Friday, April 30, 2010

Prince Charles' Environment Film to Air in U.S.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, has made a film about climate change and attempts to find innovative solutions to global environmental problems that will be shown on U.S. television.

U.S. network NBC said on Tuesday it would showcase the TV movie, called "Harmony", in November and described it as "an urgent, accessible and practical call to action".

NBC said the movie, and a companion television special, grew out of three decades of work on the issue of climate change by Prince Charles. It follows the prince at work in Britain and overseas and features contributions from farmers, business and government leaders.

The project also includes footage of Prince Charles interviewing former U.S. vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore in 1988. Gore won the Nobel prize, along with an Oscar, for his 2006 global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

Read the whole story here.

Mt. Trashmore scrap metal removal begins

By: Norma Connolly and Basia McGuire Pioro |,
Caymanian Compass

Contractors have begun removing thousands of tons of scrap metal from the George Town landfill. Two local companies that won a tender bid to remove the scrap are in the process of clearing 6,000 tons of baled scrap metal from Mount Trashmore. With one shipment of scrap already gone, Director of Environmental Health Roydell Carter said the contractors began removing the second scrap metal shipment on Monday night. The team is working from 6pm to 6am over the next several days, Mr. Carter said. They removed 242 tons from the landfill overnight on Monday, with double the amount anticipated to be removed overnight on Tuesday.

“The scrap is being loaded on a barge, and we anticipate that all the scrap will be loaded and ready to be shipped by Friday,” said Ministry of Works Chief Officer Kearney Gomez. During the day, operators are hard at work baling loose metal and crushing cars in preparation for shipment. “Looking around, it’s really striking how much of the scrap that was here has now been taken away,” said Mr. Gomez. “But this is only the first step in the plans we have for dealing with Cayman’s solid waste from now on.” Read the full story...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bagging the plastic

The Minister for Environment the Hon. Mark Scotland showed his support for Cayman BECOME by joining Green Team Network members as they launched the campaign in stores on Earth Day, April 22, 2010: “Most people don’t think twice about the plastic bags that hold their groceries, but the fact is, they add significantly to our already overflowing landfill. Charging for plastic bags is a strategy that is successfully used elsewhere. What is more, the plastic bag charge will be used for local environmental initiatives and finding more environmentally-responsible options to other supermarket packaging,” the Minister said….read the full story.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day: Celebrating 40 Years

The 5th edition of the Cayman Eco newsletter is now available to download from our blog and website. Managing Editor Tammy Kelderman provides an overview:

"Earth Day is 40 years old this year. By coincidence, it is this editor's 40th anniversary on the planet too. As I researched this issue of the Cayman Eco, I found myself reflecting on how far we have come since 1970. What struck me is the fact that Earth Day was founded way before plastic carrier bags were invented. It gave me hope that Earth Day will outlive plastic bags, just as it has outlived DDT, leaded fuel, and CFCs. With a little effort, we can curb our appetite for plastics, clean up our oceans, waterways and streets, and make harmful products a thing of the past. Life is a learning curve and sometimes the changes we need to make throughout our personal lives and throughout history are so obvious, once we make them we cannot believe we ever did things any other way."

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's in your garbage?

By: Basio Pioro |
The Observer

The growing pile of trash at Mount Trashmore received about 1205 tons of residential waste in January alone - all those food containers, newspapers, and packaging we find ourselves innocently slinging into the bin all day long.

On Grand Cayman, there is an estimated 450 tons of all types of waste entering the George Town Landfill. Of this amount, approximately 225-250 tons per day are municipal garbage.

It’s all up to us to do our bit until recycling comes into play. So, what’s in your garbage?

Breaking it down
The Department of Environmental Health’s Leon Watson has noted a lot of the trash going to the landfill is plastic. Light, strong and cheap, it’s everywhere these days, and hard to avoid.

One strategy consumers have adopted in other jurisdictions is avoiding purchasing products that are packaged in plastic, avoiding plastic bags, or staying away from excessive packaging in general. Here in Cayman, a small step in that direction has been taken with Cayman BECOME, the new plastic bag reduction campaign launched by the Cayman Corporate Green Team full story.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Climate Change and the Sea Around Us

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute has published its second "Green Guide" discussing climate change and the sea around us. To download a copy, visit the CCMI website.

Cayman BECOME featured on Cayman 27

The Cayman BECOME campaign was featured on April 14th on Cayman 27 news channel. Earth Day is just around the corner and to celebrate, several organizations have come together to launch a new plastic bag reduction campaign. Many will agree that plastic shopping bags are a great invention to help people when they go shopping for the family groceries. But unfortunately they are not good for the environment. The three major supermarkets in Cayman use an average of 1 million bags per month and those bags go to the Cayman Islands Landfill, better known as Mount Trashmore, which is well over capacity. The full broadcast may be seen at Cayman 27's website.

You are the Green Generation

green_generationBooks & Books in Camana Bay is celebrating Earth Day with the National Trust of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment. Join us for a fun and educational evening including visual presentations on the Blue Iguanas and methods for going GREEN. This exciting eco-event for children aged 7 to 10 also features creative crafts that make recycling fun and a selection of Earth Day books.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Architects Envison Hawaii-Sized Island Made of Recycled Plastic

by Bridgette Meinhold

A group of architects from the Netherlands have a crazy idea to take all the plastic floating out there in the Pacific Ocean, and recycle it into a floating island the size of Hawaii. Climate refugees would be able to move there and live in recycled plastic homes, and work on farms or grow seaweed. The entire island would be totally self-sufficient once built, producing its own food and energy, and managing waste. While totally off the wall, this is an intriguing concept that gets our imaginations in motion about what we can do with that ginormous mass of plastic floating around in the ocean!

