Green. It’s More Than Just A Color in the Modern World

3rd Aug, 2016

What comes to your mind when you think of the color green? Kidero’s grass? Maybe that sukumawiki you had for dinner last night? Or if you’re lucky enough to be part of the ‘American Dream’, dollar bills!

As much as all those are great answers, the word of the day is Environment. As it stands, the world is raving about “going green” as temperatures continue to soar with the growing menace of global warming.

Did you know that the last two decades of the 20th century have been the hottest in the last 400 years?

I’m quite sure you all vividly remember the month of “Njaanuary” this year. The heat wave of epic proportions that had us all wanting ice cream for breakfast and siestas all afternoons.

However, global warming goes way beyond just feeling sickly hot. It extends to rising sea levels, species’ extinction; dying coral reefs, change of our agricultural calendars (you get the picture). It therefore does not come as a surprise that everyone is jumping on the “go green” bandwagon.

So, who will save our planet? We’re lucky enough to have our usual superheroes: the United Nations, NGOs, celebrities and the church swooping in to the rescue. However, there is a new uncharacteristic player in the game. Drumrolls please…Banks!

You probably didn’t see that coming but it’s no secret that banks are giving a new meaning to the word green through sustainable banking a.k.a. green banking.

Though there is no concrete definition of green banking, the picture that should resonate in your mind is basically banking practices that promote the reduction of carbon footprints.

A carbon footprint is the total sum of all harmful greenhouse gas emission produced directly or indirectly as a result of human activities.

Technology has made life easier and through mobile or online banking, your money is available at the click of the button. The benefit- you’ve saved your time and by extension, the world.

You may be wondering what online banking has to do with saving the environment. Think of it this way, back in the day, you had to make regular trips to the bank to make even a single transaction. Now you can consider the countless forms you had to fill in and the never-ending lines you had to queue in all things of the past. It’s pretty simple really; no forms=no paper.

The ripple effect is that a tree somewhere out there is safe. Therefore, the next time you go on your banking app, pat yourself on the back because you may have just saved a bird from losing its nest.

Kenya is definitely on the right track. Recently, Kenya was mentioned in the Green Finance and Non-G20 Developing Countries’ report as one of the developing countries leading the world on the green finance front.

And this is only the beginning. We are at a point in time where all organisms (human beings too, in case you were wondering) have become versions of tomatoes. How? Well, we’re all in one big greenhouse.

However, instead of healthy growth like our counterparts the tomatoes, we endure the problem of global warming. Emission of copious amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has contributed greatly to the increasing temperatures in the planet and as a result, countries are coming together to find a solution to this problem.

From Barter to Carbon Trading

The Kyoto Protocol commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions. In light of this, a new form of trade has cropped up; carbon emissions trading. To put it simply, a country with more carbon dioxide emissions can buy the right to emit more while the country with lower emissions gives up that same right. Therefore everyone has a specific limit of carbon emission.

It’s about time we all became heroes in our own right and realized that green is no longer just a color, it is now a lifestyle.

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