Citizens, you are how well you behave!

How wonderful that we even have a day marked to clean our bedrooms! We call it our ‘environment day.’

We are a society that can take shame in whatever form it comes. Cleaning campaigns are held regularly, but what good do they do?

How clean are our rivers and streams? Who looks after waste that flows out of our kitchen and restrooms?

When the day dawns, we do some cleaning, to educate our people with the hope that something good could be achieved in the end. Not a bad thought altogether, is it?

But how sustainable are our thoughts? That is the real question.

Our schools, teachers, and students clean our rivers and streams, backyards and campuses, but little do they get in the end. Certificates and small materials of recognition are cheap. What we need is public education. But does mass schooling even help?

Plastic is a problem in a country like ours, and rules and regulations have been passed to stop plastic packaging. Many years have passed, yet plastic packaging reigns still. Who do we blame? Our lawmakers are busy building their own political mileage, while the very pillar of our development philosophy – Gross National Happiness – is going down the drains.

We would be happy if one politician complains today and proves their point. We invite the debate.

Thimphu Thromde alone spends a total of about Nu 2.135 million on collection and disposal of waste every month.

The thromde pays Greener Way and Clean City Nu 1 million and Nu 0.43 million at least every month. Of a total of 48.22 metric tonnes of waste collected from the city daily, some 37.02 metric tonnes is dry waste, composed mostly of plastic.

Residents need to take care of their own waste. If you, as an individual, cannot bring to care your own waste, expect not that others will do for you. The duty begins from home. That’s what we need to understand.

It’s a wonderful thing that we have an Environment Day of our own, But shouldn’t every day be an Environment Day, at least in this country that the world looks up to as a leader in preservation and promotion of natural environment?

Many seem to think that our little efforts to adopt and clean our rivers and streams are farcical and useless. We do not think so. The lessons we have learnt is that if elders can show the way, the young are willing to take the lead.