The title of the article may sound a lot like a go green campaign from an organic cosmetic product or a tagline from an NGO, but it is not so. This article is intended to garner the attention of busy employees working in an office building and turn a little bit of our attention to preserving the environment. I am not based in Bali nor am I a certified yoga instructor. I am also one of you, an office employee working at the capital city of Jakarta.

The company I work at is called MESO Service and Virtual Office, a company providing secretarial services, office addresses for rent, fully furnished office rooms for rent, meeting rooms for rent, company establishment services and so on (if you’re interested, click on our website or contact us). Our office is located at the 19th Floor of APL Tower, a Central Business District in the heart of West Jakarta. Situated on the 19th floor, I have the luxury of having nice big windows with really great city views but honestly, I hardly have time to enjoy them due to the busy workload.

Nonetheless, the idea to write this article came this morning from one of my colleagues. She told me that the only male species of White Rhinoceros has died of old age, leaving two other females left. Although an attempt was made to ensure possible insemination to the female rhinos, there is no success guarantee. In other words, we may not be able to have new baby White Rhinoceros born to this world. Somehow the news moved me, not that I have any attachment to the animal, but I feel that somehow I may have contributed to his death. Living in Jakarta, there are no such things as garbage separation or anti-plastic campaign supported by the government.

The city itself is still so chaotic that only a very small amount of people actually cares and tries to campaign against environment destruction. However, due to Jakarta being a metropolitan city, almost everything is centred on commerce and so, people tend to have less awareness towards the environment. For instance, the anti-plastic movement several years ago that charges extra fee for grocery plastics were stopped due to its inefficiency, also garbage separation is not a compulsory. Everyone throws his or her garbage and waste in the same bin.

Without realizing it we, city dwellers have contributed a huge amount of pollution to the environment. We need to be aware of these things and contribute more to saving the environment.  Contributions do not have to come in the form of monetary or social work, it could be done in a very passive way. For instance, a few weeks back I found out about WWF’s 30 Claps campaign in a bathroom stall.  I personally think that it's a super efficient way to minimize paper usage.

I admit it’s not one of the most appropriate places, but the idea is very interesting. The “30 claps” campaign basically urges people to clap 30 times to dry their hands instead of using tissue paper or the hand dryer. This way not only will you be able to save on electricity usage but also paper usage. These further leads to fewer coals usage and fewer trees cut in the forests. All of these contribute to a better environment for the jungle habitants and a cleaner air for everybody. Moreover, it takes nothing but just a few movements of the hands to get your hands dry too!

Alongside the 30 Claps movement, passive contributions like saving electricity and water can actually give quite significant impact to the environment too. It is also not difficult to do; we just need to remember to turn off the tap after using, or turning off the lights when leaving the room. If you are willing to put more effort, try separating your garbage.

I used to live in Austria and we had to separate our garbage into 5 categories. For starters, you don’t need to do that. Just separate it to 2 categories, organic and non-organic, it won’t take long and it’s not hard to do.

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In summary, I do believe that the destruction of environment is a real concern and should be the responsibility of everybody. We all take a share of the pie, be it those who directly cut down trees or those who indirectly turn the tap water on after using. To prevent more species from dying out, we can all work together by doing the simplest things, the 30 Claps, turning off lights and tap water when not using, and simple garbage separation.

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