Greener World: Belarus

When talking about a country’s stance on being environmentally friendly, it is interesting to note how each country appears to tackle the same problem very different ways. Belarus, for example, is a country surrounded by Russia, Poland and the Ukraine has been slower than its neighbors in adopting an environmental stance to deal with its development. “The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry of Belarus plans to launch the development of “green” standards for the Belarusian economy this year, Minister Vladimir Tsalko said at a meeting of the ministerial board on 23 February” (Belta, 2012).

That’s all great, but the most interesting thing that I find is not the fact that Belarus is finally jumping on board with developing country-wide “green” initiatives, it’s that they have decided to do it now. Now, when the 2012 Earth Summit is due to occur in the next coming months. The summit “will be attended by many heads of state to discuss a new model of European economic development – green economy” (Belta, 2012). Ironic to think that for some countries it take a massive event such as the Summit to kickstart a new initiative. Particularly one that benefits everyone.

It makes me wonder about what it is that motivates each of us on an individual level to think more “green.” What is it that makes us want to be kinder to our environment? What makes us want to change the way we live in order to live longer? Is it similar to the country of Belarus to which we need something big to point a finger at us and tell us we’re doing it wrong?

I suppose on a general level most of us are lazy as human beings. Overall, we generally don’t do something unless we have to. We’ll pick the path of least resistance simply because it’s the path of least resistance. There are few of us who have enough discipline and patience to analyze each angle of our life choices and sort out which one will be the best option for our future. Most of us would rather just buy the doughnut at the shop we just passed because it’s on sale and smelled good.

Similarly to our health choices – how often to each of us actually stick to our New Year’s “get fitter” resolutions or actually change our eating habits for the better? Similarly to our financial choices – how many of us actually start planning for retirement in our 20s or get out of debt before we die? Similarly to our career choices – whom of us has actually taken the risk for the raise, quit a job we didn’t like or applied for something that might challenge us in an area we have never tried? Similarly to our relationships, our gadget choices, our motivation to get the biggest, the best, the quickest, the fastest “thing,” I suppose we all are slow to pick up on the idea that being “green” is good.

Going eco should not be a difficult choice. It should not be something we groan at or laugh at when we hear of other “tree-huggers” who have done something radical to change our lives. Just the same as people all of a sudden stop swearing and start going to church when they have children, so should we start thinking about being green. The reality is that going green benefits us all – it’s not just about us. It’s about our friends. Our family. Our children. Our community – our world. It’s about everything we’re connected to and beyond.

What kind of world do we want to live in? Is it one where we are so caught up with moving so incredibly fast that we forget what is important in life?

Somehow we have this warped idea that we all treasure what is important and yet none of us seem to actually follow through with our supposed values. We all know that friends and family are important and yet we choose jobs and lifestyles that limit our ability to spend time building on those relationships. We all know that eating healthy, being outdoors and exercising regularly is important and yet we choose to drive to the corner store, spend 12hrs/day indoors and laze on the couch after work instead of going for a walk. I should hope that we all know our world and the environment we live in is important – but what are we doing about it?


Be the change you want to see in the world.

~ Ghandi



Belta. (2012, February 23). Economy – Belarusian economy to go green. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from Belta:

One Comment

  1. Ayushman Saini

    That is very motivating Shalane. While going through the last para of this thought provoking article, i remembered a quote i read few years back,
    Everyone knows the way, few follow the path.

    It applies to all of us and only the disciplined among us get counted to be the icons.

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