Thursday, November 4, 2010

1 November 2010
Cayman Islands Yellow Pages Press Release

George Town, Grand Cayman

'Yellow2Green' programme aims to keep 60 tons of old phonebooks out of Cayman’s landfill in 2010

The next twenty days will see one of the most important recent environmental initiatives as the Cayman Islands Yellow Pages (CIYP) launches “Yellow2Green”, a programme designed to recycle old phone books into insulation for homes. The launch coincides with the release of the 2011 Cayman Islands telephone directory and will run from November 1st – 20th.

“Our intent is to keep 60 tons of phone books from ending up in the landfill and to elevate everyone’s awareness about the importance of recycling and conservation,” explains CIYP Marketing Manager Eileen Keens. “This is the pilot programme and we’re very hopeful that everyone in Grand Cayman will participate – businesses and individuals alike. If we’re successful, this will become an annual event to include Cayman Brac and eventually Little Cayman.”

“There’s absolutely no down-side to this,” adds Ms. Keens, “it’s easy for people to take their old phone books to any one of 11 drop-off points island-wide but, more importantly, it’s a benefit to our country and our environment – it’s the right, responsible thing to do.”

The programme includes the “Yellow2Green School Challenge”, where all primary schools can compete to win a pizza party and up to $1500. The school that collects the most books, per student body, wins. “This is a great way to get kids excited about recycling – this is about their future, so it’s critical that they value preservation and grasp the concept of personal responsibility,” explains Ms. Keens.

CIYP will accept any dry phone book, even if it’s not one of theirs. All books will be shipped via Thompson Shipping Line to Tampa where they’ll be 100% recycled into GreenFiber insulation, an all-natural, high quality fiber insulation product used for homes. GreenFiber is North America’s leading natural fiber manufacturer and they have been working with communities across the US, and now in the Caribbean, to help keep over one million tons of paper out of landfills.

“This really is a big deal. We’re pretty sure everyone agrees that our landfill doesn’t need any more unnecessary waste, each one of those recycled directories is one step closer to a greener community” adds Ms. Keens. “And we’re thankful to all our sponsors for making it happen.”

All businesses and individuals are encouraged to deliver as many old phone books as they can to any drop-off location by November 20th. For businesses with large amounts of books, the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has been designated as the primary corporate collection site at their new Governor’s Square office.

Drop-off Locations

All Foster’s Food Fair locations island-wide
Chamber of Commerce, Governor’s Square
Camana Bay
LIME Galleria Plaza
LIME Anderson Square
Hurley’s Grand Harbour
Kirk Supermarket


Camana Bay
Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce
Foster’s Food Fair
Kirk Supermarket
Lemmie’s Trucking Services
NCI Services
Thompson Line
Vision Marketing

For more information please visit or email Eileen Keens at

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fosters hands over plastic bag cash to research centre

Cayman News Service
October 5, 2010

(CNS): One local supermarket has collected $10,000 from the sale of plastic bags since it began charging for the bags in June this year. Foster’s Food Fair has now donated the money to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) as part of its promise at the beginning of the BECOME campaign to give 100% of the money made from the plastic bags back into the community for “green efforts.” The number of plastic bags in circulation has dropped however, as increasing numbers of people have turned to reusable shopping bags to carry their groceries.

As part of its campaign to increase awareness on the importance of “going green” Foster’s said it had taken the first part of the money earned from the bags it sold and given it to CCMI to help conduct and facilitate research, education, conservation, and outreach programs that will sustain marine diversity for future generations. Read whole story here.

Waste Management Proposals for Cayman Islands Invited

Waste Management World
October 7, 2010

The much anticipated request for proposals to deal with the Cayman Islands George Town dump has been officially released. Government is now inviting proposals for the redevelopment of the landfill also known as Mount Trashmore, reports The Cayman News Service.

Although the government had previously expressed its preference for a Waste to Energy Facility (WtE), it is reported to also be inviting tenders for Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management Facilities (CSWDMF).

