Between running surf and yoga retreats and making films, Rebecca Coley’s life revolves around the ocean.
Having experienced first-hand the benefits of enjoying the great outdoors, Rebecca reckons that Jersey has a lot to learn about not taking its environment for granted.
There are many things that could be changed about Jersey, but for Rebecca it’s all about protecting the island’s natural assets and changing habits of convenience to save the planet...
I believe the beach is for everyone and it always should be. I think the Jersey National Park project is fantastic and is there to protect our coastline long-term. Some private properties seem to have extended to take a presence over two bays in some instances and I think the natural landscape should be preserved as much as possible in these areas.
Pictured: "I believe the beach is for everyone and it always should be."
I think an outdoor lifestyle should be encouraged as it’s good for society and everyone’s physical and mental health and, of course, tourism. I also think people should be allowed to camp in limited places (not in huge Winnebagos) but small vans in areas that are already popular.
There should actually be better beach side public facilities like showers and toilets and barbecues to encourage beach activities, like in Australia. Many people live in landlocked places and travel hours to get to the sea for their holidays. We are so spoilt in Jersey. We’re surrounded by it. It's there and it's free and it's very good for you. I think a good dip in the sea sorts everything out.
Jersey is a small island and therefore can be a microcosm for change - we can easily try new ways of doing things and see how they work. Jersey can lead the way with becoming carbon neutral. I really notice the traffic pollution in town and I think we should all try and ditch our vehicles and walk and cycle more.
Pictured: Rebecca thinks that all islanders could ditch their cars more often.
Maybe we should have a 'Walk it Wednesday' or a 'Fit Friday’ - wouldn’t it be amazing if all the schools and offices joined such an initiative? Everyone would start their day with some exercise, get the endorphins pumping, maybe chat to some new people on the way in and have their lungs filled with clean air instead of sitting in the pollution.
Aside from the climate crisis I think people underestimate how damaging this is to people’s health and particularly children’s health. Our average speed is 20 miles an hour so all these vehicles are only pumping pollution into the atmosphere that hangs around and usually the worst hit areas are where the schools and people congregate.
Following on from this I think change can start with our food. ’Scoop’ The Sustainable Cooperative is proving a whole new way to shop - Low energy, package free shopping, lots of organic delicious local produce to choose from. You fill up your glass jars and you’re eating seasonal and local, without costing the earth to get that food on your plate.
Pictured: Rebecca thinks Jersey should take advantage of its sustainable shopping options (SCOOP).
MiniMall is fantastic in town with fresh lunch options and bulk whole food, refillable jars and an easy way to a minimal waste life and the same with 100% health. It can take a little bit more effort and planning, but it’s worth it when convenience is costing us so much.
To address an elephant - billions of pounds comes through Jersey and I would suggest an optional fund set up for companies and individuals who invest here to be used to invest in environmental and green energy projects.
Pictured: Organiser of Drift Retreats, Rebecca wants to see more investment in eco-initiatives.
I’d like to see us have a Green Fund of some description, this could be invested in exploring tidal energy, kelp farms or other green future initiatives, such as the cost of making Jersey carbon neutral or the free bus service. I think for companies taking advantage of Jersey’s tax structure there is an option to give something back and in this age of social responsibility and climate crisis many companies are actually very keen to do their bit. The option should be there.
I’d like to see a cottage film industry in Jersey I think independent films up to £20million could easily come and make the most of Jersey’s beautiful and diverse locations within easy reach of each other.
Pictured: Rebecca would like to see more films shot in Jersey, like Michael Pearce's 'Beast' (Kerry Brown).
We’re not geared up for big studio block busters but smaller films, series and adverts we could do and it would provide more jobs and opportunities for business and diversify the economy. I’d like to see a tax break of 20% for budgets spent on the island - a small film office could be set up and it could be hugely beneficial to the island.
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