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MAJOR STEPS FORWARD IN GREEN INITIATIVES AT ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK
Wednesday 20th April 2016

For the past five years, Green initiatives have moved from being the latest buzz words, to an integral part of how the event operates. Of course there is always so much more that can be done, but having gone from a programme lead by one man, Martin Dudley its now a programme that is being adopted by all the players necessary to deliver a cohesive waste management strategy not just for Antigua Sailing Week but small steps to year round deliverables and is yet another example of how hosting a world class event such as Antigua Sailing Week takes the involvement of a whole island and stakeholders right across it to make things happen.

For Antigua Sailing Week 2016 sponsor Half Moon Bay, Sailors for the Sea, the Environmental Awareness Group, the National Parks Authority, Antigua Yacht Club and Rubber Duck Recycling are working together with official venues, marinas and bar and restaurant partners in English Harbour, along with the Central Board of Health, National Solid Waste Management Authority and the Environment Division, to ensure we deliver on our pledge to the Clean Regattas Program managed by Sailors for the Sea. We urge all of our participants whether on the water or on land to join us to make a difference together.

Additionally for 2016 the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association has come on board to endorse the programme and to work on actions year round with all yachting stakeholders in order that we can reduce the impact of the industry on our environment. Tracy Guerrero is the board director who is heading up the committee and has come on board as the Green Team cordinator for Antigua Sailing Week.

Of the programme she says, ‘Trying to live more environmentally friendly is something that more and more people are wanting to do and the ABMA are delighted to be involved this year to help moving things forward to a cleaner, greener regatta and island.  It is a slow process but we are seeing big strides in the right direction, all of the Marinas are on board to recycle more and put less into the landfill.  The response from the bars/restaurants regarding reducing the use of straws has been great and we very much want to keep promoting no straws throughout the year, not just during the regattas.  We are hoping that the more people see about how simple it is to recycle than landfill, the more we can achieve.’

In terms of initiatives, first, within all venues and throughout the area we will have waste stations for recycling plastic bottles (top off) and cans, new for 2016 glass and separate bins for everything else, landfill. All competitors and volunteers are invited to ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’ to get free pure water refills before and after racing each day at the ‘Sky Juice’ tent at Antigua Yacht Club, thus significantly reducing the number of single use water bottles in the event.

Dockside, we will be providing each boat with a recycling bag each day – to ensure waste can be separated and dealt with appropriately. Each marina has slightly different policies for garbage disposal – please check below:

If you are moored at anchor you will be provided with several recycling bags at Registration. Please drop off your recycling and landfill garbage bags at the designated spot by the public dock in Falmouth Harbour for pick-up by National Parks. We will be measuring the volumes collected so we can give feedback to the necessary organizations on island about how much garbage we divert from the landfill.

In all of our partner bars and restaurants and at our official party venues we will be asking everyone to offer straws only on request. If you receive one and don’t want it, hand it back, its a habit for all of us to break, Infact the Copper and Lumber Hotel has pledged to not even use them and have them avaialable at the parties held in Nelson’s Dockyard and Club Sushi are now using paper straws only.

The vendors village where grillls fire up every night are also coming on board this year, along with recycling bins being in place, the vendors have been asked to look at how to use less plastic and polystyrene and generally review the way they operate. Its year one of their involvement, but again a significant step in having a more holistic approach to the issue of waste reduction.

Martin Dudley will be heading up collection of recycled waste from all of our partner bars, restaurants and the vendors who opt in for collection as part of bringing as many businesses as possible into the programme.

Back at our administration centre we have an online entry and results system which ensures you can get to the information you need without reproducing and printing them out, and instead of a full blown magazine we have  a simple foldaway pocket guide with all of the relevant shoreside and spectator information you need in one handy foldaway sheet.

Our annual Liat School Art’s Competition is also part of the initiative for the second year running. The children have been asked to submit artwork that considers the theme ‘One Ocean, One Caribbean, One World’.  To take a look at some of the excellent artwork and vote for the people’s choice award you can check them out on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ASWSchoolsArt/?fref=ts. Be sure to like the photo in the gallery itself as only likes on the photo page itself will be counted as a vote.

We have more strides to take but this is a huge start and with everyone’s participation we can really make a difference this year and hopefully make changes year round rather than just for one week. Please be a part of the campaign to keep Antigua clean and minimize our impact on the environment and adhere to the sailors pledge which you will be handed at registration.

Find out more about all of the organisations:
Half Moon Bay – http://www.halfmoonbayantigua.com/
Sailors for the Sea – www.sailorsforthesea.org
Environmental Awareness Group – www.eagantigua.org
Last Pastic Straw Campaign – www.thelastplasticstraw.org
National Parks Authority – www.nationalparksantigua.com
Antigua Yacht Club – www.yachtclub.ag
National Solid Waste – www.solidwaste.gov.ag
Environment Division – www.environmentdivision.info
Central Board of Health – www.ab.gov.ag


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