Island Techniques...Reducing Carbon Footprint
I would appreciate any additions to this list of tips linked below that relates more to island life (i.e. military showers).
I ordered some little solar lanterns to use occasionally to offset WAPA bill and stocked up on batteries. Looking for some other small items to bring down for hurricane prepping and conservation.
Petra, you would be surprised by how many don't care about the carbon footprint. When auto emissions testing was proposed, people screamed! They felt that since we don't have air pollution here and that the wind blows the emissions away, that it is perfectly OK for cars to pollute the air.
Most people "screamed" not because they don't care about the environment, but:
- because it would increase costs of registration,
- because it'd be another thing to break at inspection lane yet they would still mandate that box be checked off to receive a new sticker and just give you a 'shrug' when asked what to do, and
- because while you and I would be paying extra, fixing our cars, replacing our catalytic converters, taking days out of our lives to do it right, you can be sure that the inspection lane worker's aunt (and high school friend, and sister, and anyone with $20 cash) would still get her sticker without even stopping by with the car - as can be witnessed in the past with VIBIR tax letters, or business licenses, or property taxes, or just about any other government dealing.
Ted, that's no different than everything else in the VI.
With all the pollution laws that we have, people still have to do beach cleanups and roadside cleanups. Just because a few get special treatment does not mean that we can't do our share.
Yes, I understand that the viewpoint is completely different there on environmental issues and it's a slow and steady approach (if at all) on some of these aspects. Maybe we should start an Earth Day Festival? Haha!
I guess I am thinking more along the lines of conserving in my rental and the property we will be located… And keeping WAPA bills as low as possible for a start. The subject line should have probably read "How to maintain sustainability in de VI".
Also, how willing are home owners to allow tenants on long-term leases to maintain a garden on the property?
I allow gardens. I'll mow your yard, but I won't weed your garden.
Also, a garden is water intensive.
I read that battery operated fans are a good idea as well.
Good to know, CruzanIron. Asking out of future curiosity…. I doubt we will be doing much gardening straight away unless there is one already on the property we go with. I am discovering there is much to learn about planting there.
Gardening for sure. It's WAY Time consuming thou. Anything grows, just plant it. I let my garden go, I need to get back in there rip out and replant. Sigh.
My advice don't make a big raised bed like I did. Get planters and plant herbs and stuff. Then it's mobile. We will have to leave our garden here when we move out.
The solar lights are great, gardening is easy but trial and error. Just as a "fer instance" (and I've been trialing and erroring for many years in different parts of the island) I love cilantro but where I am now was having a rotten time with it succumbing to the heat even in a shady spot. Eureka! A friend brought me back the much hardier (and much tastier) cUlantro from PR where it grows with gay abandon on his parents' property. Two plants did hugely well and have now been unpotted, root-separated and put into the ground where they're growing like mad. A Moringa tree ("the tree of life") is the next project and once I get one going (seeds from a friend's tree are planted), they grow up to 20' in just one year to afford a constant supply of excellent nutrition.
Oh, get a battery charger and use rechargeable batteries to save a ton of money. I bought a neat charger from Amazon and it works like a charm over and over again. Huge savings.
I have a composter for all my kitchen scraps - still have to buy soil for my potted stuff but can now purchase the much less expensive soil and add the compost to it ...
I have a little catering business and all my meals are packed in recycled retail store containers - which my customers return to me along with their own containers which they'd otherwise toss out.
Reusable shopping bags always ... so much can be done with so little effort.
Get an additional cell phone battery so you have back up. Charge them both as often as you can. Never know when power will go out.
Battery fan for sure. The 02 Cool 10" is the best. They sell them here.
Water purification system. I think ultraviolet that can purify small amounts is good.
I had portable dvd player with extended battery and lots of dvds, but players now obsolete and batteries expended. Get a tablet with lots of storage and download as much as you can before storm.
Save take out plastic utensils and containers. You may not be able to wash dishes.
Get clip on lights so you can read in the dark. I have reading glasses with lights for that purpose.
Bring good, waterproof clothes storage bags. Cover your clothes if storm is coming.
Stock up on waterproof storage bins.
Keep ample mosquito repellent on hand at all times.
Keep a machete in case you have to clear trees to get out.
Gas stoves are better, but make sure you have back up cooking source if power goes out.
Large cooler to store ice.
Pay as you go phone on different carrier.
Cards and other games.
Get a flag to identify your property. Put it out after a storm if your house is in shambles.
Back up all computer files to several mediums with one being the cloud. Let someone stateside know how to access.
Give to the Red Cross.
Have rain gear.
Chain saws are also handy to have.
The best battery fan is the Ryobi. Much better that the O2cool
if you can not find it here, you can order it and have it shipped here. really no need-like in the old days-to ship special things