In light of the most recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calling for a push for more action towards attaining the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the conversation of how each of us can contribute towards the preservation of our natural environment has taken centre stage in Cayman.
In early 2023, Auditor General Sue Winspear released a 63-page account detailing the Government's disappointing efforts in reaching self-constituted targets – most notably the National Energy Policy, which, while aiming for 70% renewable energy by 2037, barely reached 3% in 2023 – raising concerns among locals.
Also in 2023, the Government announced they are aiming for 100% clean energy and 100% emissions reduction by the year 2050. With the Islands’ population expected to reach 100,000 before 2031, overdevelopment has been on the rise, sparking apprehension among environmentalists about the future and conservation efforts of the Central Mangrove Wetlands. Though Category-4 Hurricane Ian brushed past Grand Cayman in 2022, significant damage was certainly done to several parts of the Island, causing local environmental organisations like Protect Our Future and Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers to highlight the importance of the protection of the Island's mangroves and wetlands in order to better protect the Island as a whole.
While threats to Cayman include beach erosion, overdevelopment, flooding, coral reef bleaching and diseases, invasive species, decline in fish and turtle populations, loss of mangroves, challenges to agriculture and food security, we should be reminded of the economic value that a prospering environment provides. With one of Cayman’s largest sources of revenue – tourism – being supported by how we treat the environment, it is hoped that the implementation of an updated Climate Change Policy will assist in improving the country’s environmental impact through 2024 and beyond.
Nevertheless, these changes rely on the participation of Cayman’s population and people are urged to make the attitude and lifestyle changes required to reduce waste and its environmental impact. Continue reading to find out how you and your family can get involved in the green community.
Want to increase your awareness of the environmental issues facing our community? Read our guide to Cayman's Green Scene, which outlines current environmental issues and initiatives to combat them.
You can do your part to help make Cayman greener! Take all your recyclables to the various recycling centres conveniently located across Grand Cayman.Read More
One of the most pressing environmental issues for the community is the George Town landfill site and the progression of 'Project ReGen'.Read More
A significant factor of sustainable living includes making the right choices when it comes to food. In Cayman, much of our food is imported and a considerable amount of energy, fuel and water is used in the entire process of growing, distributing, storing and cooking our food.
There are steps you can take to ensure your work environment is greener: make sure to turn off lights, computer monitors and the air conditioning, when you leave the office at night; only print when necessary; collect office newspapers and take them to the Humane Society; recycle your printer toner cartridges.Read More
Whether you own or are renting a home, making environmentally friendly choices will help preserve Cayman's beauty for generations to come.Read More
In recent years, the paradigm has shifted and ‘going green’ is no longer just a trendy tag line; it has become the standard when building in Cayman.Read More
'Greener' Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are a fantastic addition to any household. Not only do they help us cool off, especially in the summer months, but they are great to relax in as well. They are also ideal for entertaining friends and family.
The downside is that they do consume a lot of energy. Whether it is filtering the water, heating the water or running the pump, not to mention keeping it clean, all of it requires energy. There are however several steps you can take to help the environment and keep your energy bills down at the same time – so you can get on with relaxing in the sun.
- Cover it up: A pool cover will reduce heat loss, water evaporation and chemical consumption by up to 70%. It also helps keep your pool clean, meaning you’ll have to run your filter pump less often.
- Think about the pump: A pool filter pump is the second largest consumer of energy in a home behind your A/C. If you install a two-speed, variable speed or solar powered pump, it will pay for itself very quickly with energy savings.
- Environmentally friendly products: Consider using a chlorine generator, which turns ordinary salt into chlorine and is kinder to the environment and your skin. Use LED lights for lighting.
To find out more about swimming pools contact Oasis Pool & Spa or Pool Patrol.
Cayman’s goal of obtaining 25% of its power from renewable resources by 2025 has raised discussion for alternative ways of doing this.Read More
Aside from the use of electricity to air condition our homes and businesses, the biggest offenders of pollution and fuel consumption is cars. Car pooling and the use of buses, when available, can help ease congestion and reduce emissions on Cayman’s roadways. Bicycling is another option, but most Cayman roads lack a safe shoulder to ride on, so it can be dangerous. Discover this guide to buying a hybrid/electric car in the Cayman Islands and a list of electric car charging stations that are open for public use on Grand Cayman.
Those without electric vehicles can benefit from Refuel gas station, Cayman’s first provider of modern, environmentally-friendly fuel. The facility stocks five grades of fuels including three grades of E10 (10% ethanol), B5 (5% biodiesel) and B20 (20% biodiesel). Ethanol and biodiesel have higher octane and cetane ratings (respectively) than petrol and diesel alone and lower emissions than other boosters.
These modern fuels don’t produce as many damaging exhaust emissions and reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions (although some CO2 is produced as a by-product, the plants grown to create the fuel absorb carbon dioxide meaning that the net carbon emissions is much lower than fuels such as petrol). Most of the fuel in the US and UK contain ethanol in its petrol and biodiesel in its diesel in an effort to reduce emissions, but Refuel is the first petrol station to market it in Cayman. The station is located opposite the airport post office in George Town and plans for a second station are already in place.
There are several ways you can become actively involved in preserving and protecting Cayman’s environment and 'greening-up' our Islands. Luckily there are many organisations in Cayman working towards this goal. So get involved today!Read More