I hope you had a good holiday season and are living a time of renewal.
Perhaps you celebrate Passover or Easter or maybe you don’t. Regardless of your customs, this time of year is a time of renewal. In Europe and the Americas we have Spring, while in Australia and Southern African countries it is Autumn. Both of which are about letting go of the old and bringing in and celebrating the new.
This morning my husband and I went on a beach clean up. I used to think the garbage on the beach was caused by tourists throwing their plastic bottles overboard when they are out at sea. My other theory was that perhaps a large proportion results from the Cayman Islands tradition of camping out on the beaches over Easter. But today I heard that most of the garbage on our beaches travels 942 miles from Haiti, where there is a massive garbage problem due to a shortage of waste management systems.
I don’t usually write about environmental issues, but having watched several videos of rivers flowing with trash in the poorer countries of the world, I have come to the opinion that it is not enough to simply do some recycling and use less plastic when we remember. We are responsible for our world, not just for our own country.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ set up the International Day of Zero Waste, observed on 30 March. In his message he said:
“…And as consumers, we must all consider the origins and impacts of the goods and products we purchase, and reuse and recycle what we can, whenever we can. It’s time to clean up our world, and make progress towards circular, zero-waste economies — for people and planet alike.”
So I invite you to do more than you are already doing. What can you use less of? How can you reuse items, from containers to clothes? What can you recycle that you have been throwing in the garbage? Our local supermarkets still provide plastic bags, so we reuse them for our groceries. We carry the smaller vegetable bags when walking the dog so that we can pick up after her. Our roof has solar panels to use less electricity. We have a gas clothes dryer. What do you do or what can you do? Let’s inspire each other by sharing our ideas.