Elections are just around the corner, and quite honestly, I for one have got no idea as to who I am going to vote for. Obviously, the biggest issue here is the rubbish and goodness knows we’ve had our fair share of disappointments when it comes to actions.
The environment in general is a real concern to most of us on this Island and there hasn’t been a person that I have spoken to over the last few days, who has not felt the same concern as I have in regards to cleanliness and development towards a safe and healthy environment. Needless to say, not only for tourism but for us, who live here, either permanently or part time on the Island, the question of what is going to be done in the near future and certainly in the long term is one that we all want answered. One person I spoke to recently, was a biologist and who just happens to be a running candidate for Mayor, George Armenis. He is no new comer when it comes to our environment and of course having a master’s degree in Management for Protected areas and being Head of the Fisheries Office of the Prefecture of Zakynthos, he obviously knows what needs to be done when it comes to Zakynthos’ environment. Change was on his lips and like most of us that keep calling for education, he, too was adamant that education needs to be brought about at all levels.
Another thing I also mentioned was the need for recycling and of course, me, being part of a volunteer group enhanced that more can be done in respects to co-operating with more volunteer groups not only to get the recycling message across but to help at all levels concerning our community. Like me, I am sure that you have been trying to recycle, some of you may have given up altogether, as there just hasn’t been an incentive to keep us going in the right direction, surely more can be done in this field and we definitely need a good team of experts in management and operations to be able to succeed. I won’t even make the mistake to talk about the green rubbish bins, a total disaster when it comes to talking about those. However, I will mention the Blue bins, those for example, there are just not enough of them and we all know that recycling stations could be set up all around the Island, goodness knows how many private companies would jump at the chance to set up here, look at AB supermarket for instance, they have been inundated with recycling items so much so, that their machine seems to be permanently “out of order” as they can not manage with the loads people are putting into their machines.
Tourism? Well, either you are for it or against it, unfortunately tourism will not go away and it is common knowledge that it is not the tourists that cause our waste problems, we may say that tourism does add to the problem we already have but it is definitely not the cause.
We, who live here, are in charge of our own home; it’s up to us to keep it clean, even if that means having to remind some of our fellow citizens, no matter what age, to keep it clean then we should. The authorities need to support these ideas and be firm on those who break those ideas but without the proper organization and management then these ideas are just going to go out the window, like so many other good ideas have done in the past. After having an in depth chat with George, he gave me hope that perhaps there could be a light at the end of the tunnel and that hopefully in the very near future CHANGE will happen. Sunday is the day for all of us to decide on the future of Zakynthos, a quote from a friend that stuck in my mind was; vote with your heart and mind and not purely on obligations, vote on how you feel and not what you have been forced to feel. I wish every candidate the success they so want and I just hope like so many fellow Zakynthians have said before me; let’s hope that all these candidates who are trying to gain our votes, in the near future come together, regardless of political colour, race or personal opinions, let’s hope that after all the hype of the elections, they all come together for Zakynthos, our Island home.