Greenrock’s mantra Changing the Mindset is simply defined as this:

To change the way that Government, business and residents of Bermuda operate, live and treat the environment, so as to live more sustainably.

We believe that living sustainably is the most important issue facing us today it is a gift we give to our children and future generations.

But the questions are: why should the environment be part of our mindsets Government, businesses and individuals? Why put the environment at the top of the agenda when there is what many deem more pressing issues facing our country?

Because living sustainably is an important part of the solution it has to be on the table when solutions are discussed.

Let’s have a look at our cost of living. Take electricity bills, for example Belco is predicting that electricity usage will increase 1.5 percent annually for the next 20 years. This may sound quite modest but as it is compounded year on year, it results in a roughly 35 percent increase in demand.

We have among the highest electricity costs in the world, yet there is no concerted effort to conserve electricity.

There are solutions or technology that are not difficult and should be included in Bermuda’s planning code, such as solar thermal hot water which can reduce household electricity demand by 10 percent and grey water recycling which can reduce household water use by 30 percent while reducing the need for purchase of fresh water from desalination plants powered by electricity to almost zero.

Belco in response to the community’s usage is projecting $500M of expenditure in the next 10 years to upgrade and expand its plant. This does not come from some investment pool but from increases in the cost of electricity to individuals and businesses in round numbers, up to $10,000 per person. Much of this can be avoided with a few simple steps now that is an impact of the cost of living!

So which should we do first focus on electricity conservation or expand our electricity generation capacity?

Let’s look at a pillar of our economy tourism.

The Government is talking about paying up to $70M to widen Town Cut in St George’s to bring larger cruise ships in but the tourists who really bring money to the Island are not cruise ship passengers, it’s the hotel guests.

At Rosewood Tucker’s Point, the tourists who are paying $500 to $700 a night are demanding a ‘greener’ product. They expect to see sustainable practices.

They are the ones opting to re-use their bed linen and towels, instead of washing them each day, and they are asking where the recycling goes.

Why are we considering degrading the environment when our tourists, who have the most potential to add jobs and dollars to our economy, are demanding that we think ‘green’? Thinking of the environment is core to our tourism offering.

We would like to get Bermuda back to some of our old habits. Let’s use the water off our roofs, not out of a pipe under the road. If we can buy local tomatoes and chickens, why do they have to be shipped in from Israel or America?

Greenrock has several key initiatives looking at and addressing these ideas in our community:

· Healthy Harvest an initiative which hopes to rejuvenate community gardens and orchards, and encourage people to use local produce.

· Hydration Stations a joint project with the City of Hamilton to provide water at certain locations to encourage carrying and refilling a reusable bottle, thereby reducing plastic (bottled water) waste.

· Green grocery bags in the past, we helped to introduce these with support from Lindo’s and now we are looking at a new campaign coming up to reduce the use of single use retail bags.

· Vehicle/metal recycling an initiative to reuse and recycle our car parts instead of disposing them at the airport to leach into Castle Harbour. This has proven to be an effective, sustainable model and can also create green jobs. We think it can happen here, too, and will reduce the cost of parts and possibly their order time.

Furthermore, our Green School Pilot Project serves as a well-known educational principle that children learn best when their learning is linked to their experience. Bringing the environment into the classroom is going to help students achieve better and it also helps them to feel empowered.

Basically, we believe that a healthy environment will lead to healthier lives, economically and socially. The old way of thinking: “Let’s tackle the real problems and focus on environment later” doesn’t work!

If you want to tackle poverty or sickness or education issues in the community, then look to create and protect a healthy environment as well. They go hand-in-hand.

Our environment is connected in all that we do. Therefore, environmental sustainability not only deserves a seat at the table, in fact, it is critical to include it in our decision-making.

Sustainability and how we use resources is the foundation of our cost of living. And reconnecting our young people to their social and physical environment is critical given the issues they are faced with today.

We invite you to partner with Greenrock in changing the mindset so that when our Government, as well as all Bermuda residents, makes decisions, they include the environment in their decision-making.

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About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more

Where to find Us

Suite 324, 48 Par-La-Ville Rd,
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda

Telephone: 1-441-747-ROCK (7625)