Author Archives: lyndonbaptiste

Styrofoam Ban: Trinidad and Tobago

Styrofoam. It’s cheap. And convenient. But it’s bad for the environment. And it’s annoying. Trinidad and Tobago wants to ban Styrofoam. By the year 2020. Impossible! For one styrofoam enjoys widespread use. It has. For more than 50 years. Particularly in the food industry.

And consumers, like you and me, are probably going to hate the alternatives. In the new beverage containers, the ice melts faster. Your coffee cools quicker. Plus The alternatives are more expensive. The price of corn soup, snow cone and chinese food instantly goes up; There’s no way i’m going to pay more than 25 dollars for a small noodles, chicken and chow mein.

And if they ban single-use plastics how am i going to drink my sweet-drink? In A calabash? What happens when I go to the grocery? Would I have to pay for plastic bags or scavenge for boxes to put my member’s select products which, ironically, are packaged in plastic and Styrofoam?

In theory a ban sounds great because of environmental dangers, but is it practical?

I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be an eco-warrior. I’m not. When I’m leaving a table, I pick up my garbage and put it in a bin; I do the same thing when I go to the river and beach; and i Pat myself on my back and say, “Well done, Big Head, well done.”

But investigating the impact of styrofoam and single-use plastic products on the environment i learned a couple things that shocked and terrified me more than one of Trevor Sayers videos.

In 2016, 12,258 tonnes of styrofoam food and beverage containers were used in Trinidad and Tobago. That’s enough Styrofoam to full over 1,225 garbage trucks.

Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, a toxic petroleum-based plastic. It’s bad for the environment. So are the raw materials. The manufacturing process is also bad for the environment. Under extreme temperature Styrofoam break down and leeches into food. Don’t ever microwave Styrofoam. Styrofoam is durable. “It doh rotten.” A cup can last anywhere from 500 years to forever. In a recent study, Styrofoam made up five per cent of solid waste found at landfills in the Caribbean. It’s bad for oceans, rivers, wildlife, humans and climate change. Imagine dumps and rivers littered with styrofoam products. Overhead there’s the Caribbean sun. Fumes. That mess with your lungs and the ozone.

Let’s talk business. And politics. In 2018, the government first announced a ban that was supposed to take effect in 2019. That date got pushed back. Again and again. So, in essence, Styrofoam is like that toxic boyfriend or girlfriend that you can’t just get rid of.

When it comes to banning Styrofoam. Trinidad is lagging behind countries like Guyana, St Vincent and Hotel Rwanda. We’re lagging behind Guyana and Tobago, which is a little bit embarrassing; considering that Trinidad is part of Tobago.

The proposed ban isn’t an outright ban. The ban means local manufacturers must include additives to make their products biodegradable. Businessmen are saying that T & T isn’t ready for the ban. One representative said, “Fish don’t eat Styrofoam, they eat the plastic.” Which is a silly argument. That’s like saying. Fast food doesn’t kill people. High cholesterol kills people.

Just so we’re on the same page. When Styrofoam breaks down into little pieces, the fish thinks its food. The fish eats it. The fish cannot digest it. The fish dies. A clamshell box.
It costs about 48 cents to produce. An alternative container costs about $1.48. Apart from the price, there are arguments against alternatives. There’re claims that the bagasse alternatives, like Styrofoam, con­tain chem­i­cals linked to can­cer.

Alternatives often creates more waste and generates more air and water pollution. Local companies that have tried to go green have actually returned to single-use plastic because alternatives like bagasse food containers result in soggy foods. Bagasse. That word just sounds wrong.

Some say the costs outweigh the benefits; and until a better, less-costly alternative to plastic foam is created, recycling programs are a better option. Let’s not forget that a person could throw an alternative product out of a car window as easily as a Styrofoam container, a bottle or a cigarette pack.

So, what happens if, come 2020, there aren’t any alternatives? What if manufacturers aren’t ready? What if they’re never ready? Do we continue to use Styrofoam and single-use plastics products? Trinis could stop buying items packaged in Styrofoam. That would work. For at least two weeks. Or two days. People could walk around with with your own cup and bowl. Can you imagine walking into a restaurant and saying,

“Le’me get a small noodles, chicken and chow mein.”
“That is a big bowl.”
“Mr Chin, you’ blind or what? This is a small”.
No. That is big… like your mother box.”

For the ban to work everyone has to work together: The state; manufacturers; businesses; law enforcement; and consumers like you and me.

Manufacturers need support from the state. Businesses need incentives; and they need to know where they can source alternatives at competitive prices. It isn’t as easy as announcing a ban and hoping for the best.

