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In 2013, Boyan Slat began to question the large volumes of plastic accumulating in our oceans and why no one was doing anything to clean it up. At 16 years old, he began research into potential solutions to effectively recover and remove it

Becoming part of the green economy

What can the man in the street do to become part of this green economy? People always talk about recycling, LED lighting and solar panels in terms of stuff consumers can do to contribute, but what else is there?

Every activity in our lives has some kind of an impact, so the best thing we can all do is to be aware of that impact. For example, going to the supermarket and forgetting your bags at home because you were in a rush, means you’re going to buy a plastic bag, which may not be recycled. That is an impact.

In South Africa we have challenges because local and national government aren’t necessarily giving us all the alternatives to support recycling, so we have to take responsibility ourselves. Sometimes this can result in a cost-saving, such as through reducing electricity consumption, but sometimes changes such as putting in LED lights or solar PV panels on your roof can be expensive or beyond what’s affordable for many people.

But it is important to be aware and make our children aware, and take responsibility, because the compounded impact of 7 billion people on the planet all doing the right thing is extremely positive.

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