Today’s Editorial December 1: Environment issue important

The Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of new president Angelyn Hernandez, announced it will focus on the issue of environmental protection and enhancement as one of the items on its agenda this year.

In her acceptance speech on Wednesday, Ms Hernandez noted that the issue of the environment all too often takes a back seat to other issues, and it is not given the attention it deserves.

She’s right.

For far too long, the Government, businesses and individual residents have largely ignored the importance of the environment, often for economic reasons.

Evidence of that statement is all around us. Just look at the ever-growing George Town Landfill, or Mount Trashmore as it has come to be known;

Just look at all the trash strewn by our roadsides and in our coastal waters;

Just look at the waste in nearly everyone’s garbage and notice what could have been recycled;

Just look at our eroding beaches, our dying reefs and our dwindling mangroves.

Just look at the way most residents use electricity, and how energy inefficient our homes and businesses are, and how much energy and natural resources we waste generally;

Just look at all the plastic grocery bags we use and throw away instead of reusing them the next time we go shopping.

Indeed, just about everywhere you look you can find something being done that damages our fragile environment. And the Chamber of Commerce wants to do something about that, not only because it’s the responsible thing for human beings to do, but also because it will bring economic benefits.

Ms Hernandez concedes that the Chamber cannot tackle the problem in any significant way because it is too huge. However, by raising awareness to the various issues involving the environment, she hopes Cayman can take little steps in changing our ways in homes and businesses of all three Cayman Islands.

One of the things that makes Cayman such a wonderful place to live or visit is its clean air, its clean waters and clean surroundings. Unfortunately, none of those things are a clean as they once were, and they’re getting dirtier by the day. We all need to start taking care of our environment, or we’ll soon face economic, health and quality-of-life consequences.

We only have one Earth and if we destroy it, we can’t simply trade it in for a new one.

We encourage everyone to accept the Chamber of Commerce’s challenge to become proactive in the way we live our lives and conduct our businesses with relation to our precious environment.

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