By Ian Blaikie
At this time of year, you will be inundated with good advice about Carnival. Spice Mas has its own version of the Ten Commandments: Take care of yourselves. Do not expose young children to inappropriate behaviour. Beware of pickpockets. Do not drink too much alcohol. Do not indulge in lewd behaviour. Do not let revelry tip over into violence. Avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
Unfortunately, this needs repeating. It matters. An enjoyable Carnival is a safe Carnival, and vice-versa.
But who has ever considered the environment? All those plastic bottles and Styrofoam food containers that end up in drains and in the much-abused waters of the Carenage? All that oil that covers the skin of a jab for a few hours does untold damage to marine life as you wash off in the Carenage or at the beach.
The detergent you use to remove it is damaging too. Damaging to the things that the fish eat – that is, to the fish that WE eat. The sea is not a branch of Solid – or Liquid – Waste.
So let us add two ‘Commandments’ to the eight above. Do not burden the ocean with waste. And – at the events you attend – use a bin, not the ditches and drains.
Yes, some people are paid to sweep up litter; but they rarely find it all. Some blows or are washed into the ocean, poisoning and choking and polluting the sea creatures that we depend on for our air and our food and our tourists.
Some remains in the ditches to fill with rainwater, to breed mosquitoes, which are waiting to spread Dengue and Zika. And, soon, Yellow Fever.
G3 wishes us all a Happy Carnival. We include the Environment in that wish. If we treat it right, it will treat us right. If not…
(Ian Blaikie is a member of a grouping known as Grenada Green Group)