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Earth Day: Bahamian Group Calls For Environmental Legislation

Gail Woon, of EARTHCARE, explaining data cards for international coastal clean-up.

Gail Woon, of EARTHCARE, explaining data cards for international coastal clean-up.

A BAHAMIAN environmental group is calling for better ways of tackling pollution to protect the world around us.

EARTHCARE is seeking better education and improved legislation to protect the Bahamian environment.

In a statement, EARTCHARE said: “The theme of this year’s Earth Day celebrations is ‘Green Cities’.

“Cities are becoming more populated. Climate change has made it necessary to create sustainable communities, now more than ever.

“With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, hopefully we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future.

“The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. At that time, rivers in the United States were so polluted that at times they would catch on fire and burn for days. The air was very polluted but this was seen as a sign of prosperity.

“Industries polluted the air, the ground and the water without fear of penalty. People came together on the first Earth Day to show the world that they wanted the environment to be protected and that they wanted a clean, pristine, sustainable environment in which to raise their children.”

EARTHCARE was formed in 1988. Volunteers visit schools in the Bahamas to assist teachers and students with environmental education.

The school year begins with International Coastal Cleanup in September. Another topic EARTHCARE covers is the need for Environmental legislation in the Bahamas with penalties for law breakers.

Ground, water and air pollution, and their implications for the Bahamas, health, animals and freshwater tables are topics that the teachers ask for over and over again.

The group said: “EARTHCARE advocates for people who feel they have no voice. Homeowners in the Queens Cove and Harbour West Subdivision on Grand Bahama Island, asked for help when their houses were being shaken apart by blasting.

“EARTHCARE supports Reearth in its struggle to end the inhumane captivity of marine mammals in this country for entertainment.

“We discuss the impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, ozone depletion, increasingly frequent and severe weather. We also talk about sustainable waste management practices versus the outdated waste management practice of burning refuse at unlined dumps which contributes to ground, air and water pollution and accelerates the rate of climate change effects. Runoff from golf courses built very near beaches causes nutrient pollution of our inshore waters and kills delicate corals.

“EARTHCARE advocates sustainable practices that would make our settlements and cities ‘Green’, such as recycling used motor oil, conserving water, using your car less, walking or riding your bike, recycling, composting, changing your lightbulbs to more energy efficient bulbs, making your home more energy efficient, maintaining your car, driving smarter, turning off lights and unplugging appliances, using solar, using green shopping bags, buying used items, being active in the community and being mentors for children.

“Happy Earth Day!”

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