Message In A Bottle – Dominica’s Green Investment Conference

A plastic bottle – floating out to the Caribbean sea, visible from the deck of the Fort Young Hotel.

What will be its life’s journey?

This is what I discussed with Mark Spalding, President of the Ocean Foundation, a funder of marine conservation projects and innovative research, and more recently a participant at the Green Investment Conference, 4-6 October 2010, held in Dominica at the Pastoral Centre.

Most likely fate:

The plastic bottle will move further out to sea, be broken down by the sun’s rays, fish will mistake it for plankton and eat it. A fisherman will catch the fish, thus delivering on your plate a cocktail of chemicals that may trigger cancer or infertility, which then requires you to spend your disposable income on medical bills.

How often is such a story told I asked him? Not often enough was his response.

An alternative way to explain the story is to go into the “science” of it, which overwhelms many and, more importantly, stops it from being personal.

Another fate: recycle it.

And at the Green Investment Conference,  such waste was undergoing a major PR revamp. Never had I seen people so excited at the possibilities of handling my crap. Waste makes you serious money.

I was encouraged and inspired by what you can do with chips made from old tyres – we have over 100,000 of them a year in Dominica to deal with. Looks like they are going to be used in road projects in the Caribbean.

I thus saw forming, before my eyes, the beginning of an innovative Caribbean waste network that was going to make people think twice about what career path they would encourage their children to take in the future. And this influenced the message I gave to the entrepreneurs and college students – what you need to learn is not yet available as a neatly packaged course at UWI or Dominica State College, the experience and learning lies in the people you see in this room – go ask them questions and find out how it really happens. And so they did. There was a lot of passion and curiosity in the room. New future clients and services were being created amongst the students themselves.

They were encouraged not to throw out an idea because it did not seem green, but to use their imagination to see how they could design their product or service in a way that did something more than just maximise profit.


~ by gyandhara on October 20, 2010.

One Response to “Message In A Bottle – Dominica’s Green Investment Conference”

  1. Plastic breaks down in the ocean and fast

    Can the oceans be cleared of floating plastic rubbish?

    As hard as it may be, it is time for a post-plastic society. From my friend J
    1. Use and reuse glass, ceramic and metal containers. Refuse plastic bottles.

    2. Teach your kids to use real forks and knives – theyʼll be fine! Add a full set of real flatware to your glove box, backpack or laptop case.

    3. Are you really happier with a straw? Your new mantra: “Iʼll have a glass of tap water please. No ice, no straw, thank you.”

    4. Donʼt order collagen or silicone implants. Your evolving natural edges are most beautiful.

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