The Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority held a simple but very significant ceremony to celebrate EARTH DAY on Monday April 22nd.
The ceremony was held at the Authority’s premises located at Ramsbury.
The proceedings commenced with an inspirational prayer by employee at the NSWMA, Mrs. Anesta Maynard and then Manager Mrs. Carlyn Lawrence addressed the gathering which comprised of NSWMA staff, representatives from the NHCS; school children; officials from the Ministry of Health; officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives of Delilse Walwyn & Co. Ltd.
She noted that this was the 43rd anniversary of Earth day which was started in the United Sates but has evolved into a global movement when persons around the world take time out to do something significant to enhance the environment.
She hoped that such meaningful concentration to such activities on Earth Day will grow and develop into a daily continuation of such activities by the majority of the people.
She indicated that the NSWMA had organized LITTER WALKS on that day. These involved the Charlestown Primary School; The Maude Cross Preparatory School and the Empire Sports Club which all completed litter pickups in designated areas. She hoped that the general community would change their behaviour and be more conscious of their environment and practice to keep the environment clean.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Nicole Slack-Liburd thanked the NSWMA for the initiative. She noted that the theme for the day was ‘Climate change’ and pointed to the varying activities that human beings are involved in that affect the rise in temperature and pointed to the fact that climate change can result in physical and Health catastrophes.
She also pointed to the effects of poor practices on marine life and beseeched everyone in the community to adopt safer practices. She also thanked Delilse Walwyn & Co. Ltd for partnering in such a worthwhile endeavour and urged other business places to follow suit.
Mrs. Isabel Byron-Hendrickson representing the NHCS congratulated Miriam Khnorr and Marcus Stapleton for their annual clean up around Nevis on behalf of the NHCS. She indicated that the NHCS continues to be concerned about improper dumping practices on the island and thanked the school children for being present and challenged them to adopt proper practices so that Nevis would have a safer environment in the future.
She stated that the NHCS is in the process of launching a pilot project which involves the recycling of plastic bottles which will initially involve Secondary School students.
Mrs. Youlouca Amory-Browne of Delilse Walwyn indicated that her company was extremely pleased to be on board with such a meaningful project. She used the opportunity to advertise the many products offered by her company. She congratulated the NSWMA for leading out in such a manner and implored: ‘Let us live by example.’ She noted that her company had donated $6,000.00 towards the erection of signs which will be placed all across the island and some of the funds would also have been used to provide garbage bags and gloves for the litter pickups coordinated on that day.
The beautifully designed signs which were officially handed over to Manager Lawrence, read:
‘Kindly put your garbage in the bin provided.’ It also has on the sponsor’s logo and that of the NHCS.
Headmaster at the Charlestown Primary School, Mr. Kevin Barrett indicated that his school was always happy to be involved with such projects and noted that the NHCS has been a constant partner with the school for the last several years, even sponsoring a trophy for the school’s initiative of a ‘Neat, clean and tidy school.’
A historical overview of Earth day indicates the following:
The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Some of the activities recommended for that day are:
Plant trees. As the date also roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role of tree-planting. Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cleans pollution, secures soil in place to prevent erosion, and provides homes for a lot of biodiversity.
Make nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and build a birdhouse or make a bird feeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays an important role in every ecosystem. For an extra-special Earth Day craft, use objects that would’ve otherwise been thrown away to create beautiful works of art. The possibilities are endless Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you’ve never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rain forests. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven’t done so already, join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area.
Reduce, reuse and recycle all day long. Buy as little as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. Support local growers and producers of food and products – these don’t have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don’t use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags.
Hold a garage sale, donate, or reuse household items. Many of us take up a lot of natural resources with stuff we don’t really need, want or use. Ironically, there are a still lot of people who don’t have basic necessities. Plus, a lot of your unwanted clutter can be used by local charities to resell for much-needed cash.