According to a release from government, it is seeking an entity that will manage all waste generated in Grand Cayman through the establishment of a CSWDMF and WTEF, while enhancing the island's recycling capabilities and producing green by-products such as biofuels and composting.

"All entities interested in providing a Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management Facility and Waste to Energy Facility Facility in Grand Cayman should respond to the Request for Proposal by noon, 19 November 2010," the release from the Department of Environmental Health stated.

"The George Town landfill currently receives all types of waste and recyclables. The existing method of land filling municipal waste is not sustainable," government officials said.

Entities making a bid to solve what, at 80 feet high (25 metres), has become one of the country's biggest problems, will also be required to provide future waste disposal management options for the Sister Islands.

"The issue of a Request for Proposal is a long anticipated and welcomed step in the process of redevelopment of the George Town landfill," said the Minister with responsibility for public works, Juliana O'Connor-Connolly. "The Ministry is seeking an entity that will provide a practical and reasonable long-term waste management solution for the Cayman Islands."

Mount Trashmore is considered the highest point on Grand Cayman at well over 80 feet and certainly its worst eyesore. As the dump has not been lined it has been leaking into the North Sound for several years, causing major pollution problems for the marine environment.

Tackling the dump has been a controversial issue for some time but more recently a group of activists under the banner of Waste Initiatives & Sustainable Environments (WISE) began a campaign to oppose the concept of mining and incinerating the dump as its sole solution. The group has instead suggested capping and remediating the landfill. WISE proposes turning to a new eco-waste management park elsewhere on the island, which would focus on composting, recycling, reuse and the reduction of waste in general with limited incineration and ultimately zero discarded or dumped garbage.

The activists have said that incineration will create further pollution, as will the mining of the current landfill, which will release dust and debris into the air as well as generate persistent bad odours during the lengthy period of mining, which they warn could go on for years.

However, the relocation of the waste management facility has caused controversy, with no district welcoming the idea of a new, albeit modem, 'dump' in its neighbourhood.

The tender invites proposals that will deal with the landfill on the current site and it is expected that the existing rubbish at the dump will be mined and burned in a waste to energy conversion and it is hoped that there will also be some recycling undertaken at the site.

Interested parties must be mindful of the noon deadline on 19 November, as late submissions will not be accepted. Excluded from the RFP will be the collection of residential and commercial waste; this will still fall under the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Health.

On the Green Carpet at the Environmental Media Association awards

Mother Nature Network
October 25, 2010

Celebrating the eco-friendliest examples of filmed and televised entertainment, the Environmental Media Awards drew a megawatt assemblage of stars and media moguls to the green carpet at the Warner Bros. lot for a festive evening of accolades and revelry. Sponsored by Toyota and Lexus, whose respective plug-in Prius and CT200h were on display, the ceremony honored Avatar, 30 Rock, Bones, and Living With Ed and featured a performance by Kenny Loggins.

“I don’t know if Rupert Murdoch knew he was going to spend a couple hundred million dollars to make an environmental movie,” James Cameron (pictured right with wife Suzy Amis) said as he accepted the feature film EMA for Avatar from Eva Mendes. Realizing he was “preaching to the choir,” he nevertheless took the opportunity to speak at length about pressing eco-issues. One byproduct of the film’s global impact is his increased involvement in trying to help those who face issues depicted on screen. He’s been to the Amazon rainforest twice and “met with indigenous communities there to push back against the big hydroelectric dam they’re building, which will displace 25,000 people. We think of hydro as clean but it’s devastating the rainforest. It will throw thousands of megatons of carbon into the atmosphere, which will accelerate global warming. There are so many better answers with energy.

