As our latest contributor, we are honoured to introduce Ms. Louisa Tonna, the founder of ‘tearsofgreen‘, to the Green Deal Malta platform! In her article, Louisa discusses the importance of living in a mindful and sustainable manner and encourages every individual to change their ways to adapt to such a lifestyle. She also addresses one of Malta’s biggest problems, traffic, and believes that we as individuals, as well as schools and the Government can do more to reduce traffic in Malta. Have a look at Louisa’s article below to find out more!
My philosophy is that living mindfully increases one’s satisfaction through non-materialistic means and encourages one to make more conscious choices about their lives.
Consciousness about sustainability will result in more sustainable decisions, which means a higher quality of life and a happier, healthier Earth.
It is for this reason that I write both about mindfulness as well as sustainability. For me, the two are intrinsically connected.
My goal is to bring awareness to the Maltese population and anyone else who reads my writings. I want to encourage people to recognise their patterns, both the good and the bad ones; to open their eyes to what they do unconsciously, and recognise that certain things are unnecessary or can be done differently; to notice things that are happening around them which are harmful to the Maltese islands, and to realise that they can stand up to any abuse and have their voices heard.
Steps that can bring about change
There are a number of projects which we can work on to create a more sustainable Malta, but today I will address just one of them.
When it comes to carbon emissions, I believe that schools play a big part in the problem. In Malta, being such a small island, we are used to commuting from one side of the island to the other in fairly short amounts of time.
We are therefore accustomed to picking schools at our own discretion, despite the distance between the school and our home. My impression is that many individuals do not take this into consideration. As a result, traffic has increased. We can no longer commute easily from one locality to another. Therefore, this mentality is no longer sustainable.
I believe that the problem lies mainly when it comes to Church schools. Government schools operate by catchment area, as for private schools, people generally get to plan beforehand when registering for a private school, and should hopefully choose one slightly closer to home.
Should the Church in Malta change their ballot system, incorporating catchment areas in the process, I believe this would make a big difference. Less traffic caused by driving children to and from school, combined with the increased possibility of remote working brought about by COVID-19, could free up our roads. Perhaps even allowing the possibility of pedestrianising certain village cores (a project which recently seems to be in the pipeline).
Malta can no longer behave as a little island. We need to understand that it’s become like a city. Adopting the mentality of foreign cities – where one takes decisions based on proximity and accessibility – should make a difference when it comes to carbon emissions.
My belief is that in order for sustainability to take centre stage, we require a joint effort by all stakeholders: governments and decision makers, businesses and organisations, as well as the general public. It must be a combined priority for all.
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