As a repeat sponsor of the Annual Chamber of Commerce Earth Day Island Wide Clean Up, Walkers’ staff were once again well represented on the streets and beaches of Cayman.
Along with other corporate and individual volunteers, Walkers’ employees helped make a huge dent in the amount of garbage and debris littering the Island, improving the impression of Grand Cayman for the benefit of tourists and locals alike.
Walkers’ volunteers were allocated two areas in George Town for clean up on Saturday, 25 April, with one team taking on North Sound Road, from the Conch Shell House to the Barcadere Marina and another team tackling Bodden Road, which connects North Church Street with Eastern Avenue.
“With such a large number of environmentally aware individuals both within Walkers the law firm and Walkers Management Services, it was no surprise that we had another great turn out for the clean up,” said Alice Mae Coe, Community Liaison Officer at Walkers.
After reporting for duty at 7am, the groups got stuck into two solid hours of cleaning, which became harder work as the temperature increased throughout the morning.
The large number of rubbish bags which were filled up were a testament to the efforts of everyone involved.
‘It was really hot work but well worth the effort because we were able to leave these areas looking a lot better after removing possibly hundreds of the main offenders, namely, beer bottles and fast food containers,” Ms Coe said.
“We were pleased to finish the job and join the Governor and all the other volunteers for brunch at Public Beach.”
Wayne Panton, Global Chairman of Walkers said: “The staff at Walkers have a great record of involvement in a wide range of community and environmental activities and we are proud of their efforts.
‘In Cayman we have over 30 members of the Walkers Green Committee who are continually striving to encourage environmentally sound practices within the firm and participate in local green initiatives.”
Each year in time for Earth Day, Walkers sponsors the Cayman Eco newsletter, which is a non-profit publication aimed at educating and motivating people of all ages in the Cayman Islands to be more environmentally conscious. Supported by the National Trust, Cayman Eco was started independently by a small number of Walkers staff in 2006. The newsletter is distributed to schools and the wider general public and is full of environmental facts and tips on being green.
The current issue of Cayman Eco reports on how local schools in Cayman have found some creative ways to engage students in environmental activities, as well as information on plastics and how 97 per cent of all plastic bags end up in a landfill.
There is also a look at whether the US plan for a ‘Green Economic Future’ would work in Cayman, as well as Cayman Eco Awards for local companies; Caybrew, Hews Hotel and Restaurant Supplies and Cayman Sea Salt.
There is also an article from anti-litter group, the Cayman Islands Beautification Committee, of which Alice Mae Coe is the Deputy Chair.
The Walkers Green Committee has carried out a number of its environmental initiatives, including recycling programmes for aluminium cans and dry cell batteries. A Christmas card recycling programme has been popular and the firm is committed to using office and cleaning supplies that are environmentally friendly. Also, in conjunction with HP and Alphasoft, toner cartridges are recycled. Other initiatives include the newspaper and magazine ‘reduce and re-use’ programme and a ‘paperless office policy’ has been introduced for day-to-day operations.
Staff are encouraged to make their own suggestions and there are many other ideas that the Committee is pursuing. The Committee has also attempted to get a community glass crushing facility up and running and discussions are ongoing with a service club and private sector parties along with the Department of Environmental Health.
“It is up to our generation to preserve our planet and the sooner we start changing, the less drastic these changes will need to be,” said Tammy Kelderman, Executive Legal Secretary with Walkers and the managing editor of Cayman Eco. “Cayman is a small and beautiful community which means that our collective contributions to this cause will be visible, immediate and tangible.”