A Rosebush Grows in Thailand

Written by Plant With Purpose on October 1, 2010 in General

by Brittany Sheppard, PR & Events Intern

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” When he said this, I think Abe Lincoln meant that we should remember to see the good things amongst the bad. I find this quote to be significant because while the struggles of the world are overwhelming and pervasive, I find that the good stories, the rosebushes if you will, are pleasantly just as persistent.

So was the case with Thailand, where good news rose out of months of simmering political stress in the capital of Bangkok. Political unrest and violence has erupted over the course of last spring amongst opposing forces known commonly as the red shirts and the yellow shirts. Those among the yellow shirts are in favor of the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, while the red shirts are supporters of Thailand’s former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. Back in 2006, Shinawatra was overthrown by a military coup for corrupt practices and has since been out of the country evading his conviction. It is only now that the country has made progress towards peace again.

But among this troubling time, Thailand marches on…or should I say, cycles on? On September 26, 2010, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration partnered with the Thai Cycling for Health Association to launch the Bangkok Car Free Day 2010 campaign, a bicycle parade organized to encourage commuters to ditch their cars for the more energy efficient and environmentally friendly option, bikes!

The event garnered a whopping 4,000 some cyclists who pedaled their way around Bangkok, starting at City Hall, from whence they raced through Din So and Tanao road, all the way back to City Hall. According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration: Action Plan On Global Warming Mitigation 2007-2010 report, it was calculated that GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in Bangkok were expected to reach 48.69 million tons CO2 equivalent by the year 2012, which is quite a jump from the 42.65 million tons back in 2007. Thus, the organization has set the goal to reduce GHG emissions by at least 15%. As I’m sure you know, riding bikes can be an excellent alternative to cars since the only fuels they burn are the carbohydrates in our bodies!

This campaign is especially exciting news to hear, as it bolsters the environmental efforts Plant With Purpose carries out to reverse deforestation in Northern Thailand. Plant With Purpose is continuing its work to aid the people of the hill tribes in transforming their farmland into a more sustainable resource through improved agricultural knowledge and practices. It is in this way too, that Plant With Purpose contributes to the spread of good news.

Photos courtesy of: Pawat Laopaisarntaksin, Bangkok Post

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