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Leading ‘Green Business’ in the BVI

Aerial pic of Cooper Island

Some of the excellent work being done to keep the BVI clean, green and healthy

Over the years, ‘Green’ initiatives have made gigantic strides in the ascension toward sustainability and environmental friendliness. Here are some lead examples of companies and organisations contributing their time to the benefit of the LAND, SEA, and LIFE of the British Virgin Islands.


1. CYS

Green Boats

  • The BVI Charter Yacht Society membership, constitutes 85 independent crewed charter yachts based in the BVI that work consistently toward the goal of sustainability.

On board water makers and refillable water bottles reduce disposables; solar panels and wind generators mean fewer hours of burning fossil fuels. Purchasing reef friendly products – whether for sun tanning or boat cleaning – has resulted in fewer toxic chemicals entering the water. Whether recycling glass or sails, crew will pass it along if there is another use for it. Most of our crews have joined the battle of eliminating the invasive lionfish species. The CYS’s annual show promotes sound environmental practices, offering recycling stations to educational seminars, resulting in gold certification through ‘Sailors for the Sea.’  By Janet Oliver

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  • Tradewinds Cruise Club trains all our base and yacht crew around the globe to live and charter GREEN. Vinegar, baking soda, castile soap, and essential oils are used to wash laundry, galley, cabins, heads and surfaces. Regular use of Borax powder and Diatomaceous Earth keeps our boats bug free. For rust remover, degreaser, holding tank cleaner and boat wash, we use Sanitation Solution’s green products. Desalinated water (instead of bottled water), solar power, holding tanks, reduced use of AC and generator, reef safe sunscreen, environmentally safe cleaning products, and educating our guests, are non-negotiable practices on our yachts.

As the proud recipients of the Charter Yacht Broker Association’s Save The Blue Challenge at the 2012 and 2013 Antigua Boat Show, we strive to preserve our waters and spread the message. By Marli van Wyngaard

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  • The BVI Spring Regatta has been awarded the ‘Sailors for the Sea’s’ gold certification for the past five years and in 2013, became the first carbon neutral regatta in the world. Green actions include:
  • reusable water bottles and refilling stations
  • recycling stations for glass and aluminium (in partnership with the Department of Waste Management, Green and Clean, and Green VI)
  • distribute scraps from food vendors to local pig farmers
  • promote use of non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning and personal products
  • prevent discharge of untreated sewage or backwater
  • require motorised vessels to carry oil spill kits
  • promote use of durable or biodegradable products
  • a Green Boat Award in conjunction with Nutmeg Designs and Green VI
  • Rotaractors serve as green rangers to educate visitors and keep the village clean
  • presenting recycled or practical race awards – this year, the awards have been made from recycled glass at Green VI’s Glass Studio

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Green Resorts

Solar

  • Cooper Island Beach Club produces 75% of our energy with 244 photo-voltaic panels producing 65kWh, saving over 350,000lbs of carbon emissions to date. A small desalination plant runs on solar power to supplement our rainwater supply and Solar Water Heaters are used for showers.

A custom-built Submerged Membrane Bio-Reactor processes our grey and black water to produce 1000 gallons of recycled water daily for irrigation and washing down boats. We produce our own drinking water and provide it free to our restaurant guests. We try to keep disposable cups, cutlery, straws and take-out boxes to a minimum, and those we do use are biodegradable eco-products made from corn. We shred our tree trimmings into mulch and compost all kitchen vegetable waste, using it to grow fruit and vegetables for the kitchen. By Sam Baker


Green Products

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5.1Green & Clean
  • Green and Clean VI Limited’s glass imploder manufactures aggregate and sand for pavement, glass-scaping, aquariums, etc. Clean glass food jars and bottles as well as clean cans may be dropped off in the recycling bins at LEVERICK BAY and at VIRGIN GORDA YACHT HARBOUR.  See the Dockmaster for details. Future plans include scrap metal and plastics recycling, and an organic waste facility. By Julie Swartz

6. Greencrete

  • Greencrete BVI, based on Virgin Gorda, makes one of a kind concrete and recycled glass products for homeowners and tourists from concrete, recycled glass, conch, and whelk shells. Bottles are collected from restaurants, bars, and homes. Custom products include countertops, stepping stones, lights, picture frames, and much more. By Akeem Lennard
  • Green Technology offers a full range of biodegradable food and beverage containers made from corn, plant starch and sugarcane. Available wholesale as well in handy convenience packs. By Abigail O’Neal

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  • Nutmeg Designs at Wickham’s Cay 2 in Road Town, is the BVI’s first and only sustainable goods retail shop for home furnishings, gifts, accents and accessories. Products are made from reclaimed wood, metal, sailcloth, recycled glass – handpicked for their eco-friendly qualities and many are made right here in the BVI. Products include annie macphail™ bags made from rejuvenated truck tarp from Brazil, recycled sail cloth bags manufactured in Road Town, Eco-Me cleaning products, natural bug repellent and sun block, and Klamoboe mosquito nets. We custom design signage and collaborate with Green VI to produce, lighting and other recycled glass products including Green and Clean’s crushed glass. By Annie MacPhail

Charlotte McDevitt

Charlotte McDevitt

Executive Director at Green VI
Charlotte is the executive director of Green VI, a non-profit organisation that works toward a greener, cleaner and healthier BVI, finding balance between development and conservation of the natural environment.
Charlotte McDevitt
Charlotte McDevitt

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