“This is such a critical time in the history of the environmental movement and there’s so much that needs to happen right now,” he continued, noting that he donated to the campaign to stop California’s oil company-backed Proposition 23, which would suspend the greenhouse gas emissions bill. “We really have to look at how we’ve been running our civilization and reevaluate our value system. We need a sense of conscience in what we do and the entertainment community can do that, slowly effect change in people’s lives. Our leaders in Washington aren’t going to do it,” he said, citing politicians’ refusal to mention climate change in energy legislation. “The leaders only [act] when the public tells them to and that’s our job. What happens in the next decade may well determine the outcome for life on this planet for the next thousand years so we have to step up to the challenge and accept responsibility, for our children and their children. When they look back I want them to think of us as those ancestors who took responsibility and did what had to be done and saved the planet.”

Read the whole story here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mangroves still in danger

Cayman News Service
Saturday 14 August 2010

A report published by the United Nations last month has revealed that critically important mangroves continue to be lost at a rate three to four times higher than land-based forests. The news comes at a time when the Cayman Islands own proposed national conservation law is still at the consultation stage with no guarantee that it will make it to the Legislative Assembly next month as was hoped. During a series of public meetings in July when the Department of Environment director spelt out the pressing need for a conservation law here, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, noted the massive loss of mangroves that Cayman has suffered over the years and their current precarious protection. The NCL, she said, would offer a way of protecting what remains of the country's mangrove areas.

In 1980 there was over 5,000 acres of wetland and mangrove habitat on the western side of Grand Cayman. Today just a fraction of the mangroves remains, with more than 66 percent of those areas being lost. Read the whole story here. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Extension delays conservation bill

By: Norma Connolly |
Caymanian Compass

Environment minister Mark Scotland announced Thursday that the consultation period for the National Conservation Law will be extended by six weeks to 27 August.

The extended consultation period means the bill, which the minister had said was expected to go before the Legislative Council in September, will be delayed being voted into law by legislators.

The original month-long public consultation was scheduled to end on Friday, 16 July, but Mr. Scotland said several individuals, non-governmental organisations and community groups had indicated that they wanted to make contributions, so he extended the deadline.

A statement from the ministry on when the bill is now likely to go before legislators read: “The bill remains a priority for the ministry, but because the public consultation period has been extended, there will be an unavoidable delay in bringing the bill before the LA as government considers the public’s input.”

The Department of Environment has held seven public meetings and several other meetings and briefings with interested parties, such as developers, architects and the business community, during the most recent consultation period.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Baby birds need help

Caymanian Compass
17 July 2010

When the Ching-chings start dive-bombing unsuspecting tourists walking through George Town, it is clearly nesting season.

Unfortunately, with nesting season come baby birds in need of help, and although Cayman Wildlife Rescue makes every attempt to restore nestlings to their wild families, this is not always possible.

The organisation is appealing for volunteers to hand-raise baby birds for release back into the wild. Read whole story here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Keep those green bags clean

by Basia Pioro McGuire
Caymanian Compass
12 July 2010

More and more Cayman residents are turning to reusable grocery bags to take home their shopping, preventing at least a few plastic bags from ending up at Mt. Trashmore.

But since the reusable bags are being used for food, they need to be kept clean.

Dr. Monica Hoefert of the Seven Mile Medical Clinic notes that the bags join a host of other kitchen items like fridge doors, dish towels, and kitchen sponges, which all breed germs quite easily. Read whole story here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tracking the Oil Spill in the Gulf

Click here to see the interactive oil spill tracker courtesty of The New York Times and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

5 Easy and Economical Ways to Green Up

As an American living in Grand Cayman, I notice that the 4th of July may come and go with less fanfare (though perhaps a few fireworks on Seven Mile Beach). Still, these handy tips from Inhabit are useful for any celebratory occasion. Check out the full article.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

National Conservation Law

The dates for the public meetings for comment on the proposed National Conservation Law have been announced by the Department of Environment. The first district meeting took place on Thursday, 1 July in Northside. The remaining six district meetings will be:

