Environment

By David Jones, Democratic Candidate for District 75, Florida House of Representatives

Because of the current USA political system, whereby our officials are often elected by the size of their wallet or their beholden special interests, we can no longer exclusively trust our government to assure environmental justice.  I believe that environmental protection should be looked at as a triangle.

Let’s look at this triangle representing the three constituents protecting our environment: ourselves, business, and government. Call this a layperson’s guide to holding ourselves, businesses, and government accountable to our present and future generations for environmental protection.

Ourselves  

  1. Reduce, reuse and recycle
  2. Volunteer for clean-ups
  3. Get educated and then educate others
  4. Conserve water
  5. Choose sustainable products and practices
  6. Shop wisely
  7. Use long-lasting, efficient LED light bulbs
  8. Plant trees
  9. Don’t send chemicals into our aquifers, storm drains, and ultimately our waterways.
  10. Bike and walk more, drive less.

We need to work on these ten points until they become second nature. We must hold ourselves accountable before we can hold businesses and government accountable.

Business

  1. Provide filtered water to employees
  2. Reduce paper waste
  3. Switch to LED light bulbs
  4. Encourage telecommuting (working from home)
  5. Improve air quality with indoor plants
  6. Turn off computers and other electrical equipment after work hours
  7. Set up recycle bins in office areas
  8. Reduce business travel; use Zoom and other team collaboration tools

These are all things businesses can do to help the environment.  As consumers, we need to support businesses that are eco-friendly. The quickest way to find out if a company is eco- friendly is to do an internet search while inserting the word environment or a similar phrase.  We all need to be better consumers and purchase eco-friendly products.

Government

Vote for environmentally friendly candidates.  This means “Think Green- Vote Blue”. In Charlotte County, our policies must help to reduce our carbon footprint.

Renewable energy will go a long way toward reducing climate-changing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.  I believe that all new businesses moving into Charlotte County should use or have the infrastructure to use renewable energy.  Existing businesses should use 100 % renewable energy by the year 2035, and Charlotte County should give companies incentives to convert sooner. We should encourage renewable energy producers to locate and bring high paying jobs into Charlotte County. Not many regions of the world can combine wind, solar, and tidal energy like we can right here.

When nitrates and phosphates in fertilizers combine at a 16:1 level within our freshwater systems, we start to see blue-green algae. According to researchers at the University of Miami, blue-green algae has been shown to accelerate and/or cause Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The 16 nitrogen to 1 phosphate combination also helps to feed Red Tide which devastates our health and local economy.

I believe there should be a “fertilizer tax”. The proceeds of this tax would be used to incentivize farmers, ranchers, golf courses, and homeowners to employ best practices such as regenerative agriculture/ aquaculture and landscaping with native plants among other things. We need to strengthen, not weaken, environmental rules and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. We need to stop the environmental carnage that has been wrought by the current Republican administration.

Summary

Please think green and vote blue on November 3rd. I will work to protect our precious Florida eco-environment when I represent you in Tallahassee.  Please visit my website at https://davidjones2020.com/ to learn more.

Image Credits: David Jones
Image provided by David Jones