Local government — St. Thomas
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Gov. John P. deJongh Jr. has proclaimed April 22 as “Earth Day” in the Virgin Islands to encourage all Virgin Islanders to work toward protecting the delicate balance of nature essential for the survival of our planet and our species.
Earth Day inspires a global effort involving all sovereignties and inhabitants of planet Earth to consider what they can do to protect and preserve our natural resources.
“It is important that we set aside a day to focus our attention on the tremendous importance of our natural environment, and to foster discussion by encouraging a global feeling of community and recognition of our dependence on each other and on this planet that is home to us all,” de Jongh said.
The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority asks all Virgin Islanders to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, and specifically, to reduce the use of plastic bags by switching to reusable shopping bags. In order to carry out its mandate to reduce waste within the territory, the Waste Management Authority encourages local business owners to inform their customers about this initiative.
Additionally, the Virgin Islands Energy Office is reaching out to residents to demonstrate how the efficient use of energy helps make for a cleaner environment. The use of less total energy, and renewable energy when possible, leads to a greener, cleaner environment for us now, and in future generations.
These initiatives, along with collaborative efforts of our local public and private schools, help to inform and educate our community on the benefits of environmental programs and equip residents with the skills and knowledge to advance our nation’s clean energy economy. On this day and throughout the year, we are asked to make a commitment to the promise to protect our islands and the environment, and to work together as stewards of our cultural and natural resources.
Gov. deJongh encourages all Virgin Islanders to participate in Earth Day events, to educate themselves about how to reduce, reuse and recycle in their day-to-day lives and work toward the preservation of our planet.