Reducing Your Waste

The Waste Reduction Campaign (WRC) focused on getting the residents of Coral Bay to reduce the amount of waste they produce in a given day. The WRC had three aspects to it, the distribution of reusable bags and reusable utensils, the “No Straw, Please” Social Media campaign and video competition (to limit the use of the single use straws), and a “Trash to Art” competition with Gifft Hill School on St. John and Eudora Kean on St. Thomas.

The WRC purchased and distributed reusable grocery bags and reusable utensils were given away during “World Sea Turtle Day” in June of 2017, and “Compostable Day” in August of 2017. A newspaper ad campaign ran simultaneously during the WRC distribution of reusable materials.

In July 2017, CBCC organized and launched the “No Straws, Please” Social Media campaign and prize giveaway to raise awareness about the environmental damage caused by the single use straw. The CBBC in conjunction with a number of environmentally conscious groups (Plastic Free Island: St. John, Get Trashed St. John, IGLA) on St. John came together to try to rid St. John of plastic straws.

Thousands of straws a year end up in the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of St. John. The SM campaign was announced by a promotional video announcing the video competition, the rules, and the reason for the competition, including the prizes, and a “No Straw, Please” video made by the CBCC. Residents of the Virgin Islands had 30 days to enter a minute or less video, one video per participant, about plastic straws. The videos ranged from animated, to comedic, and even, musical. The viewing of the videos, and the subsequent judging and prize giveaway occurred in July 2017. Doug White from IGLA, Allison Fraley, Kauai’s Solid Waste Management Coordinator, and Jackie Nunez, the President of the Last Plastic Straw organization from California, were the judges. Everything on the “No Straw, Please” video competition, including the winning video, the runner up video, and several other competition videos are available on the CBCC website. The runner up video a rap made by Gina Wellner and her two girls, upon upload to Facebook it got over 5,000 views and was actually made into a PSA and used on WUVI 1090AM.

Finally, a “Trash to Art” competition between Gifft Hill School and Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas was held in January and February 2017. The students from GHS and EIKs were taken to the Resource Depot on St. John and given two hours to take pre-selected pieces of trash from the Susannaberg Transfer Station and make art reflective of the US Virgin Islands. The students were broken in to 9 separate groups and given two hours to complete their project. The winning group received prizes that consisted of gift certificates to local restaurants and clothing from local shops. The competition made the local news and two local papers. Ten days after the art competition the art was displayed at Franklin Powell Park on St. John and Lattes in Paradise on St. Thomas. The purpose of the display was to make the public mindful of the waste they produce and to get the students experience in public speaking as well as the overall point of the project. VI Waste Management enjoyed the project so much they placed it on their website.


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