We Recycle!

Every day, Namibia’s 2.4 million citizens produce 3,000 tons of waste.[1] In efforts to reduce waste and promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Windhoek did its part to contribute to a greener Namibia. On 10 October 2017, UNIC Windhoek recycled huge piles of outdated publications from the United Nations Library in support of the SDGs addressing climate action.

Preserving our environment requires targeted efforts to protect, restore and promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and other ecosystems.[2] Goal 15 of the SDGs promotes the protection, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managed forests, combated desertification and reversed land degradation and biodiversity losses.[3] In the period 2010 – 2015, the global net loss of forest area dropped from 7.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 3.3 million hectares.[4] While this is promising, we still have a long way to go. We can all work together to use less paper, recycle and protect our environment.

Did you know that paper fibers can be reused and recycled up to 7 times?[5] The next time you pick up a piece of paper, try to think of it as 7 future pages, not just the 1 in your hand. Recyclable items that are improperly disposed of are no longer useful and could end up contaminating the environment, in landfills or incinerated. Recycling allows useful materials to be recovered and reused to prevent entrance into the waste stream. Every ton of paper that is recycled is a ton of paper that does not go into a landfill. Even every 1-ton of paper saves 10 giant trees![6]

UNIC Windhoek reached out to  a local recycling company, Rent a drum who came to collect the  documents, outdated publications and piles of paper that remained after the renovation of the library during 2012.  In line with the UN’s disposal policy, this act represents an ongoing promise by the United Nations to use resources more sustainably to promote the protection of our environment and planet.

Already the United Nations System in Namibia installed solar panels on the roof of the UN House in a commitment to reduce carbon emissions in Namibia. Everyone can play a part in taking climate action,  you can help by turning off your lights, recycling everyday materials and by using less paper. Champion of the United Nations Climate Action initiatives, actor Leonardo DiCaprio said, “We’ve been given this gift, our planet, and we’ve found no other places in the universe that we can inhabit. I want to do something to create radical change to help save it. Its our responsibility!” Together we can all make a difference, let’s get to work!

[1] Recycle Namibia Forum, Electronic Source: Accessed October 12, 2017. http://rnf.com.na/

[2] United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016

[3] UN SDG Report 2016

[4] UN SDG Report 2016

[5] North Carolina Forestry, “Does Recycling Save Trees?”

[6] RNF, 2017.