The Cashew Gardens Community Recycling (CGCRP) team were excited to be part of Atlantic’s Biodiversity Display in celebration of World Environment Day 2018. This event is an annual one and was held at the well equipped South West Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Pt Fortin. One can hope that Chaguanas is outfitted with such a comprehensive sporting (pool, indoor court etc) area soon.
Breakdown of 3 Day Exhibition
The CGCRP booth hosted a range of upcycled items such as a garbage bin made from tyres, bird feeders, curtain from CDs, and planters made from plastic bottles.
Each day saw in excess of 200 students mainly between the ages of 3 to 10 years from over 20 schools in Point Fortin and environs.
Our booth was a huge success with the children as we made it interactive with our "Pick it Up" game of throwing a bottle in a recycling bin and sharing upcycling ideas with the kids using videos to explain the 3 R's (#Reduce, #Reuse, #Recycle).
Each video catered to various age groups but all with one message:
the need for increased awareness of the 3 R’s and the hard truth that humans are currently eating plastic.
This piece of information shocked many and hopefully will influence a change of behaviour in the way we dispose of our plastics.
We had many requests from teachers and the general public about starting a similar project in their school or community. Other groups present at the exhibition included the Ministry of Agriculture, El Soccorro Wildlife, Adopt a River, iCare and NIHERST, among others.
Wow moments were the plastic eating super worms exhibited by El Socorro Wildlife and the wide variety of fruits and veggies displayed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Specials thanks to Atlantic for inviting us to be part of their Biodiversity display in commemoration of World Environment Day and to the Pt Fortin community for their warm reception of our recycling efforts. The staff of the Sporting Arena were fabulous and must be commended as the facilities were well kept and replenished...these are the little things that make an event a huge success!
These observations are not mean to judge or criticize but rather to shed light so that we are always striving for continuous improvement in future efforts.
Key things to note:
1). Issues: The abundance of plastic bottles and the food was served in single use plastic containers.
Corrections: This can be corrected in a few ways namely asking the public to walk with their reusable plastic bottles, asking exhibitors to walk with their reusable containers or purchasing Eco Friendly food containers. A water/hydra station should be set up at future events.
2). Issues: Recyclable bins were provided by iCare and had a high presence at the event but most remained empty even though plastic bottles were numerous. This clearly showed a lack of awareness by the general public and must be the first change of habit that is addressed. The small amount of plastic bottles that were deposited in the recyclable bins were unfortunately thrown in the general waste bins after the event.
Corrections: To avoid this, all staff members should be sensitized about proper disposal methods and general announcements can be made throughout the day. CGCRP ensured that the recycables were taken from the smaller iCare bins and deposited in the larger one provided.