Read full story...

"Living Green" Fair on April 23rd

The Departments of Tourism and Environment will be hosting a fair, “Living Green” in celebration of Earth Day on Friday, April 23rd 2010, on the lawns of the Governor’s House. The objective of “Living Green” is to expose both the private and public to green initiatives and products currently available on island that residents can adopt in their day to day lives at home and in the office. The fair will also incorporate the involvement of Cayman Islands youth with 1:30pm until 2:30pm designated just for the students so that they can learn the many ways of living green in Cayman.

For more information contact Aliya Dunstan ( at 244-1251.

Plastic bags are killing our marine environment

By: Michael Klein |
The Journal

All of Cayman’s supermarkets have agreed to discontinue the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags from June and will encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags, reports business journalist Michael Klein.

As the most widely used consumer item, plastic bags have become a huge burden on the environment worldwide. In Cayman, where “Mount Trashmore” has been steadily growing without any recognisable strategy to reduce or eliminate solid waste, non-biodegradable plastic bags have noticeably contributed to an increasing garbage problem.

“The facts and figures speak for themselves in that we are all playing our part in killing our natural environment,” says Woody Foster, managing director of Fosters Food Fair IGA.

“No one really thinks about the few bags that are in their possession when they go shopping, but when you add them all up over the year, over 12 million bags goes a long way in killing the environment that we love so much.”

For this reason, all of Cayman’s supermarkets, including Fosters, Kirk and Hurley’s, have agreed in a concerted effort to discontinue the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags. The move will see the introduction of a fee of 5 cents for each of the biodegradable bags that will replace them. At the same time supermarkets will encourage customers to bring their own reusable full story.

The Corporate Green Team Network

The Journal

The Corporate Green Team Network started as a volunteer group of individuals from a number of private and public sector companies and organisations in the Cayman Islands. Initially, the group was created in June 2009 as the result of a partnership between Deloitte and the Department of Environment.

“We went to Deloitte with the DoE Sustainability Unit series of guides on sustainability issues in the office space,” says Gina Ebanks-Petrie. The DoE was aware of Deloitte’s internal green efforts but also as a frequent contributor to sustainability issues. “We approached them to see whether they would be interested in sponsoring the guides.”

The outcome of a conversation with Deloitte Chief Operating Officer Alee Fa’amoe was that Deloitte was interested in the issues in general and attracted by the fact that the DoE saw this as part of a bigger plan to get buy-in for on the political level and not just a one-off project, she says. “And that really our goal is to move as a country to a national sustainability strategy.” Both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to participate in other sustainable development full story.

Protecting our precious assets

By: Kate Pellow
What's Hot: Cayman's Local Guide

Cayman’s environment, especially its oceans, is one of its greatest assets. Yet our everyday lives can have a major impact on this asset.

When it comes to the environment, plastic is a huge pollutant. The problems with plastic arise mainly from our slovenly approach to putting it in the bin and making sure it is recycled once it is no longer needed.

Plastic is cheap to produce, flexible, durable, waterproof, easy to manufacture and it has been used increasingly since the 1950s. Plastic has replaced many traditional resources such as glass, wood and steel and it is used in pretty much everything we come into contact with. Scientists are developing newer, safer plastics and alternatives, such as biodegradable plastics, but certainly not quickly enough to curb the plastic issues facing the full story.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cayman BECOME: Plastic Bag Reduction Campaign

As Earth Day 2010 approaches this month, an important initiative is being launched. The Corporate Green Team Network, a group of corporate representatives and some public sector agencies brought together through a partnership between the Department of Environment (DOE) and Deloitte Cayman, have joined forces to promote environmental responsibility through the reduction of plastic bag use in the Cayman Islands. Over 12 million of these bags are disposed of every year in Grand Cayman, which have a negative impact on our valuable marine resources and wildlife. This is why we encourage the community to bring their own bags when they shop, instead of using plastic. The major supermarkets in Grand Cayman - Fosters Food Fair, Hurley's, and Kirk Supermarket - are supporting CGTN's campaign by working with to reduce this type of waste. As part of this effort they will be doing the following:
  • The non-degradable plastic carrier bags currently supplied will be replaced by bio-degradable plastic bags.
  • As of Wednesday June 9th, a charge will be introduced for these biodegradable bags of 5 cents per bag.
  • Reusable bags will continue to be sold in the supermarket stores.
For more information about getting involved with the Cayman BECOME campaign, visit their website.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cleaning the green way

By: Jan Byrne |
The Observer on Sunday

April is earth month and during April the Observer On Sunday will be looking at ways that you can make changes to your lifestyle to help the environment. This week we look at swapping ordinary household cleaners for green alternatives.

There are two very good reasons why it is better to switch from everyday cleaning products to green household cleaning products. One, is that they contain harmful solvents and chemicals that we breathe in and absorb through our skins,the other is that they are harmful to the environment.

Chris Hew from Hews Janitorial cleaning services, switched to using green products many years ago after realising how much bleach and other chemicals were going into the groundwater and feeding into the oceans and plants.

He was also concerned about the effect harmful chemicals would have on his staff from using them every full story.