I Clean for Ice Cream
April 30, 2010
I Clean for Ice Cream

Bequia schoolchildren and others participated in an island cleanup on International Earth Day, April 22, collecting approximately 200 bags of trash from various parts of the island, then gathering for ice cream to celebrate.{{more}}

“The schoolchildren made the day,” commented Monique Durrant, a cleanup organizer. “Everyone I told about the event thought it was a great idea, but many more kids than adults actually volunteered.” Participating schools included Paradise Primary School, Bequia Community High School and the Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School.

According to owner Maranne Hazell, of Maranne’s Ice Cream, which donated part of the cost of the post-cleanup celebration, school children, teachers and other volunteers exchanged 86 tickets for ice cream cones.

Several local businesses lent their support. “Keeping the island clean is vital to our economy,” commented Sandra Ollivierre, of Challenger Taxi, which donated its services to shuttle volunteers from Port Elizabeth to Paget Farm. “Tourists don’t like to see trash!” she added, recognizing that negative feedback from tourists is harmful to the nation’s tourism industry as a whole.

Political representatives from both parties also participated. Dr. Godwin Friday, Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines, contacted schools, contributed trash bags, and picked up trash alongside kids from Paradise Primary School.

“We’ve got to change the mentality,” commented Herman Belmar, Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs, another volunteer. “The solution is to teach people not to litter.”

Some passersby heckled the volunteers, shouting that they should leave the trash to people paid to clean. “It’s easy to get discouraged by the negative comments, but I found that most people seemed to think it was great,” said Eva Evans, another organizer.

“They say ‘the children are our future,’” agreed Emma Boucher, of Offshore and Onshore Hair, another volunteer. “I hope their enthusiasm for the cleanup is a sign that the next generation will work harder to keep Bequia beautiful.”