Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Educational Program
We will increase the public awareness of the importance of reducing the waste stream by reducing, reusing, recycling and acommunity garden.
Mission: EARTHCARE is an environmental education NGO (non-governmental organization) that works on current environmental issues facing the nation of the Bahamas. Members visit schools to inform students and teachers about issues affecting the environment. Our mission is to empower students and teachers to get involved and be proactive with their voice. We encourage them to write to the Government of The Bahamas and express their views on current environmental issues.
Sector Focus of Work of EARTHCARE: To work with young people and teachers to give them access to information on ways to protect and preserve what is left of the pristine Bahamian environment. Since 2013 our EARTHCARE Eco Kids Environmental Education Program has been concentrating on various issues, including Ground, Air & Water Pollution; the Value of Mangroves; Habitat Destruction/Remediation; Humane Treatment of Animals, Sustainable Fisheries, Climate Change among others.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
The Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Education Program aims to launch a Resource Diversion and Waste Mitigation integrated community based, student led Zero Waste Project. We plan to replicate a Waste Diversion model for a portion of the Freeport Community and other Out Islands and Cays in The Bahamas, in order to showcase a whole-systems approach to waste reduction as a community (year-round residents, second homeowners and visitors). Through a series of activities and local initiatives, we wish to replicate a template that the Hope Town Zero Waste Program started so that other islands in the Bahamas may implement at different levels and scales. The project plan, activities, metrics gathered, lessons learned and outcomes will be shared as Open Source Information through the multiple Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Platforms. The Freeport Zero Waste Project aims to reduce the weight and volume of waste disposed of in the community every year starting at 10% by the end of the first year. By removing 10% of waste that would otherwise be disposed of, decomposed and burned in the landfill, these initiatives will help to reduce the amount of GHG’s released into the atmosphere, chemical toxic contamination leaching into the ground, land based pollution and CO2 emissions from waste hauling vehicles and freight boats. The project aims to encourage food security, through food production and the creation of compost from organic matter removed from the waste stream and composted.
Goals: (1) To address food security as a community by educating community members on how to grow a home garden, to start a home compost and to prevent food waste.
(2) To divert 10% of waste from the Pine Ridge Landfill in the first year. The goal will be to see this percentage increase every year.
(3) To change the behavioral waste diversion and consumption habits within the community and bring awareness about the impact this has
(4) To educate and empower our youth to become leaders.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
The Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Educational Program will incorporate all 4 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) in a community based, integrated approach that includes students of all ages, year round residents, local businesses, second homeowners and visitors. The Freeport Zero Waste Demonstration Project and Educational Program has the full support of the Bishop Michael Eldon School, Local Organics Limited, the Sustainable Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, The Garden of the Groves, Sanitation Services Co. Ltd., Best Class Enterprise, The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited, The Bahamas Plastic Movement and Cans for Kids Bahamas. The Project aims to include people of all ages (students, residents, second home owners and tourists). The project is inclusive of all demographics and nationalities present within our community. Our activities will include projects that incorporate people with disabilities.
EARTHCARE Eco Kids perform experiments to learn more about pollution and pollution prevention.The focus for Earth Day 2018 is plastic pollution. Plastic is threatening our planet's survival, from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our streams and landfills. Together, we can make a difference. Plastic objects that we use once and discard, or single-use plastics, are a growing critical problem of global proportion.
Angelina Rahming, EARTHCARE Eco Kids Team Leader, hands beverage bottles found underwater to her brother, Aiden for proper disposal onshore. Plastics are overflowing into our oceans. Whales are dying from eating plastic. It is being predicted in a World Economic Forum Report that by 2050, on the current track, oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 by weight. Things you can do, eliminate or minimize your use of disposable plastics. Bring silverware to events and wash them for re-use.
EARTHCARE staged a Mangrove planting event by the EARTHCARE Eco Kids and toured the Aquaponics facility at the Garden of the Groves on Grand Bahama on Saturday, May 21st, 2016. Students from Martin Town Primary, Sunland Baptist Academy, Freeport Primary, Freeport Gospel Chapel School, Freeport Bible Academy, St. Georges High School, Bishop Michael Eldon School, and Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Academy attended. Climate change is quite possibly one of the most pressing issues of our time.
EARTHCARE Eco Kids learn about the science behind the environmental issues that they are concerned about such as marine pollution and ground and air pollution.
The EARTHCARE Eco Kids Saturday Environmental Education Programme continued at the Rand Nature Centre in conjunction with Cheri Wood, Certified Coral Propagator and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Navigators. Ms. Wood taught the combined group about the largest Reef Ball project in the country in our very own backyard. Ms. Wood, a Certified Coral Propagator, has been intimately involved in the Reef Ball project from its inception. She shared with the group many details of the project.
EARTHCARE Volunteers go into the schools and teach the students about pollution prevention and the importance of recycling.
ON Saturday, 28 students from Lucaya International School (LIS) on Grand Bahama Island and six Earthcare volunteers arrived at Gold Rock Beach International Coastal Clean-up Day (ICC) at Lucayan National Park.
Gail Woon, zone captain for Gold Rock Beach, said she was very happy to have worked once again with the students and volunteers.
A grand total of 822 pounds of marine debris was collected, recorded and bagged for collection for the Gold Rock Beach zone.
