April 22 is Earth Day and the planet needs our help. Global warming is already taking its toll, affecting low-lying islands, coastal areas and coral reefs and causing havoc with extreme weather and droughts all over the the world. Many species of animals, birds, reptiles, fish and plants are threatened with extinction and may vanish from our world in the next few years. Precious natural resources are being depleted and we are literally drowning in a sea of plastic. These are just a few examples and there are many more. Scientists warn that time is running out and we must act now to protect the planet for future generations. We can all make a difference.
Take Action this Earth Day
It is up to all of us to do what we can to protect our planet. Every little helps. It is estimated that one billion people will take part in Earth Day activities by pledging an Act of Green to protect the planet, why not join them? Here are some ideas for starters, things you can change in your household for a greener future.
• Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and reuse and recycle as much as you can. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to operate a television for three hours and you can recycle plastics, glass, tin, aluminum and other metals, paper, clothing and more. You’d be surprised at the number of everyday items that can be recycled, take a look at this article for more ideas.
• Reduce your consumption of water in plastic bottles
Switch to reusable stainless steel or aluminum water bottles and stop buying water in plastic bottles. You would be shocked to learn that it takes 26 bottles of water to produce the plastic recipient for one liter of water and that 25 liters of groundwater are polluted during the industrial process, think of the millions of bottles produced every day.
• Avoid using plastic bags
Instead of plastic or paper bags, use cotton or nylon shopping bags.
• Recycle paper at home and in the office and consider switching to digital editions of newspapers, magazines and books you can read on your tablet or smart phone.
• Use chemical-free household products.
Environmentally friendly cleaning, soaps and laundry products made from natural ingredients are now widely available. Make the change and help reduce water pollution and our reliance on chemicals.
• Use recycled paper products
Switching to recycled paper products (recycled paper napkins, kitchen roll, toilet tissue, plates, etc.) helps save trees, protect fresh water supplies and reduce chlorine pollution.
* Switch to energy saving bulbs and timers and turn off the lights when you leave the room.
• Unplug electrical appliances after use.
• Do you really need to use the dishwasher or dryer?
Dishwashers and dryers are two of the most household appliances that use the most energy.
• Make sure your heating, air-conditioning and refrigerator are all adjusted to the correct temperature.
• Install water-saving nozzles on all taps including showers.
• Use cold water for washing where possible.
* Compost food scraps and garden waste.
* When designing a garden, incorporate plants and trees that attract bees, butterflies and birds
• Plant your own herb garden.
* Water the plants in the evening.
* Avoid wasting food.
* Consume more fruit and vegetables and less meat.
* Buy certified organic or farmers markets produce.
• Purchase organic clothing and clothes that are ethically made
• Walk or bike wherever possible instead of using your car
• Car pool with colleagues and use public transport.
• Make sure your car tires are inflated to the correct level, by doing this you are using less gas.
• Lobby for more investment in renewable energy alternatives such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal power.
• Participate in community initiatives such as beach cleaning, reforestation, urban garden projects, wildlife protection, environmental education and more.
• Support conservation causes in your country and around the world.
Green your Vacation. During your stay at Royal Resorts, help us protect the planet and keep the Mexican Caribbean beautiful.
• Keep our beautiful white beaches clean by taking all your garbage with you when you leave. Don’t stub cigarettes out in the sand and remember that ring pulls, plastic beer packaging and cellophane bags are harmful to birds, mammals and marine life, including sea turtles.
Royal Resorts staff participating in the daily beach cleaning
• Help Royal Resorts recycle trash. Use the specially labeled bins in your villa and around your resort.
• When you go shopping don’t ask for a plastic bag if you don’ t really need it, and better still, go green and purchase reusable cloth bags.
• Do you really need a straw in your drink? Cut down on straws and reduce litter.
• Guests are entitled to a daily change of towels in their villa and one beach towel change per day at Royal Resorts, but you can help protect the environment by using the same towels for several days.
• Turn off the lights, TV and kitchen appliances and help save water by making sure the faucets are closed when you leave your room.
• Make sure that all the windows and doors are closed when the air-conditioning is on. The air-conditioning thermostat should be at 22ºC when you leave the room.
• Always use environmentally friendly, biodegradable sunscreens, especially if you plan to go snorkeling and swimming. The chemicals and oils in sun products contaminate the water and are harmful to corals and other marine life. Herbal sun products made in Mayan communities are available in the area.
• Wear a t-shirt while snorkeling to protect your skin from the sun.
• Keep your distance from the coral reefs when snorkeling and diving. The slightest touch can cause damage that will take the reef hundreds of years to recover from.
• Do not remove shells or any other creature living or dead from coral reefs and the national marine parks of
the Mexican Caribbean.
• Fishermen should dispose of fishing lines, nets, hooks and lead weights correctly. Birds and other marine creatures become entangled in nets or swallow bait and fishing lines, dying a slow and agonizing death.
• Observe the “catch and release” policy for game fish such as marlin and sailfish.
• Keep the bugs away with herbal repellents made from basil, eucalyptus, neem and citronella extracts, they are just as effective and much better for the environment.
• Respect area wildlife and marine creatures, admire them from a distance.
• Never buy shells, corals, starfish or endangered birds, monkeys, wild cats and iguanas. Likewise, avoid products made with parts of rare animals and birds such as feathers, skins, bones, teeth and claws, or the shell and natural oils in the case of sea turtles.
• Shop for organic goods produced in the region such as honey, coffee, vanilla and chocolate and locally made tropical fruit preserves, chili sauces or crafts. At the Royal Resorts you can buy bracelets made by Mayan craftsmen who belong to the Ak Kuxtal community development network. They gather fallen wood and seeds for their art, making sustainable use of their forest home. With your purchase you are helping entire communities in the Zona Maya in central Quintana Roo.
• Add your support to conservation and sustainable development projects in the Mexican Caribbean.
The Royal Resorts Foundation has made conservation of the Mayan Jungle one of its key causes for 2012. It has joined a regional initiative launched by Amigos de Sian Ka’an and the Mexican National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) to safeguard four million hectares of tropical forest in the state of Quintana Roo that are not currently protected by reserves.
By making a donation to the Royal Resorts Foundation, you will be helping to protect the forest and the wildlife that inhabits it, and also to increase carbon capture to offset the effects of climate change. The goal is to raise $30,000 US which will enable Amigos de Sian Ka’an to purchase 5,000 acres of forest and preserve it.
Celebrating Earth Day at The Royal Haciendas, April 21 – 23
A series of special events will take place at The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya to observe Earth Day. There will be a finger painting workshop on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Phase I of the resort. The proceeds from the sale of the oil paintings produced during the session will be donated to the Royal Resorts Foundation in support of its charitable causes. Later, guests will gather on the beach at 8 p.m. for the monthly Mayan bonfire ceremony (synthetic fire is used). Listening to the sounds of the waves and gazing up at the stars, they will spend a moment in prayer and then write down their thoughts for the future, placing them in a chest.
On Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., guests and their children are invited to meet staff in the Phase II gardens for an Earth Day tour. During the stroll through the grounds, they will learn about the native trees and shrubs that have been planted at the resort and the many green initiatives already in place at The Royal Haciendas and the other Royal Resorts. Earth Day events draw to a close on Monday, April 23 at noon with the planting of a lime tree in the Phase II gardens.