlling climate change. Even people who are knowledgeable about the importance of vegetation cover prefer compounds with concrete floors instead of the ones with grass.

Everyone has to play a role to ensure that we reconstitute the environment so as to achieve a stable and enjoyable climate. In short, we should use paper bags for shopping, plant trees everywhere so as to avoid being confronted with adverse climatic conditions like in Teso today.

Allan Nkonge
alnkonge@gmail.com

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Hi Allan,

A few trees are cut to produce each tonne of paper on this planet.

In your future articles, you could touch upon the need to use only 'recycled' paper to produce paper bags.

However, this creates another dichotomy - the use of recycled paper for paper bags will mean less recycled paper is available for other applications. This will again shift the burden to cutting of trees to make up the shortfall in the available quantity of paper. But hopefully less trees will need to be cut in this case.

Vijai

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Hi Vijai,

I have contacted Allan on the above email so he can defend his submission. You seem to have strong reasons for not using recycled paper to make paper bags. This could be debated upon by youths in the comming weeekly meetings.

In Bweyogerere village we have identified an organisation that recycles paper but obtains wasted paper from factories in Kampala. They are using the paper to make low grade toilet paper. The paper generated within Bweyogerere is used for burning other waste or left to rot.

The organisation seems to be eager to buy any amount of paper that will be collected by the youths. The question here is should the youths use part of the waste paper into bags and sell directly? should the industry also consider turning paper generated from Bweyogerere into raw materials for paper bags?

Cheers

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Walude

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Hi Walude,

What I have mentioned in my message above is again as under:

-Quoting myself-
In your future articles, you could touch upon the need to use only 'recycled' paper to produce paper bags.
-End of quote-

Allan has mentioned 'paper' bags, and I have stressed on the need for 'recycled paper' bags.

Further in my message, I have touched upon the dichotomy of using even 'recycled paper' bags, since when more 'recycled paper' is used to replace polythene, or plastic bags, this will result in less 'recycled paper' being available for other applications where 'recycled paper' is used. The result will be that this shortfall will have to be met through cutting of trees, as well as increasing the prices of those goods which use 'recycled paper' as an input.

The solution perhaps lies in encouraging people to use their own carry bags which could be made from jute, cloth, etc, so that the use of even 'recycled paper' for making bags is kept at a minimum. This will ensure that 'recycled paper' continues to be available for the other usual applications which have been using 'recycled paper' for years.

Vijai

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Hi Vijai,

Your argument is valid and has been taken note of. In fact the August Zero-Waste Bulleting will future an article related to the use of "recycled paper" bags vis a vis bags from other materials. This is definitely going to be a sub-project that the youths will embark on.

I will in a similar manner respond to Allan's issue on his email and also in the paper that issued it.

Thank you very much

Walude

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Anonymous

ARE the other uses being explored and evaluated as well? I am working developing recycling here in Oregon for construction materials and our approach of recycle local reuse local seems to be new to many peoples' thinking. Our experience is that we spend as much time exploring alternatives for original material as we do recycled material.

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Bruce

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Dear Bruce,

Thank you very much for highlighting the importance of identifying variuos uses of recycled paper. We will find out current uses here and would appreciate learning from your experience at Oregon.

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Walude

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