With a bulldoze-and-burn waste management ‘strategy’, soaring fossil fuel prices and disappearing wild, native habitat; it’s time to look once again, Bahamas, at the little things. The little things we can all do. The little things that add up to be a big difference maker.
Reusing ziploc bags, plastic cups, and plastic bags. The cups we accumulate at bars and festivals form a never-ending supply in our household. The alternative would be they’d fill a trash can, be moved to the dump and burnt. Number and name them, see how long they stick around!
Checking your tire pressure. People laughed when President Obama suggested the very same in one of his first speeches. But I’m glad to quote him as a source. Better miles per gallon and longer-lasting tires are worth getting dirty for. The less fossil fuels we use, the less drilling, less shipping, less money you’ll spend on it, all the way down the chain to less oil spills heading our way.
Advocacy. This ain’t the 60s anymore, we don’t march, or wear peace shirt signs – well a lot of us don’t anyway. But speaking of fossil fuels, the Cay Sal Bank area in the southern Bahamas is under-the-gun once again by the oil drillers. Speak up about it. Nowadays internet advocacy is powerful and the social media sites are huge. Speak up, text, blog, or for the old-fashioned, make a phone call.
Maybe that last one’s not so little, but I had to get it in there.
Here’s some more:
- Slow down. Take 5 mph off your driving speed. Use less gas, hit less wildlife.
- Turn off the tap when you can. Fresh water is fast becoming one of the planet’s most precious commodities.
- Separate paper trash and burn it yourself. Uses less garbage bags and it’s fun to have a fireplace.
- Catch and release. Don’t kill the centipedes, spiders and frogs in your house. Put them back outside.
- Grow your own food. Anything. Even just your own thyme plant or rosemary.
- Buy local. Seek and find the farmers’ harvests. Bahamian agriculture needs the encouragement.
- Follow fishing regulations and seasons.
- Use rat traps not poison. Rodenticide is a huge killer of barn owls and probably responsible for two dead ones in Preacher’s Cave, Eleuthera recently.
- Teach the youth. Peter Tosh said, “You can’t blame the youth, cause you can fool the youth.” Let’s stop fooling them.
- Put up a solar panel. We use them for small outdoor lights. Fun! Free! (sort of).
- Spay or neuter your animal. Broken record, yes, and another one that’s not that little either.
- Use half a paper towel.
- Reuse plastic jugs as planters, scoops, bug traps etc.
- Turn beach flotsam and jetsam into useful containers, art, etc.
- Reuse glass jars to store screws, nails, and hardware.
- Promote guests (usually male) to join you peeing outside and especially around coconut trees. We find they thrive on it. Less flushes and healthier trees.
- Plant a tree.
- Become more of a vegetarian.
- Support local chicken farmers. Heard the big one in Abaco is shutting down because import duty on their supplies was too high. (See ‘Advocacy’ above).
- Save your leftovers.
- Plant another tree.
- Respect Planet Earth.
There’s so many little things. You’ll find your own and ones you already do and don’t even think about. And that’s just what these little things become, part of your everyday routine that just make you feel better everyday.
Tom Glucksmann, originally from New Providence, has been running eco-adventure tours here in Eleuthera for the last seven years with his company Bahamas Out Island Adventures. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org