Island Green Living: Respecting Our Environment

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Respecting our environment is everyone’s business. Sadly, I have been seeing more and more trash strewn about Cruz Bay like it’s no one’s business. It’s really disgusting.

Whatever happened to our pride in St. John being a clean and green island? Are we going to let trash pile up on our sidewalks and streets until tourists will not want to visit due to our litter problem?

Tourism is the economic catalyst for our livelihoods, and when visitors leave here with an impression of a dirty place, they will spend their money somewhere else next time.   

I see the problem of litter as twofold. First, there are not many trash receptacles around town. We need to install more trash barrels and see that they are emptied regularly. I hope the National Park and Public Works will place more barrels around.

Businesses should do their part also; after all, they are the ones selling the soda cans, beer bottles, mixed drink cups, styrofoam food containers, and plastic bags that I see littering our streets — or even worse, floating in the ocean.

Second, we all need to pick up trash when we see it. It’s not a hard thing to do! And it’s a great way to make a contribution to our community. I’ve started bringing along a plastic bag to pick up trash on my way to work in the morning.

The future of St. John is in the hands of everyone who lives here, and you will be amazed how good it makes you feel when you help out the environment.

We also need to ask the people who are carelessly throwing their trash around to please stop, and point out the trash receptacles for them.

Let them know we care about our island. Talk to your children about litter and explain that it is disrespectful to throw trash around.

A good friend of mine here just returned from a cruise. His biggest complaint was the trash on many of the other islands he visited.

Do we want to be like those islands? Or do we want to be the emerald green island of the Caribbean?

The choice is ours. Give a hoot and don’t pollute!

For a greener tomorrow.