--Tuesday, 6 July: Bodden Town Primary School Hall, 7 – 9pm
--Thursday, 8 July: Elmslie Memorial Church Hall, George Town, 6 – 8pm
--Saturday, 10 July: National Trust House, Little Cayman, 7 – 9pm
--Monday, 12 July: John A. Cumber Hall, West Bay, 7 – 9pm
--Tuesday, 13 July: East End Community Centre, 7 – 9pm
--Thursday, 15 July: Aston Rutty Centre, Cayman Brac7 – 9pm

The Department of the Environment will explain the law and how it differs from the limited conservation law currently in force. For more information, read the full article or visit the DoE website to share your opinion via survey.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Global Warming Deniers and Their Proven Strategy of Doubt

Yale Environment 360
by Naomi Orekses and Erik M. Conway

For years, free-market fundamentalists opposed to government regulation have sought to create doubt in the public’s mind about the dangers of smoking, acid rain, and ozone depletion. Now they have turned those same tactics on the issue of global warming and on climate scientists, with significant success. Read whole story here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

LIME bagged employee support to go "green"

Cayman Net News

In support of the Cayman “Become Green” campaign, LIME provided its employees with reusable shopping bags.

LIME Country Manager Anthony Ritch and the service delivery team show off the bags they now will take to major supermarkets, which began implementing a five cent charge on 9 June for their new biodegradable plastic bags.

LIME employees at One Technology Square also received the reusable shopping bags.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Public meetings on draft National Conservation Bill

Caymanian Compass
22 June 2010

Cayman residents can have their say on the newest version of the National Conservation Bill.

Environment Minister Mark Scotland wants to bring the bill to the Legislative Assembly before year’s end.

“I believe that we need comprehensive conservation legislation to adequately protect Cayman’s future,” Mr. Scotland said. “I also hold that the environment is an issue that affects everyone, and therefore it is vital to gauge public opinion on the matter.

The Department of Environment has started public consultations with key stakeholder meetings and the launch of an explanatory guide to the proposed National Conservation Law.

In addition, district meetings will start the week of 5 July. The department will announce times and venues as soon as possible. Read whole story here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Today's Editorial for June 11: Thinking globally, acting locally

Caymanian Compass

We have learned there is no threat of oil from the Gulf of Mexico leak washing ashore in the Cayman Islands.

However, this does not mean there is no threat at all to Cayman; scientists believe the Caribbean marine ecosystem could indeed be affected by the Gulf oil spill.

It is known, for instance, that one of the turtles that lays its eggs on Cayman’s beaches has migrated to an area in the Gulf. More significantly, it is thought that ocean-dwelling fish are part of a marine ecosystem interlinked with the Gulf. How that could affect Cayman is anyone’s guess, but the point is that the world’s environment crosses man-made borders of countries. Everything is ultimately linked.

The phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ has been used to encourage worldwide activism on a number of fronts, including the environment. The idea is that environmental issues are everyone’s problem, so everyone should do their part. It has been argued that Cayman is so small, anything it does to address things like its carbon footprint are negligible on a global scale. But just like one vote doesn’t usually win an election anywhere, politicians are ultimately elected by individual voters nonetheless. Every little bit does help, or hurt, depending on the action.

Read the full story here.

Most will bring their own grocery store bags

By: Alan Markoff |

Caymanian Compass

More the 71 per cent of the 482 respondents to last week’s online poll said they will take their own shopping bags when grocery stores start charging for plastic bags. Cayman’s major supermarkets started charging five cents per bag on Wednesday.

In total, 343 people - 71.2 per cent - said they would take their own bags to the store instead of paying the five cents.

“Of course, there will be the inevitable times I forget, so I’ll probably end up buying about 50 of the reusable ones - or just not use a bag, depending on what it is,” said one person. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Plastic bag charge starts today

9 June 2010
The Caymanian Compass

Starting today, supermarkets will be implementing a new 5 cent charge for plastic bags as part of the Cayman BECOME campaign to encourage the Cayman Islands public to bring their own reusable bags when they shop.

To prepare for the big day, cashiers and baggers have received training from the Cayman BECOME education and training committee.

