Earth Day is upon us once more, when people’s thoughts turn to the delicate planet on which we live.
In Cayman, a variety of events are being held to remind everyone to be kind to the Earth, including through recycling programmes, an island-wide clean-up and some fundraising fun.
The theme of this year’s Earth Day, which falls on Monday, 22 April, is “The Face of Climate Change”. Events are being held throughout the month to mark the day.
One of the biggest annual events for Earth Day is the roadside cleanup, when Cayman’s residents roll up their sleeves, don gloves, grab some garbage bags and get to work ridding the islands of rubbish.
The annual clean-up, organised by the Chamber of Commerce, usually attracts more than 1,500 volunteers who clean up some 50 locations throughout the Cayman Islands. The clean up will be held on Saturday, 13 April. Email [email protected] for information.
Children are also getting in on the act with some kid-friendly events. These include a poster competition on recycling for children ages 6 to 15. The deadline for final entries for the competition, run by the Department of Environment and Yellow Pages Cayman Islands, is 30 April. Entrants have a chance to win prizes from the Cayman Turtle Farm, LIME, Cayman Sea Sense, Books & Books, Divetech, Guy Harvey and Hollywood Cinema. The best entries will be published in the Island Pages section of the 2014 Cayman Islands Yellow Pages Telephone Directory. Email [email protected] for information.
Radio Cayman has been accepting public service announcements written by teachers and students about Earth Day. The deadline for final entries is Wednesday, 10 April, and the winning entries will be recorded between 15 and 19 April and will be played on air on Radio Cayman and Breeze FM between 22 and 27 April.
The Central Caribbean Marine Institute is also holding a “One Ocean, One Planet” competition. Its deadline for final entries is 20 April. Email [email protected] for details.
The final pieces will be displayed at this year’s Living Green Fair, on Saturday, 20 April.
The Living Green Fair, which will be held between 10am and 4pm at the Lions Centre, provides for the public to learn about green products and services available in Cayman, as well as the Cayman Islands Environment Programme for the tourism sector. Food and beverages will be provided from 11am to 2pm and there will be prize giveaways.
Also on 20 April, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute is hosting an island-wide beach cleanup in Little Cayman, which is open to the whole community. The clean up will be followed by refreshments and a talk on plastics.
On Sunday, 21 April, Divetech is holding a beach and reef clean up between 1 and 4pm at Lighthouse Point and Cobalt Coast. Free tanks and weights will be available to all participants. There will be prizes awarded at Cobalt Coast with happy hour drink specials from 4pm onward.
For Earth Day itself, 22 April, the Department of Environmental Health is urging people to challenge themselves to do something good for the Earth and start their own recycling programme by finding the nearest recycling collection bins and setting up a home recycling plan. Contact the Environmental Health Department at [email protected], for more information on recycling and aluminium can drop-off points.
Also on Earth Day, CCMI on Little Cayman will be hold a lecture on climate change as part of its REEF Lecture Series.
The following day, Tuesday, 23 April has been designed “No Consumable/Coffee Cups Day”, in which workers are urged to pack their and their children’s lunches in re-useable containers and coffee drinkers are encouraged to get their caffeine fixes in a refillable mug.
Wednesday, 24 April is “Live Local Day” and people are encouraged to check out the farmers’ market at Camana Bay. Buying locally grown food means a smaller carbon footprint from food being flown in and less use of diesel and petrol to power ships and trucks that bring the goods to Cayman.
Thursday, 25 April is “Buy Green Day” during which shoppers are urged to check out sustainably produced, recycled, and otherwise more environmentally friendly products that grocery stores are carrying. Remember to bring your reusable shopping bags.
Friday, 26 April is “Sustainable Seafood Day”. Diners are being asked to make wise choices in the seafood they eat. Cayman Sea Sense produces a helpful information card showing which fish are sustainable. Look for the Cayman Sea Sense logo on restaurant menus to determine if your favourite restaurant offers sustainable fish choices.
Speaking of sustainable fish, there will be a lionfish tournament on Saturday, 27 April, titled “Kill ’em and Grill ’em”, hosted by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Foster’s Food Fair IGA. Divers will compete to take the most and biggest lionfish from the reef, which will then be sold at Foster’s or served up in local restaurants. Contact [email protected] to find out which restaurants and dive companies are participating.
Saturday, 27 April, will be a “Live Local Day” where shoppers are invited to visit Market at the Grounds at the Department of Agriculture pavilion in Lower Valley.
Sunday, 28 April marks the beginning of “Reef Watch”, an annual survey of Cayman’s marine environment started and carried out by the public.
Contact your favourite dive or snorkel company to take part, or the Department of Environment (email [email protected]) for a list of participating companies. If dive companies and groups do the same site you did in previous years, the DoE can give you a report of your dive site.
In Cayman, a variety of events are being held to remind everyone to be kind to the Earth, including recycling programmes, an island-wide clean-up and some fundraising fun.