By Delroy A. Whyte-Hall
On Saturday, September 19th, from 8:00am till 12 noon, over 500 volunteers from Kingston and St. Catherine took action to rid the Half Moon Public Beach at Hellshire in St. Catherine of unsightly and harmful debris.
Support came from RBTT, NEPA, Portmore Kiwanis, and an army of teachers and students from St. Catherine High, St. Jago High, Utech, UWI, the Environmental Trust, and Promotional Links Industries.
This time around the volunteers, were headed by RBTT’s boss, Mina Israel, joined together to pick up several thousand pounds of trash and recyclables from the beach.
It was interesting to note that of the business entities and community interest groups in and around Greater Portmore, it was only one service club (Kiwanis of Portmore), and one small business entity (Promotional Links Industries) took up the challenge to help clean up the beach and beautify the community.
Ainsley Henry, Manager of Eco Systems, National Environment and Planning Agency – N.E.P.A, noted that small businesses can and should do more to protect the environment. In an exclusive interview with The Blog Enterprise, he explained how small businesses can take steps to protect the environment, thus preventing the pollution of our beaches, thus providing protection for wildlife.
Steps to protect the environment
“All businesses have an impact on the environment in which they operate – and sometimes this can be a damaging one. However, even the smallest of businesses can minimise its impact on the environment – and even help repair damage already done – by implementing sustainable development policies.
That means considering the social and economic wellbeing of current and future generations, both here and abroad, when making all kinds of business decisions. To start implementing such policies it can help if you first:
- One, respect life and renew your bond with nature. Without respect for nature and its biodiversity, there will be no desire to protect them.
- Developing respect means recognising that all living things have a right to live on this planet and that you should do no harm to them. It is also time for you to renew your bond with nature, and start appreciating the natural world around you.
- Two, improve your environmental awareness and knowledge. It would be good to first read up on local and global environmental issues. What are the current environmental trends and problems? What needs to be done?
- Ideally, you should adapt a holistic view on the environment, so that your interdependence of various environmental problems can be understood.
- Three, practise the 3 ‘Rs’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in order of sequence). The sequence is important as source reduction is usually the best way to minimise wastage. For example, 80% of the debris that end up in our water ways could be solved by NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority)
- Reduce by not creating the wastage or minimising the waste in the beginning. Reuse by using the waste several times or for another purpose. Recycle by sending the waste to be processed as a resource.
- Four, spread the environmental message and influence others. We can go a step further by spreading the environmental message and educating family members, friends, classmates or colleagues.
- Furthermore, we can influence the organisation that we belong to, whether it is a school, a company or a social group, to be more environmentally friendly.
- Five, support local environmental initiatives and groups. Instead of relying or expecting the Government to take care of the environment, it is time for us to take responsibility.
- Assess your current environmental impact both at its operational base and the wider community.
- Appoint someone to champion and oversee sustainable development.
Other ways to protect the environment include:
- Your design processes – for example, could you replace toxic substances with less harmful ones? Are your products designed to be multifunctional or reusable? What about replacing plastic bags (scandal bags) with paper bags?
- Your energy consumption – visit JPSCo at its Energy Management page on line at http://www.myjpsco.com/business/energy_management.php for some energy efficiency tips. Otherwise, you can call or eMail them for assistance at their 24-hour Customer Care Centre at 1-888-225-5577 / 1-888-CALL JPS, or by emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Their corporate offices can be reached at (876) 926-3190.
- Environmental and health and safety training for employees – for assistance, you can call NEPA’s toll free number 876-1-888-991-5005.
Coastal Cleanup Day is a fun way for individuals, neighborhoods, schools, community, and company volunteer groups to get involved and demonstrate their commitment to healthy water. So, nest time around, I hope more people will turn out with their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to participate with the thousands of volunteers around this new metropolis Greater Portmore in taking a stand against ocean pollution on Coastal Cleanup Day.
The Blog Enterprise! Promoting You, Promoting Your Business!
The Blog Enterprise (http://whytehallcommunications.wordpress.com) is an online publication that publishes the latest Jamaican small business news, information, profiles, and industry trends.
It is published every Monday by multi-award-winning Caribbean journalist, copywriter and blogger, Delroy A. Whyte-Hall, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief.
You are invited to send your submissions (notices, news releases, profiles (send email for list of questions), or any other small business related information) to: email@example.com.