EARTHCARE members and Bahamas Immigration Department volunteers performed the second underwater cleanup at Discovery Beach on July 23rd along with concerned citizens. "We cleaned a quarter mile or 400 meters of ocean bottom at Discovery Beach,” said Gail Woon, Founder of EARTHCARE. The objective of the event was to rid the seafloor of marine debris, and trash bags and light refreshments were provided. Volunteers snorkeled to remove trash and it was bagged ashore.
Article "Cleaning up Grand Bahama" May 16, 2018 in The Tribune, one of our national newspapers. EARTHCARE will collaborate with many of the organizations mentioned in order to complete the project.
EARTHCARE Eco Kids are very good at public relations using television and radio. This will be needed to get our messages across about reducing, refusing, reusing and recycling.
On June 11th, EARTHCARE, along with concerned citizens/volunteers cleaned a quarter (1/4) mile or four hundred (400) meters of ocean bottom at Coral Beach, the site of the BASRA Marathon this summer,” said Gail Woon, Founder of EARTHCARE and a Director of Save The Bays. The objective of the event was to rid the seafloor of trash/marine debris. Trash bags and refreshments were provided. Volunteers snorkeled to remove trash and it was bagged ashore.
On April 29th, 2017, EARTHCARE Eco Kids went to Williams Town Beach where they cleaned the beach of pollution in the form of Marine Debris. Gail Woon explained the importance of the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day that EARTHCARE has been involved with for the past 30 years. The EARTHCARE Eco Kids were diligent during their beach cleanup gathering approximately 150+ lbs of marine debris.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
EARTHCARE started in September 1988 as a community-based organization which specializes in environmental education based in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. EARTHCARE will launch a local recycling program in Freeport. The Project is unique because it will be student led. We aim to use compost to build a community Urban Garden for skilled based learning & educational programming and identify the lowest income households on the island to provide fresh produce from each harvest to those in greatest need.To encourage a recycling program by offering recycling depots for aluminum cans, and glass bottles, and encouraging and engaging the community to participate. To launch a community Reusable program for grocery stores and establishments to encourage Reusables in lieu of singles use disposables. To launch a Refusal program for the hospitality industry for plastic bags, cutlery, napkins and condiments in Freeport. To categorize, report, track all reused & donated materials used for activities
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
EARTHCARE is an environmental education NGO (non-governmental organization) that works on current environmental issues facing the nation of the Bahamas, and our members visit schools to inform students and teachers about issues affecting the environment. https://www.earthcare.online/ FaceBook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/409117639102223/
EARTHCARE Eco Kids will track the category and weight of each reused material and waste stream used for each activity, the aim will be to include this in the Waste Tracking Software to provide quantitative data on the amount of waste diverted from the landfill through reuse. Students will report the volume of reused materials diverted from the landfill on the public scoreboard and record the data in the waste management software to be posted to a community web site for all to see.
Organization Filing Status
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
We want to help mitigate climate change which is negatively affecting our low lying island nation, raise awareness about the quantitative volume of waste the community produces every year. We want to reduce the consumption of single use disposables, by using reusables, this in turn reduces the volume of demand, production of waste, and reduction of the weight of the waste taken to the landfill. We want to involve our community and create recycling opportunities that are not available now.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
Peace is negatively impacted by excessive waste and pollution. Prosperity has been impacted by the severe economic downturn. Planet has been impacted by climate change which has caused our islands to suffer major damage from more intense and more frequent hurricanes. So climate change has impacted our peace, prosperity and planet. When our island is hit directly by the recent superstorms, businesses are closed for many weeks and some of our hotels never re-open. What was once a lucrative, busy tourist destination now looks like a ghost town. Freeport never fully recovered after the back to back megastorms: Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004. Many who had worked in the hotel industry for their whole lives lost their jobs and some of those are still looking for work. We believe that we can get our community to realize that their actions actually contribute to climate change, and that we can convince them to embrace lifestyle changes that will reduce the amount of GH Gases.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We will be working with several partners and individuals in the community of Freeport, Bishop Michael Eldon School, Local Organics Limited (LOL), the Sustainable Tourism Committee (STC) of the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama Nature Tours (GBNT), The Garden of the Groves (GG), Sanitation Services Co. Ltd. (SS), Best Class Enterprise (BCE), The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA), The Bahamas Plastic Movement (BPM) and Cans for Kids Bahamas (CK). Students and teachers from BMES will be doing the surveys, weighing the recyclables and compostables to post on the scoreboard. LOL, STC, GBNT, GG, and BPM will be assisting with public workshops on the Urban Garden, composting, seed care, reusable items vs. disposable plastic items. SS, GBPA, BCE, and CK will be assisting us logistically with the recycling of the aluminum cans and glass bottles. EARTHCARE has been working with these entities for many years on various environmental projects such as International Coastal Cleanup.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
Our community has a surplus of young people and older people who are more than ready to work. As stated earlier, our economy has take massive hits from back to back "climate changed hurricanes". We have community leaders and corporate partners who are willing to support and assist with all of the various aspects of the project especially the public workshops. Also we have students to collect data for baseline information on plastic bag, disposable cutlery and condiment usage from businesses.
The Freeport Zero Waste Demo Project and E P will be in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
This project is for 24 to 36 months, however, it is being set up with a view to it sustaining itself after the 2-3 year demonstration period is completed. The Freeport Recycling Program Annual Membership will be the financial engine to ensure the continuation of the project beyond funding. The Membership is a way for community members and establishments to partake in these efforts and for second home owners to contribute to the community with their support as well.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)