Stand up for your future – respect the environment.  That’s one of the calls to action by the Lead SA campaign that was launched in 2010.  It calls on each and every one of us to think about the kind of future we want for ourselves, our children and our communities.  Taking responsibility for the few square metres we regularly inhabit can make a huge difference to the quality of our lives in the future, the health of the planet in general and it will definitely affect whether we end up living in a mound of squalor or in pleasant surroundings.

Small actions DO make a difference. Paying attention to the little things and working our way up from there, we can bring about a positive change in our environment.  It all rests on us really noticing and altering our everyday habits.

It is essential that we stop waiting around for directions and take ownership of our piece of earth.  Thanks to the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), we are increasingly seeing more co-ordination and cohesion amongst the various stakeholders in waste management. In some provinces, we now have recyclables collected from our homes – we don’t even have to sort them.  For those of us that aren’t yet part of that system, we need to stop complaining and find a way of disposing of these things ourselves.  Take your cans, bottles and paper to your local school.  Most schools look for extra funding and they can earn substantial amounts of money from the recyclables they collect.  What better way to present an example to the children, who really are our future.

The issue is not to wait and wonder whether someone else will do it, but to step up, make a call, talk to someone and actually DO something.  That’s what this initiative is all about – not sitting back and waiting for something to happen or someone to tell you what to do, but to just to do it yourself.

The president of IWMSA, Mr Stan Jewaskiewitz takes the challenge of leading the way very seriously.  He says “The IMWSA is greatly encouraged by the steady growth in membership of both organisations and individuals. This seems to indicate that there is an expanding consciousness of the importance of maintaining certain protocols in waste management.”  He continues, “The IWMSA is proud to be associated with such positive, creative change which can only be brought about if people become interested and involved in working together towards a common goal.  Now is the time to step up and lead the way.”

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA visit: www.iwmsa.co.za