The Power of the Community in a Sustainable Lifestyle

Creating connections, building communities, taking care of our environment

At Construction Caribbean, we value the power of community and know that it is a big part of living a sustainable lifestyle. Community is what the Caribbean has been built upon; knowing, helping and caring about your neighbour. Sadly, in today’s technological age we find ourselves more “connected” but with less personal connections than ever before.

sustainable community quote

Community can be family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, fellow volunteers, fitness friends, your wine girls and a mixture of all the above. People who you can rely on, who inspire you and who want to see you succeed. There are so many benefits to being part of a community, but the big takeaway is that we are stronger together and the sooner we figure this out, the better.

Sustainable community in the Caribbean

Let’s take community a step further and think about these community connections and how we can use them to build integrated businesses. This builds on the buy local concept and suggests we find ways to help each other not only personally but professionally as well.  If you’re not with me yet, hopefully, an example can make this more relatable.

sustainable community, working together

Hypothetically let’s say you live near a farmer.. (even if you don’t, stick with me). Imagine the friendly, farmer gets his animal feed (produced locally) in strong burlap bags. You notice them being thrown away each week and you get an idea. Maybe you have a sewing machine, and you can sew them into reusable bags and sell them to plant shop that can use them as bagged pots. You have created your very own sustainable supply chain over night! The bags are no longer being thrown away, you have created a small business on the side and plants are being potted into trendy bags instead of plastic pots.

sustainable community up cycling

Or maybe you have a huge garden but no time to grow anything. What if someone you know has the time but no physical space to garden. You could work out an arrangement that empowers each of you.  Maybe you know of someone who is caring for an ill family member, and you have a lot of vegetables in your fridge that are going off. Maybe you cook a meal and drop it off. You know someone who is always throwing containers away, and you need them for packaging something you have. Work out an agreement. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

sustainable community quote

Let’s start thinking and start these conversations about how we can help each other and use one person’s waste as a starting point for our venture, or ways in which things we throw away can be used in another capacity. Sustainability is more than solar panels and wind farms. Sustainability is about balance and mindfulness. Improving systems or networks.

Community has a major role to play in this. So, lend a hand, donate blood, restore and revamp a piece of old furniture, plant a tree. Keep it simple and create connections.

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Bianca Cave

Bianca has a BSc in Biomedical Science and has just completed an MSc in Sustainable Development at the University of Sussex in the UK. The focus of her masters dissertation was on renewable energy in Barbados and would consider this one of her main areas of interest. As well as, ways we as an island can come together and empower each other to create a more resilient and sustainable community. She hopes to go back to the UK and work for a few years in both development organisations and sustainable technology companies before returning home to Barbados.

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