A small gesture which attracted my attention, as a news personality and an environmentalist, is a decision taken by Malawi Embassy in Brazil to send electronic Christmas (E-Xmas) cards to all its affiliated dignitaries, government institutions as well as officials during this festive season.
Accompanying the E-Xmas card, which has gone viral on the social media, is a brief rationale for the decision.
“Embracing the Christmas spirit this year, the embassy of the republic of Malawi has decided to send an e-Christmas card to all our friends and family. Our embassy will use the money that it will save from printing, handling and posting toward a good cause.
“We are also mindful of our carbon footprint and sensitive that we need to do our part, as such, please accept our Christmas message and greetings with love. By your understanding, you are helping to keep the world a better and sustainable place.”
Curious of this development, this reporter conducted a quick investigation which has revealed that government spends millions upon millions in communication formalities especially during festive season.
For instance, the investigation has revealed that every Embassy, Ministry, etc. sends out physical cards to each other in the traditional spirit of wishing them compliments of the season.
In terms of monetary value, this reporter has found out that one card may cost about $2—that is the whole process of graphic designing to printing.
Then, there is transportation (courier) involved locally and internationally. Imagine from Blantyre to Lilongwe or Lilongwe to Mzuzu or from Malawi to other countries within Africa or Overseas.
The reporter has found out that in such circumstances, Fedex or Dhl, charge A4 envelope approximately $20.
So if we are to calculate how many cards are sent by one Ministry to another and not forgetting other government institutions, the cost is huge.
This approach therefore by Malawi Embassy in Brazil of adopting a new approach of doing things in this era— to minimize as much as possible to transact and eradicate this archaic and exorbitant trend is therefore worthy commendation.
Apart from minimizing costs, it is indeed through such gesture that air pollution involved at industries that manufactures papers can be minimized.
In this day and age, we have email addresses, WhatsApp etc… which we can use to interact effectively, easily and it’s time saving and in this context, it indeed is a cost saving approach which can see MONIES been saved and put into good use.
This small gesture goes as far as complementing the efforts of President Peter Mutharika, who happens to be a patron and signatory to the fight of carbon emissions. Recently, the President was in Spain @Corp 25 where such issues were under microscope.
The President during the summit in Spain said “Malawi is on forefront fighting against this nightmare”
I believe it’s time and it’s now, we prove that! Through our actions. This decision from the leadership of our Embassy in Brazil is therefore a welcome development. I hope this approach can be the modus operandi in all our government departments in the country in as far as such issues are concerned.
It is my prayer that the money which they claim will be realized from this decision be used for a good cause indeed. Merry Christmas and happy new year to the entire team that side as well!