The Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce
Please also visit Greenrock, another Bermuda organisation dedicated to the preservation of the environment.
Earth Day 2010
Earth Day has been celebrated annually since its inception in 1970. 2009 was the first year that BASEC held an Earth Day celebration in Bermuda. That “Earth Day Birthday” was held last year at Barr’s Bay Park on April 22nd, 2009, the official date designated as “Earth Day”.
The event aimed to educate and raise awareness about the importance of the resources the Earth provides for human existence and quality of life. This celebration promoted and engaged a heightened commitment to protect the earth’s resources from unsustainable exploitation. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the celebration brought together members of the community to share food, entertainment and information on an Earth Day theme, and encouraged pledges from attendees to refine or reduce their ecological footprint during the year.
In 2010 BASEC hopes to draw an even larger crowd by holding Earth Day at the more central Victoria Park, and by more extensive marketing, to be aimed primarily at young people. In 2010 BASEC will have even more environmental organizations displaying information and informing the attendees of simple ways they can help Bermuda’s environment. A children’s area will also be available, encouraging a family atmosphere. The live entertainment will not only be a draw, but performers will also promote an earth-friendly message.
Earth Day Countdown - April 1
DON’T WASTE FOOD
Of all the tips, this is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT. (Typical Americans waste between 35-50% of the food they purchase, figures for Bda not available but probably similar.)
It takes a lot of precious resources to produce food: the food itself, packaging, fertilizers, pesticides, transportation and the burden on the waste disposal system. Also, in Bda most food is imported, resulting in a loss of foreign exchange.
What can you do? Order less, cook less, eat leftovers, cut packaging, don’t shop hungry, grow your own, compost.
Earth Day Tip 2
Continuing the food theme: EAT LOCAL
local food integrates production, processing, distribution and consumption on a small scale, creating sustainable local economies and a strong connection between farm and table;
local food comes from local food systems, which exist as an alternative to industrial food systems. you buy local food, not only do you know where it came from, you're often buying it from the person or people who grew the food;
local food reduces or eliminates the costs, both monetary and planetary, of transportation, processing, packaging, and advertising, it keeps the money in our community
Because we all eat, several times a day, our food choices have enormous potential to bring about positive change
Earth Day Tip 3
And, food again, (well we do eat every day!) EAT ORGANIC
By eating organic, you are reducing the amount of chemicals you eat in the form of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, antibiotics, additives, preservatives, colorants, flavorings – many of which have been linked to learning difficulties in children, a variety of neurological illnesses and cancers.
British and Australian studies have shown processed meats, preservatives and artificial colours increase the risk of ADHD.
The workers using the pesticides and herbicides have been shown to suffer a variety of ailments (including sterility and birth defects) as they are often denied the use of protective clothing. Banana plantations are subjected to aerial spraying of pesticide – drenching workers still in the fields!
Organics can be (though not always) more expensive – organic farms are much more rigorously monitored than “conventional” food. To be deemed organic, land has to be free of pesticides etc for 5 years, during the transition period, produce cannot be labeled “organic”. If you have to choose, avoid those conventional fruits and vegetables found to be highest in pesticides, the “Dirty Dozen”. Visit the Environmental Working Group at http://www.foodnews.org/ for the complete list.
Earth Day Tip 4
Not only are organic foods better for you, (no pesticides etc) it is MUCH BETTER for the planet. It reduces all those –cides in the environment, it improves the soil, and really important, every acre of organically farmed ground has the potential to pull thousands of pounds of greenhouse gases out of the air.
Recommended reading: Organic Manifesto Maria Rodale
Earth Day Tip 5
Another spray on PESTICIDES
Pesticides are designed to kill, and will affect people (particularly children) domestic pets, wildlife and beneficial insects. (our bees are already struggling!)
Pesticides often remain in or on the fruit and vegetables. Some plants (eg apples, coffee) are sprayed as many as 15 times during the growing season.
There is a growing body of evidence linking pesticides to thyroid disease. (American Journal of Epidemiology)
Use environmentally friendly methods of pest prevention and control.
Earth Day Tip 6
GROW YOUR OWN and avoid all those pesticides, herbicides, etc etc. Home grown food contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions caused by transporting food around the world, minimizes packages and composts green waste effectively. It’s also fun, and a great family activity.
Earth Day Tip 7
SAY NO to GM CROPS The US has just added another GM crop, alfalfa, for unrestricted farming throughout the States. Biotech companies claim that GM crops will significantly increase food production. However, independent studies show very little, if any, increase in production when compared with conventional/organic crops.
GM crops are developed either to tolerate herbicides (which has led to a significant increase in the use of herbicides) or imprinted with a toxin that kills off pests that feed on the crop. However, concerns are mounting regarding the effect on human health, the cross contamination with crops grown in the vicinity, contamination of the ecosystem, and adverse effects on beneficial insects.
GM would concentrate the world’s food supply in the hands of only 5 biotech companies, with Monsanto, owning 90% of the business.
Earth Day Tip 8
Save energy – wash clothes in cold water, (most detergents work just as well in cold water), and save up to 1 ton of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Be sure to AIR DRY. Tumble dryers are the most energy consuming appliance we use in the home.
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