Environmental sustainability begins with you
Beach clean-ups are one of the ways we can positively impact the environment

Dear Editor,

Our natural environment is facing unprecedented threats. Phenomena such as climate change, deforestation, and pollution threaten the delicate balance of our planet's ecosystems.

More than ever the importance of environmental sustainability cannot be overstated. It is our moral responsibility to protect and preserve our fragile ecosystems. While large-scale initiatives and policy changes are vital, it's essential to recognise that everyday actions can collectively create significant change.

Here are a few ways we can each play our part in ending environmental neglect:

*Reduce, reuse, recycle: Reducing, reusing, and recycling can be one of the most effective ways we can save natural resources, protect the environment, and save money. One way to reduce is to reuse. Instead of using plastic bags, bring reusable bags when shopping or packing food. Recently, the Digicel Foundation, under its environmental campaign called Good Energy, Clean Environment, revamped its staff initiative to collect and recycle plastic bottles. You too can reduce plastic and waste by improving recycling habits at home, school, and work.

*Conserve energy: There are small habits in our daily lives that can help to conserve energy. These acts include turning off lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use.

Earlier this year, the Government began the phasing out of the importation, export, manufacture, distribution, and sale or purchase of incandescent light bulbs. Jamaicans will soon have to switch to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. The switch to more energy-efficient bulbs can significantly lower electricity consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

*Beach clean-ups: Digicel Foundation's annual beach clean-ups on International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day, which will be celebrated on September 16 this year, are not just about removing debris from shorelines, they are symbolic acts of care for our oceans and a reminder of the urgent need to reduce our plastic consumption. These clean-ups educate volunteers to reduce single-use plastics, promote responsible waste disposal, and raise awareness about the devastating impacts of pollution on marine ecosystems. Persons can visit the Jamaica Environment Trust's (JET) website to learn how they can participate in ICC Day.

*Educate yourself and others: I cannot stress enough the importance of staying informed about environmental issues, sharing your knowledge with friends and family, encouraging conversations about sustainability, and advocating for informed decisions.

Simple, everyday actions can create a more sustainable world. Ultimately, these actions will not only improve the environment but also inspire others to join in the effort, leading to a brighter and greener future for all.

Miguel "Steppa" Williams

Director of strategic planning and community development

Digicel Jamaica Foundation

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