We read so many news reports about climate change. We hear the politicians’ speeches. Negotiators from Jamaica and other islands do hard work at conferences to make sure Caribbean voices are heard. And Greta Thunberg is a rock star.
But we wonder: what can we do about climate change, here at home? Here are some suggestions that are healthy, will save you time and money – and will help to “green” your lifestyle!
- Go on a learning curve. Research and read up about climate change. Dive into a Netflix documentary. It’s not all heavy stuff. Share the knowledge you have gained with others.
- Get “political.” Write to your Member of Parliament, Counselor and the relevant Minister/s and express your concerns. Listen carefully to what political representatives say. Register to vote. Hold political leaders to account!
- Small things add up to a lot. At home, adopt “green” habits. Start composting. Never burn garbage! Reduce the plastic around you. Use energy-efficient LED light bulbs. Unplug electronics when you’re not using them. Save water; recycle “grey water” to water plants. Save on your bills!
- Be a thoughtful consumer. Try to avoid plastic and Styrofoam packaging in restaurants and shops. Buy a reusable water bottle (the metal ones are great). Use your reusable shopping bag. Look at food labels and make the right choices. Recycle!
- Be principled. If you can, don’t support companies that are not environmentally friendly. Support organizations working to save the planet.
- If you can, ride a bike, walk or car-pool with work colleagues. If you own a vehicle, make sure it’s energy-efficient.
- Consider your diet. Globally, animal husbandry is now a major cause of deforestation and a large chunk of greenhouse gas emissions. Consider eating less meat and dairy (this can also save you money). Buy organic and buy local. Or grow your own. Don’t waste food!
- Join a group like Jamaica Environment Trust. Start a local community group yourself. Organize an action project (cleanup, tree-planting) in your neighbourhood. An hour or two of volunteering every week will make a difference (and it’s actually fun).
- Don’t forget to get the younger kids involved. Support them.
- And lastly…Connect with nature. It’s good for you!
Younger generations should not be sitting on the sidelines. The planet’s future is their future. So, the main message is: Participate!
And small actions do make a difference.