“We are aiming to adapt the interaction between cashier and customer for when the charge is introduced,” said Senior Sustainable Development Officer at the Department of Environment Joni Kirkconnell, one of the trainers.

She said cashiers are now being urged to ask customers directly if they have their own bags with them and if not they will ask whether the customer needs a bag and wishes to purchase a reusable bag, or purchase plastic bags. “This should not only make people think about bringing their own bags in the future, but it will also make cashiers more aware of how many plastic bags they are providing, and customers more aware of how many plastic bags they are using,” said Ms Kirkconnell. Read the whole story here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cayman’s got a brand new bag

What's Hot
TOPIC: Community
By: Basia Pioro-McGuire

Cayman BECOME is a new campaign promoting the use of reusable shopping bags instead of plastic, encouraging members of the community to take their own reusable bags when they shop.

Starting on 9 June, the initiative kicks into high gear with the introduction of a five cent charge for plastic bags at the Island’s supermarkets.

The programme is the result of much hard work by the Corporate Green Team Network, whose members include Cayman Eco, Deloitte Cayman, the Department of Environment, the Department of Tourism, dms, Island Heritage, Island Supply, KPMG, LIME, Maples Finance, Ogier, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Rawlinson & Hunter.

“Sustainability is important for our community,” explains Department of Environment Sustainable Development Officer Sophie Halford.

Read the full story...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cayman BECOME hands out free reusuable bags

Join us on Saturday, June 12th between 10am-12 noon at Kirk Supermarket, Hurley's, and all Fosters stores to get a free reusable grocery bag from the Cayman BECOME campaign. Starting on June 9th, all of the stores will begin charging 5 cents for every plastic bag used. Each of the stores sell their own reusable bags in addition to the limited supply of Cayman BECOME bags that will be available on June 12th. For more information on Cayman BECOME, visit their website.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cruise ship industry needs better waste-control standards

Cruise ship companies needs to take responsibility for the waste it produces
(Credit: Ivan Lian via Flickr).

Imagine walking down the street just as the crew of an airplane flying overhead decides to dump sewage from the plane's toilets. Not a pleasant thought. Fortunately, airlines aren't allowed to do this.

But cruise ships do it all the time — and not just with sewage, but with food waste, oily bilge water, and solid waste as well. As an article on the nonprofit news website DC Bureau notes, cruise ship companies that rely on "pristine oceans, beautiful coral reefs and marine life" and "that advertise excursions to untouched ocean scenery are threatening these very same natural resources with their standard practice of flushing harmful toxins, mostly as sewage and food waste, into the ocean."

Although some cruise ship companies have made improvements in waste-water treatment, the industry still has a long way to go. And even though sewage is subject to some regulations, food-waste dumping is not regulated. Considering that a cruise ship can serve from 10,000 to 25,000 meals a day, that's a lot of leftover scraps and waste that are ground up and dumped into often-fragile ocean ecosystems. This waste becomes acidic as it decomposes, increasing nutrients that starve the ocean of oxygen and contribute to the creation of dead zones. Read more...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

World Environment Day: June 5th

Come out and help the Cayman Islands Department Of Environment (DoE) celebrate this year’s World Environment Day on June 5th at 8:00am by joining their tree planting event at following venues: Success Circle Park (Palm Dale Dr.), Harry Mckoy Park (Bodden Town), Cumber Park (Bodden Town) and Al Al park (West Bay). Volunteers are asked to bring their own shovels and gloves and DoE will supply the trees and refreshments.

Contact Leah Grant at the Department of Environment if you are interested in volunteering or for more information at, (tel) 949-8469.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The burning question of Cayman's garbage

A small trash incineration plant in Horsholm, Denmark. Far cleaner than conventional incinerators, this new type of plant converts local trash into heat and electricity. Photo: Johan Spanner/The New York Times

The Observer on Sunday - Local News
By: Basia Pioro McGuire

The way we think about waste in Cayman is at the forefront these days, with reminders about Mt. Trashmore’s state popping up with news that some of the site’s scrap metal is now being shipped off Island.

