This weeks contribution by Jeremy Hastings, Islay's Wilderness Guide, is about involvement and the responsibility for our environment. Earlier I published an article from the Ileach newspaper about the celebration of Re-JIG's (Recycling Islay Jura Group) tenth year and I wrote about Jeremy's initiative to run his business car free since last Friday. Care for our environment is at the base of both these articles and Jeremy explains in this weeks post what an important role an organisation like Re-JIG plays on Islay:
Beach at Claggain Bay
Jeremy Hastings: Involvement is not always straightforward! It ought to be, but unforunately it is often hindered by agenda seekers and, of course, the ego too. With countries still competing for places at the top eco table at Copenhagen to discuss Climate Change, hopefully to enable some serious action to slow it all down (although I, like many folks, seem to suffer from STS-Serious Thomas Syndrome- you all know the story of the doubting one!) Continue reading.....
This being the case is it not time we started to take responsibility for our own actions? On Islay this happens in some ways: the best example being Rejig- a local organisation which encourages and actions recycling. They now have a beach ranger who is in charge of beach cleans and anything to do with beaches in that way. She organises regular beach cleans and the community benefits from this in more than one way. Primarily from cleaner beaches (this is rubbish illegally dumped/thrown overboard at sea) and secondarily fund raising for local groups. This is a great example where localisation works well. The third advantage is that the beach habitat is looked after too. For it is not just for human benefit but for all creatures that have something to do with the beach - either feeding or breeding or both.
Sometimes taking responsibility seems beyond us and we seem destined to ruin whatever we have as it is beyond our scale on needing/wanting to do anything about it. It is not just about becoming a member of whichever group we have chosen to join but surely it has to be more than that. We have to take action.
So, next time you come to Islay be grateful for such a real local organisation and for what they put back.