We can happily report that the Caribbean is, in fact, getting greener. Whether it’s the regular debut of a new solar park, the frequent launch of a new wind farm or a renewed regional focus on sustainability. While more work of course has to be done, one way to forward that is to celebrate those who are already working to protect and strengthen this beautiful corner of the world. And when it comes to the Caribbean travel industry, there are so many who are now doing their part to make the region cleaner, greener, stronger, more resilient and more sustainable for their people.
Because the word green means so many things today: it means energy that is renewable, it means tourism philosophies that focus on the local and the sustainable; it means production and consumption that consider the environment; it means strategies that consider the climate; it means thinking about how what we do impacts the ecosystem and the community; and for the Caribbean, it means an ethos that remembers that the natural world of this region is one of the earth’s most treasured resources.
And that’s precisely the point of the inaugural Green Caribbean Awards, a celebration of those making a difference right now.
Green Destination of the Year: Bonaire
Lots of islands talk regularly about their plans to go fully green, or carbon neutral, or energy independent. But as you look around the region, one island is closer to those dreams than any other: the Dutch Caribbean paradise of Bonaire, where wind power alone generates almost 90 percent of the island’s peak energy needs, with a growing solar component as well. But it’s not just the energy that’s the story.
Bonaire has long been at the forefront of Caribbean conservation efforts, with perhaps the region’s most aggressively protected — and well managed — marine park – and a new push to make itself “blue” by using ocean resources for growth, wellbeing and ocean health. But we happen to think that’s pretty green, too.