Living on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic is not easy on the environment. Think about it, you have 60,000 + people living, going to work by cars and scooters, eating out or in, etc… all these daily actions can take a toll on the island and the ocean around us.
When we first moved to the Rock back in 2006, I was appalled to find out there was no recycling of any kind. I remember emailing the government and receiving a reply explaining that the money and oil for tanker to bring our recycled goods to the US, was not cost effective and therefore, they chose to simply burn the trash and converted into energy for Bermuda and use the ashes to make cinder blocks. I don’t know if that last point is true but I thought it was cool and decided to drop it.
Our second time around things have changed a bit. When I moved, I received a recycling schedule in the mail. This prompted me to look on-line on http://www.gov.bm where I found this:
Where does my garbage and recycling go?
All household waste placed out for collection is taken to the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility where it is incinerated to make energy for Bermuda.
Blue recycling bags are taken to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where items are sorted and then shipped to the US to be converted into new consumer items.
Special waste items such as paints, pesticides and other potentially harmful substances are shipped to the United States for processing or disposal in USEPA regulated landfill facilities.
Our second time around I am trying to be better for mother earth (and the island). I am recycling all my tin, aluminum and glass. Before leaving London I bought a compost bin and I am trying to compost for our vegetable garden. Yes, I have a vegetable garden.
My garden is growing very nicely.
My compost bin imported from UK. On amazon.co.uk, for 50 quid. I saw one at Gorhams for $189.00! Ouch. But I did find out on-line that if you want to compost in Bermuda, the government will sell you a bin for $80. Backyard composters are available for purchase from Waste Management for $80.00. Call (441) 278-0563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase an Earth Machine brand compost bin.
Another thing I noticed this second time around, there seem to be more farmer’s market on weekends which I think is excellent. Fruits and Vegs are extremely expensive on the island and when you take the time to go to any of the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, it is worth it.
But coming back to what we are trying to do better in our house. Of course, I have 10 bags in my car at all times to go shopping with. I say no to plastic bags at the stores. If I forgot my bags I go back to the car or if I only have one of two items, I carry them out to the car on their own.
No more disposable straws. Only these silicone and plastic straws that I bought on Amazon. They come with brushes so they are easy to clean. If I serve you a smoothie or a cocktail that requires a straw, you will find one of these in your drink.
If I feel like having a cup of coffee and I am out and about, I use this cup. No cup, no coffee. Same thing with water bottles. I bring my bottle from home. I really try to avoid using unnecessary plastic, cardboard or paper if I can. I think if we all did this, it would really help the Rock we live on.