Listen, There’s no doubt that A styrofoam ban is going to present a number of inconveniences. But if that’s the cost of a better Trinidad and Tobago, for you, for me, for our children, then I’m willing for it. And once we’ve figured out how to get rid of Styrfoam we could work on getting rid of illegal guns.The average person may not care if they ban Styrofoam. It’s like a smoker. A smoker may not truly care about the dangers of his habit until he has lung disease. Like some arguments and some people, Styrofoam is 95 percent hot air and 5 percent substance.

Open Broadcaster Software

Today we’re talking about Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS. It’s a free software for offline video recording and live streaming that you could use to level up your recordings and livestreams. And! the great news is it works on Mac and Windows.

The tool gives you a canvas and you can mix a variety of audio and video
sources to a single output for creative video and broadcast applications.

You can record straight to your desktop or broadcast to streaming services like Youtube, Facebook Live, Twitch, Twitter

Choose the right settings: Choosing the right settings is crucial for recording high-quality videos. Make sure to select the appropriate resolution, frame rate, and bitrate based on your computer’s specs and the content you’re recording. Keep in mind that higher settings require more processing power and may affect your recording’s performance.

Use hotkeys and shortcuts: OBS offers many useful hotkeys and shortcuts that can help you streamline your recording process. For example, you can use hotkeys to start and stop recordings, switch between scenes, and adjust audio and video settings on the fly. Familiarize yourself with these shortcuts to save time and improve your workflow.

Audio quality matters: Audio is just as important as video quality, if not more. Make sure to use a high-quality microphone and adjust the audio settings in OBS. You can also add filters, such as noise suppression and compression, to enhance the audio quality further.

Errol Fabien on Stand-Up Comedy in Trinidad

Errol Fabien is a comedian, and television and radio presenter from Trinidad and Tobago. Born in Guapo, Point Fortin, he’s number 6 of 9 children. He attended Naparima College, where he studied theater. In 1978 he joined the West Indian Theather Company. He’s appeared in ads, plays and movies with a role in Men of Grey: Flight of the Ibis. In 2004 he cofounded Gayelle to spread local content. As a writer I have benefited from Gayelle.

Errol Fabien and Lyndon Baptiste on Caribbean Content Creators

Lyndon Baptiste: Have you written any books?

Errol Fabien: No I have not written any books. I’ve written some articles, I have written structures for bigger shows, you know like when producing shows script stuff but I haven’t written any books okay I have quite a few books in me to be written, quite a few.

Lyndon Baptiste: If you wrote a book what would you call it?

Errol Fabien: I would write one called Running out of tears; Running out of tears because I cry a lot and sometimes I think I’m gonna run out of Tears because of things that affect me so deeply. Not only things that hurt me, you know, I cry a lot when I’m happy too. I have a wife. We’re gonna be four years married soon and she can’t get over it up to now. She says I always always cry so much because you know part of it, Lyndon, is that when I was drugging, when I was an active addict for all those years I didn’t feel anything and I did not allow myself to feel anything so today I embrace all of my emotions and there are some things that if I see it a hundred times right I’m gonna cry a hundred times.

Lyndon Baptiste: So you’re probably one of the worst people to watch an Indian movie with?

Kevin Jared Hosein on winning the Commonwealth Prize

Kevin Jared Hosein is an award-winning writer from Trinidad. In 2015, he was the Caribbean regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. In 2018 he won the prize with a story named Passage. It’s a compelling story written in Creole. To date, he’s published three books. His first novel The Repenters was long-listed for the 2017 OCM Bocas award. His upcoming novel, Hungry Ghosts, is slated for publication as a major lead title in 2023 by Bloomsbury Publishing. Bloomsbury is the same publishing house that published the Harry Potter Books.

Buy Hungry Ghosts on Amazon

Trini Style with Dinesh

Lyndon Baptiste: Today we’re talking YouTube with a YouTuber named “Trini Stye with Dinesh”. You joined YouTube on the 27th of June 2013. Sometime around September 2013 you posted 127 videos. You’ve grown your channel to almost 4 000 subscribers and 1 million views. I’m looking forward so much to talking about YouTube strategy uh monetization and how you go about promoting your videos right so before we get started on all that good stuff tell me a little bit about what inspired you to start posting content on YouTube back in 2013.

Trini Style with Dinesh: I was always fascinated by social media. We started with Facebook. Then we went to WhatsApp and YouTuber. I decided to take a bigger step into YouTube because I always considered it a wider platform for social media content. I always wanted to highlight the tassa group.

Lyndon Baptiste: Before we talk about YouTube monetization what gear do you use?

Trini Style with Dinesh: A Samsung Note 10. No external microphone but I have a gimbal and a GoPro 11. I edit all my videos on an app I bought for my phone.

On the go? Listen to the podcast here: