Last week we called a meeting of the Couchsurfing Jordan Environmental Group to discuss the current environmental issues that we’re facing and plan activities for the coming weeks.
A few critical environmental issues we’re facing in Jordan–
-water shortages and misuse
-recycling, the lack thereof
-littering and lack of awareness
-vandalism of the caves
Challenges–just cleaning things up is not sustainable, because people will grow complacent by expecting cleanup efforts to continue without their imput. At the least you need to clean up, pull schoolchildren, and a wide range of community members into the process, and leave behind a sign that encourages people to leave the place nice. Maybe on the first few days post some friendly enforcers to hand out informational phamplets (from recycled paper) and field questions on why not to litter, in the wadi, for example, where families typically come, picnic within the first 100 meters and leave a scattering of debris which more families come and scatter over.
From this discussion we brainstormed a lovely way to produce environmental action from a synthesis of social groups.
We identified Couchsurfing as a catalyst. Its a versatile network through which travellers flow, bringing untired energy, and fresh ideas wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.
Couchsurfing is limited by the nature of travelling; that the stay of travellers is typically brief. They dont possess the time to see grand projects come into flower or fruition. But they can serve a vital function: to fuel longer projects with fresh inspiration and short bursts of energy. To keep environmental projects fresh, juicy and flowing like rivers of fruit punch.
It’s significant to note, from pervious cleanup efforts, the admiration which which kids regard foreigners, whom they seldom see, involved in cleaning up their natural environment and the environment which they and their families probably scattered with plastic cups once but will do so no longer.
And couchsurfers, working along with schoolchildren, working along with community organisations, could be a potent (but non-toxic and environmentally friendly) combination.
The four stages of Awareness:
-Just woke–still groggy
And here is something environmental you can do immediately if you are in Jordan. It fulfills two important criteria–it’s easy and it costs nothing. Join the Couchsurfing Jordan Environmental Group–go on, jump in, the water’s nice–get involved in the events that are happening and organise your own event. They need manpower and womanpower.
Here’s the link to the CS Jordan Environment Society: http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=21708
(can we call it CSJES for short?). Join. Do it. Now. If youre not in Jordan start your own environmental group
through CS or somewhere else.
Heres another way you can start your own group:
A global campaign that mobilizes communities to clean up the world. Associated with: UN Environment Programme. Located in: 120 countries, most likely including yours.
Why am I writing this?, perhaps you wonder. Why am I spending my weekday morning writing this when I could be watching television or shopping? Why am I spending my time trying to encourage YOU, the reader, to do something regardless of whether youre in Jordan or New South Wales or Northern Irtusk or Southeast Tajikstan. Because I can see the potential for change. I know that we multiply that potential as we begin to create change. And potential is the fabric from which actions are made.
With our thoughts we make the world and with our actions we pull our dreams into being. With our fears we make four walls around us. Until we make a window the currents of inspiration on the air can’t drift in. My greatest fears have already coughed out their feeble sickness on me, and with the stones from the fallen wall I will make a bridge. Right now it’s an invisible bridge. But as I bring my dreams into being the stepping stones emerge.