On 2nd June, 2018, twelve members of the Cashew Gardens Recycling (CGCRP) team came together to clean up the trail of Maracas Waterfall. This kick started our World Environment Day (WED) efforts and this event was initiated by Ecovybz who kindly invited us to participate. The #WED theme for this year is #BeatPlasticPollution, thus began our journey as we traversed the breathtaking landscapes, colors and textures of this transcendent waterfall.
For many this was their first time hiking to Maracas Waterfall and the hike took nearly 40 minutes to complete. One reason was the many stops we made at each point, as we took in the sights, greenery, smell of the fresh air and the cacophony of birds and creatures of the forest. This all blended together to provide an ideal first hikers dream experience (and for the older folks to catch our breath!)
The purpose for the hike was clearly evident as plastic bottles were seen immediately upon approaching the trail. The pattern seemed to be either carelessly pitched bottles or heaps of garbage that were left at various points, as if awaiting the garbage truck (guess they didn’t get the memo that hiking to Maracas was part of their daily collection route). At the height of the tallest waterfall in Trinidad and Tobago, bottles were found in every nook and cranny of this majestic sight.
The team ventured further towards the pools and saw remnants of a good lime if judging by the number of Carib and Smirnoff glass bottles that lay discarded like a J'Ouvert morning hangover. This was further accentuated by the diaper that laid gently upon the banks of the otherwise pristine fall. Overall, we collected 16 bags of garbage with 80% being plastic bottles.
Bernadine Parris, one of our hardworking environmental warriors gave the following feedback after the hike:
Always leave a place better than you found it.
Before going on hikes instruct all hikers to take reusable water bottles and to take all litter with them until they can be discard properly.
Signs should be maintained and more signs needed as a reminder to hikers about best practices like recycling, and taking your garbage with you.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR YOUTHS