BUEI claims Christmas tree prize
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute spread the green message with its award-winning Christmas tree.
Staff from BUEI made decorations out of trash such as plastic bottles, caps and rope that washed up on Bermuda’s beaches.
Now the institute’s “Save our Oceans”-themed tree has claimed the top prize, and an award of $4,000, from the Charity Christmas Tree contest in Washington Mall.
A BUEI spokeswoman said: “We hope that people will see how big a problem trash in our oceans has become and will feel compelled to reduce, re-use and recycle.”
Ornaments were made from fishing buoys, rope, glow sticks, water bottles and plastic shredded into confetti and garlands were made from bottle caps.
The presents under the tree were old crates and containers that had washed ashore, wrapped in nylon rope that came off ships.
The spokeswoman added: “Christmas is the perfect time to get our message out as this is the time of year when a lot of packages and gifts are being purchased.”
Organisers of the annual competition invited charities to decorate their trees with environmentally friendly messages.
Second place, and a prize of $2,000, went to Keep Bermuda Beautiful’s “Oscar the Grouch” tree.
The tree was decorated by 17-year-old Warwick Academy pupils Holly Wakely, Saxon Davis, Kathryn Mason and Brianna Mawer, who volunteered to take part on behalf of the charity.
The pupils said in their entry: “We thought turning our tree into Oscar the Grouch would be a fun way to remind people to be mindful of their habits regarding trash. Oscar is reading a sign saying, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!’.”
Anne Hyde, the executive director of KBB, said: “KBB was not planning to enter the competition this year because we didn’t have time to put together a theme and make the decorations.
“So I was thrilled to learn that a group of Warwick Academy students were keen to do it.”
Ms Hyde said Oscar the Grouch was a fitting representation of KBB’s anti-littering mission.
She added: “Well done to Holly, Saxon, Kathryn and Brianna for creating this wonderful and winning tree.”
Third place, and a prize of $1,750, went to the junior youth programme at Bermuda Zoological Society.
The People’s Choice Award of $2,500, chosen by visitors to the mall, went to animal welfare charity CATs Bermuda.
All participants in the contest, sponsored by Sun Life Financial, which also included the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, the SPCA, the National Museum of Bermuda, WindReach and the Bermuda Zoological Society, received a donation of $750.
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