The site’s appearance from the Esterly Tibbets bypass may seem to indicate fewer junked cars, but the overwhelming feature, the 60-foot tall mound of garbage, still dominates the Grand Cayman skyline.

The Observer, the Compass the Journal have all reported extensively on Cayman’s trash situaiton and some of the available options. Currently, Dart the company, behind the massive Camana Bay development located adjacent to the hundred-acre landfill site, is holding town hall meetings with various stakeholders to explore possible solutions to the dump dilemma. Read whole story.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Toward Sustainable Travel: Breaking the Flying Addiction

Yale Environment 360 - Opinion by Elisabeth Rosenthal

Flying dwarfs any other individual activity in terms of carbon emissions, yet more and more people are traveling by air. With no quick technological fix on the horizon, what alternatives — from high-speed trains to advanced videoconferencing — can cut back the amount we fly?

Read more

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reusable bags catching on

Caymanian Compass

Local supermarkets are reporting an increase in demand for reusable shopping bags, and thanks may be due to the Cayman BECOME campaign.

The campaign, which launched at the beginning of April, is encouraging the Cayman Islands public to bring their own reusable bags when they shop and in doing so to become plastic free.

As part of this campaign, the major local supermarkets will start charging 5 cents per plastic bag from 9 June onwards.

“Over the month of April we sold six times the monthly average of reusable bags that we were getting through last year,” said Raquel Solomon of Foster’s Food Fair.

“The campaign does seem to be making a real difference.” Read the full story here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Helping the environment of Cayman one cup at a time

Cayman Net News

Illy coffee technician Ian Anderson walked into the Brew House Cafe and walked out a few minutes later with two trash bags filled with empty aluminium coffee containers. He threw the bags in his van, drove to another cafe and repeated the process, all in an effort to encourage recycling in Cayman.

“I’ve lived on the island so many years I just see that we just have to go and be proactive when it comes to recycling,” said Martin Richter, who started the recycling program last year in conjunction with Illy — an espresso and coffee accessory company.

Delivery drivers like Mr Anderson pick up empty aluminium containers from the retailers, collect them and drop off them off to be the full story.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

dms Broadcasting joins green campaign

Cayman Net News

As environmental awareness takes center stage, dms Broadcasting station X107.1 is lending its voice to “Cayman Become’s” first green initiative – the plastic bag reduction campaign that runs through July.

“X107.1 is proud to be a sponsor of this initiative,” said X107.1 DJ and Programming Director Matt Nasby. “It is core to our business philosophy to lend our voice to causes that better Cayman and protect the future of our island.”

“Ensuring that the message is received by as many listeners as possible, we are featuring these community service announcements across all four of our dms Broadcasting stations.”

As a sponsor, X107.1 will promote a “greener mindset” for its listeners through a variety of ways, including guest speakers and community service announcements, such as “5 Things You Should Know” and “Completely Cayman.”

With more than 12 million plastic bags being disposed of each year in Grand Cayman, there is a rising concern about solid waste, Mr Nasby said, particularly because of the negative impact this will have on valuable marine resources and wildlife.

Read the full story here.

How to make a difference - Climate change and energy - How to make a solar water heater from plastic water bottles

Retired mechanic Jose Alano invented a simple, cheap, energy saving rooftop solar water heater which is benefiting thousands of people. Here's how it's done...

José Alano is a model of creativity in tackling environmental problems in Brazil. In 2002, the retired mechanic transformed a pile of plastic bottles and cartons into a solar water heater. Since then, thousands of people in southern Brazil have benefited from Alano's invention, saving money while reducing waste.

The idea came from the lack of recycling collection services in his small home town of Tubarão. Refusing to throw plastic bottle, carton and other recyclable waste into the landfill, José Alano soon realised he had a problem: a room full of rubbish.

Read the whole story here.