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Environmental groups lay down Earth Day challenge

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Eugene Dean, of Greenrock, addresses the Earth Day press conference, with Myles Darrell, of the Bermuda National Trust, in the background (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Parishes across the island have been urged to compete with each other to see who can have the most positive environmental impact on Earth Day.

The global event on April 22 was launched to encourage people to get involved in grass-roots green issues.

Eugene Dean, head of the renewable energy advocate group Greenrock, called on Bermudians to show their commitment to the environment by planting trees, going meat-free, not driving or clearing up their neighbourhood among 14 different activity suggestions.

The organisation has joined forces with the Bermuda National Trust, Keep Bermuda Beautiful, the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce to promote green awareness.

Eugene Dean addresses the Earth Day press conference. Also pictured, from left, are Joanne Ball-Burgess, of BUEI, Myles Darrell, of the Bermuda National Trust, Tracy Burgess, of KBB, and Alli Hochberg, of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Dean said there would be a live, real time map of what environmental activities were taking place across the island on Earth Day with the parish that proves to be the most active winning help for future green projects.

He said: “There are 14 different activities that people can choose from, so we encourage people to do at least one.

“The Earth Day Challenge is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, to engage in some form of environmental action.

“We took the 2023 Earth Day theme ‘invest in your planet’ and turned it into ‘invest in your parish’ — a new, interactive photo challenge.

“Now it’s a race to see which parish will commit to the most environmental actions on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23.

“When people register they will give their name and which parish they are from so we will be able to track all the different actions across the island.”

Organisers have teamed up with photo and video-sharing platform Hink so people taking part can access images from across the island.

Myles Darrell, the head of natural heritage at the National Trust, urged people to sign the petition opposing the scale of the proposed Fairmont Southampton Princess development.

Mr Dean said he supported the idea of introducing a plastic bag levy in Bermuda similar to the one operating in Britain where customers must pay to receive such a container.

He said: “It could have been done a long time ago; it should be done as soon as possible.”

Joanne Ball-Burgess, programme educator at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, said: “We stand with you in the hopes that the Earth Day Challenge activities will lead to positive, lasting habits and sustainable actions throughout the year.”

• More Earth Day information can be found at info@greenrock.org

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Published April 18, 2023 at 7:05 pm (Updated April 21, 2023 at 1:50 pm)

Environmental groups lay down Earth Day challenge

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