Earth Day, Every Day
It’s hard to believe that nearly two years have passed since we first set out to achieve Green Globe certification here at Sugar Ridge. The initiative, introduced as part of our Social & Environmental Sustainability Policy, has grown from ideals, goals and action plans into an everyday reality; and in early January 2013, we were officially recognised as a member of the Green Globe community.
We have a confession though: the saying ‘it ain’t easy being green’ is no joke! Going green isn’t just about recycling cans and bottles or turning off lights when you leave the room. Of course these practices are very important, but they’re the types of things we were already doing. Green Globe certification required us to go the extra mile and to really get our hands dirty. Literally.
Within a month of signing up in May 2011, our Green Team had been formed and a Volunteer Beach Clean at Pelican Isles in Crabb Hill was organised together with staff from our Aveda Concept Spa. Though we were both saddened and frustrated by the amount of litter others had left behind, it turned out to be a fun day that left us feeling accomplished and inspired to continue encouraging people to do their part, and at the very least, help keep Antigua’s beaches clean.
In 2012, we visited Antigua and Barbuda’s Waste Recycling Corp to volunteer at the “sorting station”, where we separated plastics from aluminium cans, sending the former to be shredded into small particles and the latter to be compressed into solid bricks, both of which are required in order to efficiently ship the items off island. The experience helped us raise awareness back at the hotel, and by the end of 2012, we had successfully sorted and collected a total of 325lbs of aluminium cans, 1572lbs of steel cans, 1390lbs of mixed plastics and 152lbs of PET Plastics. In other words, we redirected a lot of waste from local landfills to offshore processing plants.
In celebration of the Green Team’s first ‘official’ Earth Day last April, we all gathered at the nursery donned in Sugar Ridge “Clean and Green” t-shirts, gloves and hats, and set to work preparing herb beds and planting seeds. Now, almost a year later, the garden is flourishing.
As we celebrate Earth Day today, we look back on the highlights and accomplishments thus far, and look forward to getting even more staff, guests, friends and family involved in going green and keeping Antigua clean. This year, our ‘celebration’ is an individual one; a personal challenge to do something on our own, in recognition of the fact that it doesn’t take a pre-planned event or group of people to make a difference. Every bit helps, every day.
Happy Earth Day!
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