What will YOU do to celebrate Earth Day?


For example, a few years ago, a group of about 900 schoolchildren and adults representing a wide diversity of organisations took part in a rally in Victoria asking Seychellois to save our sea turtles.

Last year Sustainability for Seychelles, together with other NGOs, organised an Earth Day Festival at the Children’s Playground.

Although there are no activities organized on a grand scale to mark the occasion this year, the following are a few gestures that we can do to show our appreciation for the beauty and bounty of our earth, and our concern for the many environmental and social problems plaguing human and natural communities all over the earth.
Here are a few simple ideas:

1. Don’t litter! This is so basic, but still we see bits of plastic packaging from drinks and snacks all over our beaches and roadsides, so clearly many of us are still littering. Just carry your waste to the nearest bin – it’s not that far away.
2. Eat local, organic food. Every item of imported food we eat contributes to global warming, whether it travels here by boat or plane – they all burn fossil fuels and spew out carbon dioxide.

By eating local produced fruits, vegetables, root crops, fish and meat, we also support the local economy. Local produce also has more vitamins than fruits and vegetables which have spent a lot of time travelling to our remote islands. Try to buy straight from the farmer, and ask if their produce is grown without pesticides.  Also, try growing your own fruits and veggies, and share with neighbours!

3. Reduce your treated water consumption by getting a rain barrel. Just place it below your roof where the water runs off, or better yet connect it to a downspout.  It is best to keep your rain barrel covered to avoid mosquitoes. You can use this water for the garden, or if you connect a tap and a hose to the barrel you can use it for washing clothes and for the toilet. For drinking water, you need to make extra sure that your roof is clean and boil the water.

4. If you have a garden, help address the problem of stinky public bins and an overflowing landfill by starting a compost heap at your home. Keep food scraps of animal origin out of the compost to avoid attracting rats, but put garden waste, vegetable peelings and rotten fruit in there. 

You don’t need anything fancy, just a hole in the ground or a pile somewhere in the corner of the garden. Either way, try to bury the fresh waste a bit or cover it with dry grass.  Use the resulting black earth in your garden. The Department of Environment has a new compost guide available – contact them at 670500 to find out how to get a copy.

5. Take part in our national Pet bottle recycling campaign. Even if it is too much bother to take the bottles to the designated shop for a refund, just keep them in a separate bag from your regular bin and put them next to the public bins where the Star workers will get a little bonus for the challenging work they do.
6. Go online and calculate your ecological footprint. This is an estimate of the area of land and ocean needed to support your lifestyle (eating habits, transport methods, waste produced, water and energy consumed).  There are many websites that offer this – try http://www.myfootprint.org/ 
Warning: you might get a shock! But it will help you see where you can improve.

Contributed by Sustainability for Seychelles
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