January 25, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Why is protecting our environment a constant battle?

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Colin WilsonwebWhilst I applaud our South Sound activists who raised $1,000 last Sunday (4) with a special yoga session (called “Bliss Yoga”) in their campaign against two developments that will affect the coastal environment in their area, it should not have been needed.

The South Sound activists, mainly residents there, have been trying to stop environmentally destructive coastal developments in South Sound since 2010. This was to oppose the Central Planning Authority (CPA) who approved the Emerald Sound development. The plans included the creation of an inland marina, dredging of South Sound, canals cut through South Sound Road and a 1,000 ft. long 20 ft. high bridge.

The CPA also gave approval to the removal of a 50ft mangrove buffer designation along 2,000 feet of coastline, filling of the buffer area, and construction of a 9ft high seawall.

The activists formed a group called “Protect South Sound” and they have appealed the two CPA decisions. The money raised from the yoga initiative will go towards the costs of the appeals.

I say it shouldn’t have been necessary because neither of those developments should have been given planning approval in the first place.

Why should we care about the Environment?

You must be aware of Go Green! That is the new war cry of everyone from manufacturers to financial institutions, as more and more people appear to take on the responsibility for preserving our environment.

I say ‘appear’ because quite frankly words are cheap but actions cost money and it is the positive actions we are taking to preserve our environment I question.

The “Go Green” campaigns at the local supermarkets are a joke. We are charged if we require a plastic bag to carry away our goods and encouraged to purchase a “green” environmentally friendly bag from the same supermarket that they also use as an advertising tool for themselves. The shelves of the same supermarkets are loaded with plastic containers of every size and thickness to hold the goods they are selling before we are able to place them in our green bag.

That is just one example of the hypocrisy and so called environmental “Go Green” war cry.

Don’t take my word for it when I say all of us MUST do our part immediately. We cannot continually rely on small action groups who have to use their own precious funds to fight the greedy developers who can only see and smell money. Money printed on paper that came from the environment they are helping to destroy.

Read these words published on the Slow Down Fast website (http://www.slowdownfast.com/why-should-you-care-about-the-environment/). I endorse them but they aren’t mine.

As citizens of the world, each of us is responsible for the health of our planet. Our choices and our actions contribute to the wellbeing or deterioration of the environment. Yet, it’s our earth, the only one we have. If we don’t care about the environment, who will?

Who will preserve the quality of the air? Who will restore our natural resources? Who will help make the planet safe for many generations to come? You will! Anyone and everyone can participate in making our world a safer, less harmful place.

Have you ever thought about how your choices affect the earth’s wellbeing and how you can minimize the impact you and your family make on the environment? From the cars you drive to the products you consume, every choice you make on a daily basis has a consequence for the environment.

Why should you care about the environment?

How about for your health and the health of your children? How about for your quality of life and that of other citizens of the planet? How about for the choices you have of resources that are now being depleted? How about for the air you breathe and the water you drink?

Our natural environment becomes unbalanced and unsustainable when it is polluted and stripped of its natural resources by over-consumption. Our lives are at stake as we find our health being affected by environmental toxins in the air, water, and foods we consume. Our earth is a fragile planet with limited resources. The growing threat of climatic changes means everyone from individuals to businesses must reassess their environmental impact and daily choices.

If you don’t think this situation is critical, here are some facts to consider:

We use 50% of the Earth’s land area for food production and 50% of the Earth’s available fresh water for drinking.

The main source of water pollution is not chemical waste but the excrement of farm animals.

About 70% of the world’s marine species are at risk of extinction.

By the year 2100, extinction may reach one third of all species now living.

Animals raised for food currently generate between 15 and 20% of methane emissions globally.

Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.

Around 50 million tons of paper are consumed annually by Americans, more than 850 million trees are cut down.

Each year, over 63,000 square miles are destroyed resulting in more than half the world’s tropical forests being lost.

We are changing the climate and health of the planet by our every choice. What can you do to show you care about the environment and contribute to its health and longevity? Lots. Here are just a few suggestions. For more ways to save the environment, check some books out of the library or do some online research.

1. Conserve energy at home.

Fix leaky faucets, turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and buy energy efficient products. Check showerheads and toilets for leaks, and consider low flow models. Reduce the settings on water heaters and household thermostats; limit use of air conditioning. Make sure your home is efficiently insulated.

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Dispose of harmful materials properly, re-use or recycle things you no longer need, and place recyclables in proper bins for pick up. For every ton of paper recycled, 17 trees are saved.

3. Buy safe products.

Don’t support toxic materials such as home improvement products like paint with lead or food products with pesticides. Buy organic produce when possible, and learn what products are safest for your consumption and for the health of the planet.

4. Drive conservatively.

Carpool or take public transportation when you can, and consolidate your trips for gas conservation. Observe speed limits, and avoid rapid acceleration and excessive breaking and idling. Ride a bike and walk for local errands. Research how you can reduce carbon emissions by keeping your car in top shape. Keep tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage. Every 10 days, drivers with under-inflated tires and poorly maintained engines waste 70 million gallons of gasoline.

5. Green up your life.

Switch to solar energy at home if feasible, grow as much of your own food as you can, use natural fiber clothing, and make your own cleaning and beauty care products.

Educate yourself as much as possible about the environmental issues that concern every earth citizen, and start taking actions that show you care about the environment. Be a role model and leader for others. Each individual contributes to the success of the whole. Go green now!

END

Finally, and these are my words. Tell every government member, every civil servant, everyone on planning boards, every architect, every developer, every surveyor, every civil engineer, every planner, we will not sit back any more and allow you to forget the environment we all live in. Every action you take affects all of us. We are doing our part and you MUST do yours.

 

 

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