The "school" effect

Posted on June 05, 2020 | Darys Estrella

Let's imagine that we are a small fish in the vastness of the ocean, which is part of a school. We form groups with those who are the same or similar and who share our values, beliefs and tastes...

Let's imagine that we are a small fish in the vastness of the ocean, which is part of a school. We form groups with those who are the same or similar and who share our values, beliefs and tastes. We feel safe there, as the multiplier effect of thousands of us forms a barrier that keeps dangers away, even for most predators. We surround ourselves with those whom we need or want to have close to live.

We are only a small fish among thousands or perhaps millions and we do not give the necessary importance to our small daily actions.

If I throw the garbage on the floor, nothing happens ... it's a garbage at last ...

If I leave the light on, nothing happens ... it's a little light at last ...

If I leave the tap open or dripping, nothing happens ... they are drops, the water is cheap ...

What we do not take into account is the "school" effect ... it is not just me ... we are 8 billion people on Planet Earth, of whom almost 11 million live in the Dominican Republic. The impact of these small daily actions add or subtract, for better or for worse.

We have started to think, how many will be doing the same as me right now, here in the country, or perhaps on the other side of the world?

Did you know that the Duquesa landfill is in the world ranking among the 50 largest landfills in the world? [1] Almost 4 thousand tons of household and hazardous waste are deposited daily at this site without any treatment or control. And the informal recycling that takes place there, in subhuman conditions, recovers less than 3% of the recoverable materials found in the garbage. Consumerism has led us to live a disposable life ... everything we use ends up in the trash. And what is worse, the ecological footprint of those actions will last centuries after we have left this world.

The solution seems simple, but the challenge is great. We must relearn and create a new environmental awareness. We cannot allow ourselves to continue causing harm, ignoring that nothing happens and that everything can remain the same.

The best garbage is the one that is not generated. Let's think before buying if we really need that item, and if so what will we do with it when we need it already? This is when reuse and recycling actions take value.

The same goes for electricity, we live in a country with unmet demand. Not everyone has equal access and the service is not continuous for everyone. Being more aware and eco-efficient makes even more sense. Turning off unnecessary lights, using LED lighting, acquiring energy-efficient equipment and appliances are small actions that add to energy savings.

Regarding the water resource, it takes special importance in summer, when part of the population suffers from the shortage of this vital and important liquid for our day to day. But we don't mind washing the canopy, the sidewalks or the car every day, or leaving the key dripping. The water that we spend unnecessarily today will be lacking tomorrow.

The "shoal" effect adds or subtracts, our small actions count and can have a positive environmental impact on our environment.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) said: "There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity, and atomic energy: the will."

The willingness to want to do things well, to generate change, to have a better world for myself and for those around me. And this is possible through small actions, changes in habits and creating environmental awareness, which with the multiplying effect, such as schools, will generate positive impacts on our environment.

Let's celebrate June 5, International Environment Day, giving the best gift: our contribution, small or large, but constant, to have a better world for everyone.

June 5, International Environment Day

[1] Waste Atlas: The World’s 50 Biggest Dumpsites, 2014 Report