Earth Day is just around the corner, but the One happy island of Aruba maintains its eco-friendly initiatives and island-wide conservation efforts year-round to ensure that its beaches and natural attractions–considered to be some of the best in the Caribbean– are preserved.
Efforts to go green include working with Green Globe/Earthcheck, a worldwide program that assists the travel and tourism industry to attain sustainability and respond to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management.
Of the 85 certified hotels in the Caribbean and Central America, 10 percent are located in Aruba including:
• Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort
• Aruba Beach Club
• Bucuti Beach Resort
• Manchebo Beach Resort
• Costa Linda Beach Resort
• La Cabana All Suite Beach Resort & Casino
• Playa Linda Beach Resort
• Hyatt Regency Aruba
The Radisson Aruba Resort Casino & Spa and the Marriott Aruba Resort are on track for certification as well.
Apart from Green Globe certification, Aruba is closely undertaking a series of environmental initiatives which help contribute to a green island, as part of a larger Sustainable Economic Development program.
The reforestation of Arikok National Park is underway, with the planting of native fruit trees to re-populate the flora and fauna. A vast majority of Aruba’s beaches are part of a $6 million dollar project to receive the ‘Blue Flag’ certification, with phase one completed and the beaches of Arahi, Baby Beach and Mangel Halto receiving certification last year.
Additionally, the Wind Energy Park at Vader Piet, which opened in 2009, has already reduced Aruba’s dependency on oil by producing an average of 20% of the island’s total energy.
Residents and visitors to the island can get involved in Aruba’s environmental preservation through yearly events. The 18th annual Aruba Reef Care Project, a clean-up of the island’s most popular beaches, dive and snorkel sites, will take place July 2 and 3 this year. The project helps raise awareness for clean marine environments and, with over 800 participants, it is the island’s largest volunteer environmental initiative.
Aruba’s 10th National Coastal Clean Up, taking place November 12th, is another opportunity to make a difference. The clean-up is concentrated on coastal areas throughout the island including the beaches of Arikok National Park, California sand dunes, Wariruri, Baby Beach, Bachelor’s Beach, Boca Grandi, Zeewijk Beach, Mangel Halto, Santo Largo, Arashi, Anaboei, and the open area between the former Bushiri Hotel and the Tamarijn Beach Resort.
For more information on Aruba and its eco-friendly initiatives, please visit online at www.ARUBA.com or call 1-800-TO-ARUBA.