GOOD MORNING! I mentioned when I left my full-time role this winter that I would be doing some freelancing from time to time. And you didn’t think I could stay away from promoting my favorite organization’s annual Earth Day Fundraiser, did you? 😉 This year, Island Green Living is working with some incredible partners including the USVI Department of Tourism, Lime Out, Gallows Point Resort, Lovango Resort + Beach Club, Kekoa, Sailing Asante (that’s us!), Seashell Vacation Rentals and MANY more amazing USVI businesses to bring you the best prize package yet.
This year’s all-inclusive trip to Love City, valued at $11,000, includes $1000 in airfare vouchers in addition to all of the dining, shopping, activities and transportation the lucky winner will need for a picture-perfect WEEK on St. John! But before we get into the details of this amazing trip for two to Love City, let me just tell you a couple of things about what you’ll be supporting with the purchase of your raffle tickets….
When I moved to St. John from Colorado in 2012, there was NO recycling option. There was no thrift store. There were no restrictions on hazardous chemicals in the sunscreens that have, over time, assisted in the ruination of our reefs. Plastic bags, number seven disposable plastic cups and Styrofoam containers were widespread commonalities. In short, coming from a place where everyone I knew had recycling bins and compost and reusable cups, I was shocked. This place is so incredibly beautiful. Like, take your breath away amazing. Stupid beautiful. And there wasn’t much being done to protect that beauty…
In 2004, the Island Green Building Association was formed with the mandate to promote green building and sustainable development. But, seeing a need to address the plethora of environmental challenges affecting St. John and the USVI and Caribbean as a whole, the organization expanded in 2014 and was renamed the Island Green Living Association. Their goal? To take on the overflowing landfills, accelerated coral damage due to toxic sunscreen, lack of recycling, food security, clean energy, and other aspects of sustainable living that plague island communities everywhere. To say that they are succeeding in their mission would be an understatement.
Fast forward to today; St. John now has a successful plastic and aluminum can recycling operation. Sunscreen containing the chemicals that are detrimental to our coral reefs are BANNED in the territory. Plastic straws are no longer an option at our favorite watering holes. And, thanks to the Island Green ReSource Depot and the recycling program, the issue of overflowing landfills is being tackled daily. And all of this work and progress is thanks to the Island Green Living Association board, volunteers and staffers.
But there is more to be done! And this annual raffle has helped them to move forward with their efforts in the past, mainly due to the generosity of all of YOU for entering for a chance to win an all-inclusive trip for two to Love City! That’s a WIN-WIN, right?
Over the past few years, your donations have been imperative to the development and expansion of the following programs:
- The ReSource Depot Thrift Shop is the only facility of its kind on St. John and has kept more than 861,000 POUNDS of building materials, household wares, clothing and other durable goods OUT of the overburdened landfill. In turn, it provides a source of funding for this incredible non-profit organization while also inspiring the Love City Community to save money while also saving the planet!
- The Aluminum Can Recycling Program has collected and crushed nearly 2.5 million cans for recycling since the inception of the program! In addition to cutting down on waste in the landfills, the recycling program offers Island Green the opportunity to engage with students, community members and visitors to promote sustainable practices and awareness about our environmental impacts.
- The Ocean Bound Plastics Recycling Program was launched in February of 2022 in partnership with PADNOS, a top recycling company based in Michigan, and Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority. St. John’s only disposable plastics recycling program has, to date, collected and processed nearly 35,000 pounds of #1, 2 and 5 plastics! Cheers to that!
- In March of 2020, the legislation to ban the importation, sale and possession of sunscreen containing the toxic chemicals Oxybenzone, Octocrylene and Octinoxate went into effect in the US Virgin Islands. You all probably all know that already, but did you know that Island Green’s President, Harith Wickrema, was a driving force in bringing that to fruition by advocating and educating on safer nano-free mineral sunscreens, rash guards and other alternative sun protection starting in 2016? Harith collaborated with CORE, Kitty Edwards at DPNR and other notable experts to bring the truth about the dangers of the chemicals in sunscreens to the community, legislators and the governor. Over time, they researched, testified at multiple hearings and rallied experts to testify. Garnering the support of Senator Marvin A. Blyyden and Senator Janelle K. Sarauw, the team worked tirelessly to get this ban through legislation and, due to his efforts and the ongoing education and advocacy of Island Green Living, our reefs may have a bit more of a fighting chance of flourishing again!
So, we can probably agree that the above programs are worthy of the support of all of us who call St. John our happy place with her pristine beaches and idyllic surroundings, right? Let’s take a closer look at what the winner of this year’s prize package (valued at $11,000!) will enjoy on their trip for two to Love City!
- Seven-night stay for two at Gallows Point Resort in a spacious, one-bedroom ocean view villa with access to all of the resort amenities, incredible views and easy walkability to Cruz Bay.
- Airfare voucher up to $1,000, sponsored by the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
- One week Jeep rental, compliments of Seashell Vacations
- Beach Hideaway for two at Lovango Resort + Beach Club. The winners will enjoy a day at the Beach Club including access to the beach, pool, island hiking trails, snorkeling, a dedicated server… the entire Beach Club experience!
- Two-hour private TACO Run with Salty Daze Charters USVI on Salt Deck to the legendary Lime Out floating restaurant for up to 12 guests.
- $250 to be used toward any available sail on Kekoa.
- Private two-hour sunset sail for up to six people on Sailing Asante including drinks and snacks.
- A gift certificate valued at $100, compliments of Caravan Jewelry
- $250 at La Tapa Plage, serving contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with its own personal interpretation, located beachside in Wharfside Village, Cruz Bay
- $200 at Lime Out (to be combined with the Salt Deck boat trip listed above)
- $125 at Sam & Jack’s, offering fresh, gourmet, affordable dining. Located in The Marketplace, Cruz Bay
- $100 at Sun Dog Café, a quaint, courtyard eatery serving casual fare and libations in Mongoose Junction, Cruz Bay
- $100 at Windmill Bar, serving tasty food and a wide variety of beverages. Nestled at Neptune’s Lookout, offering some of the best views on island
- Courtesy of Salty Daze Charters USVI owners, $50 gift card to the new Dazey Drive In, serving handcrafted Caribbean Shave Ice, smoothies, Irie Pops and superfood drinks in Coral Bay.
- Supply of Caribbean Sol, a coral-safe mineral sunscreen that is compliant with the USVI’s ban on sunscreen containing the “Toxic 3 O’s.”
- Voluntourism opportunity & private tour at Island Green Living’s ReSource Depot
Well, I’m exhausted just typing all of this up! How will you cram all of this fun into just one week in Love City? I’m SURE you will figure it out 😉
Ok, here’s how you ENTER TO WIN a trip to Love City!
Head on over to Island Green Living’s Earth Month Fundraiser website to get your tickets between now and April 30, 2023. Single Tickets are $50 and ticket bundles six tickets for $250 or 25 for $1000. There is no limit on entries which means give as much as you can to up your chances to win this incredible all-inclusive stay in Love City.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be outlining Island Green’s programs and the prize package in more detail. So, stay tuned for more info on this awesome organization and in-depth highlights of what you’ll experience as the winner of this all-inclusive trip for two to Love City.
Over the past few years, we have raised several hundred thousand dollars together in support of Island Green’s undaunting efforts to create a more sustainable existence for us here in Love City. Cheers to all of you for your ongoing support and good luck to everyone who is playing along this year! Teddy and I look forward to once again hosting this year’s winners for a sunset sail on Asante. 🙂
Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and ENTER TO WIN!