Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Earth Day

Last week was Earth Day, and that morning, I received an e-mail from the Bahamas National Trust asking people to plant trees that day. Well, in general, really, but Earth Day *is* a good excuse for those who need one. As I read the e-mail, it dawned on me that there was such a thing as a Bahamas Million Tree Campaign, and that this campaign has been around for 18 months.

Sadly, we seem to be a long way away from reaching the goal of planting one million new trees in our country to combat global warming. In fact, I suspect (I'd be willing to bet) that despite the campaign, there was probably a net loss of trees in this country over the past 18 months (and beyond), due to "development." (You know, tearing down nature to make room for more and more and more and more people on this small 7x20 island most Bahamians live on.)

Anyway, while I was sitting in front of my computer, I wanted to join the Million Tree Campaign, and read a little more on their website, about what kind of trees to plant, how to plant them, etc. Nothing too intellectually challenging, but... then it struck me: where can I plant a tree?

  1. In the bush? Wouldn't that kinda defeat the purpose?
  2. On one of the many cleared lots around the island? Yeah, but how long until the tree gets cut down again, because surely these lands have been cleared for a purpose ("development").
  3. My yard? Well, that's an option, but it is fairly green and tree-rich already. But it's got a few more now, and in some years time, I hope to be harvesting some avocado pears.
  4. Some "public" land - and I don't necessarily mean publicly owned, rather I mean publicly accessible.

And that's what I did. I found a small piece of land on Shirley Street (and that area could do with some extra green) currently covered by dirt only that is not used for anything, and the building on that property is far enough away that the roots of the tree - once it grows bigger - shouldn't be a problem either. Now, I realise that this may not be a feasible option for everyone, and it may even be a little anarchic to simply plant a tree on somebody else's yard, but, hey, we as a nation pledged to a million trees.

A million trees! According to the campaign's website, if I read it correctly, we are now at 1,083 trees. In 18 months. We still have a loooong way to go. So please, go plant a tree if you can, and don't wait for Earth Day, because that won't be for another year.

Thanks for reading,

Bahama Republic.

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