By Joanna Lewis
It’s 2019, and a new year presents the chance to make a difference to our planet during its next journey around the sun.
2018 was a significant moment for planet earth. According to a December report by the Global Carbon Project, worldwide carbon emissions reached an all-time high, following several years of relative stability. Furthermore, a study published earlier that year in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences warned of a potential tipping point known as a hothouse earth, with climate change becoming an existential threat to humanity and places on Earth becoming uninhabitable.
Photo credit (middle): Joanna Lewis
Researchers around the world continue to highlight the importance of increased global efforts to reduce emissions and create new carbon stores through methods such as planting forests, conserving biodiversity, and creating technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the air.
This data reveals the need for everyone to do their part in protecting our environment for future generations to enjoy. Here at Pink Duck Publishing, we like to think of ourselves as an eco-friendly bunch, so here are some ways in which you can lower your carbon footprint and help Mother Earth, courtesy of our team.
Shop local, says Joanna, director of ink magic
One of the easiest ways to lower your carbon footprint is to shop local!
The food industry has a major impact on climate change and is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, with food often shipped thousands of miles before it gets to your plate.
In Cayman, locally grown produce abounds, offering a tasty, more nutritious, and Earth-friendly option. Check out Camana Bay’s new Local Harvest Market. You’ll find it in Heliconia Court from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. There is also the Farmers Market at the Cricket Grounds, held weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both markets are stocked full to the brim with delicious local fare.
You can also buy direct from local farmers too. Josh Clark, of The Farmacy, offers fabulous weekly vegetable boxes featuring locally grown, good-for-you seasonal produce. He can even deliver it direct to your door!
Cut back on meat and dairy, says Angie Kape, artwork jedi
According to recent research, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact.
A 2018 study published in the journal Science, showed that livestock provides just 18 percent of calories, takes up 83 percent of farmland, and produces 60 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. The research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75 percent.
In an interview with U.K. newspaper, The Guardian, Joseph Poore at the University of Oxford, U.K., who led the research said: “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”
In Cayman there are a host of fabulous restaurants offering vegetarian and vegan foods.
Vegan Angie recommends Bandidos Cantina (order their vegan burritos and tacos) and Bread & Chocolate and Island Naturals, both of which offer plant-based menus only.
Reduce energy consumption and recycle, says Kathryn Willman, creator of opportunities
Small things can add up to a big difference, especially if you make a concentrated effort in your daily life. Simple things like reducing your energy and water use can all add up. Turn off lights, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and car-share when you can.
If you are a homeowner, consider installing solar panels. Cayman is the perfect place to harness the power of the sun and there are a wide range of solar companies who can help. Not only will you make a lasting positive environmental impact, but the savings you will make in the long run will more than cover the initial setup costs.
If you’re in the market for a new car, consider an electric or hybrid one. Electric vehicles are an increasingly common sight on Cayman’s roads and there are now 15 electric vehicle charging stations around Cayman. As an increased incentive, import duty on electric and hybrid vehicles is less than regular gas and diesel ones.
Finally, recycle! Recycling is easier than you may think; find recycling points at major supermarkets and schools, and in many more locations. Glass bottles can be recycled at Camana Bay. Find the recycling spot at the turn-off from Solaris Avenue opposite the parking lot beside Regal Cinemas.
Ditch plastic, says Eleanor Smith, Marketing Guru
Ever since the BBC’s documentary Blue Planet highlighted the devastation our plastic pollution is having on the environment there have been global increased efforts to cut down on plastic waste.
Indeed, Pink Duck Publishing took on the challenge to live plastic free for the month of July, and we are continuing our efforts to cut down on our plastic use.
While ditching plastic may not help cut carbon emissions it will help lower the more than 13 million tonnes of plastic that enter the ocean each year, killing marine life and washing up on our beaches.
And, with a little effort, it’s easy to significantly reduce your plastic use too. Here are two easy ways you can cut your plastic use:
Ditch plastic straws. Restaurants such as Tukka, Royal Palms, Craft Food & Beverage, Sunset House, and Ristorante Pappagallo are among the many restaurants in Cayman who have vowed to ditch plastic straws for good.
Take your own bag shopping. Cloth grocery bags are sold at all major supermarkets on island. Not only do they help with reducing plastics, but over time they beat the five-cent charge for plastic bags.
Finally, check out the Facebook page Plastic Free Cayman for lots more tips on how you can minimise your plastic use.
Photo credit: Joanna Lewis