PETALING JAYA: As the effects of global warming become more severe, Malaysians, like everyone else, must take drastic steps to slow the rate of environmental degradation.
Kapas Conservation Society activist Kayan Ratnam said there was a need to strategize how to deal with a world with increasing environmental and social challenges.
“All man-made pollution is bad, but the toxic ones are worse as they can destroy a lot of life in a short period of time,” he told theSun.
As someone who has been doing coastal clean-ups for years, Kayan said litter like plastic bottles, styrofoam, fishing nets and floats, toothbrushes, lighters and shoes make up the bulk of the litter found on Malaysian beaches.
“It is also striking that the number of plastic bottles found has risen sharply in the last 15 years. Think how many plastic bottles, bags, cups and straws you use in a day and multiply that by the size of the population and you can get an idea of how bad things are,” he said.
“I asked myself a while ago what I could do to reduce global warming, and the answer is part of what drives me to do what I do. I remember the need to reduce, reuse and recycle.”
Kayan added that the main culprit of global warming is what we commonly refer to as greenhouse gases.
“These come from a variety of sources, from methane emitted by livestock to toxic smoke mixtures produced by various industries.
“As a country blessed with lush jungles that act like a sponge and soak up pollutants, we must up our game to conserve and protect this precious resource.”
Kayan said awareness programs are the first step, and once people are aware of the problem, we can start finding solutions that work for us.
He added that companies also need to be aware and aware of their impact on the environment.
Vice-president of environmental NGO EcoKnights Amlir Ayat said air quality in Malaysia, particularly in the Klang Valley, is above dangerous levels due to global warming. Among the priority actions the public can take is to use water, electricity and fossil-fuel vehicles only when needed.
“Eliminate open burning, avoid buying products made by air-polluting companies, and use LED lights.”
Amlir suggested companies take important green options including installing water and energy saving devices, promoting water and energy saving practices among their employees, both indoors and outdoors, working only with the “greenest” partners, Minimizing waste by adopting a closed loop resource management system (the basis for circular economy) and conducting water and energy audits to monitor, evaluate and determine the next best course of action.