Earth Day in the Tropics

10 Unique Ways The Nature World is Celebrated in Warm Places


From a simple observance in 1970, Earth Day has grown into the world’s largest secular civic event, involving more than 17,000 environmental groups and drawing support from more than 190 countries. Events are staged in major cities around the globe, but small islands and other tropical destinations also get in on the act.

1. On the Bahamian Out Island of Eleuthera, the One Eleuthera Foundation will sponsor a daylong celebration of the earth and ocean that includes musical performances, dance, art, cultural events and environmental education programs, plus plenty of good food.

2. Each year on Earth Day, the Sandals Foundation, which is sponsored by the Sandals Resort group, partners with environmental organizations across the Caribbean to help volunteers plant more than 1,000 trees.

3. The month-long Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival will kick off on Earth Day. At dozens of islands throughout the region, organizers from the Birds Caribbean foundation will stage presentations, bird walks, art competitions, clean ups, and more.

4. On the big island of Hawaii, volunteers will head to Ke‘ei Beach to remove trash that could pose a hazard to turtles and other marine life. The cleanup is sponsored by the Kona Brew Pub, and will end with a beach barbecue.

5. In the Puerto Rican beach town of Rincon, the Liga Ecologica will stage an Earth Day Fair. Here, forums and talks with an ecological theme mix with a street fair offering local arts, crafts and foods. A highlight is the human-powered shaved ice machine.

6. The Florida-based Xtreme Adventures group will stage their third annual Earth Day Adventure Race, which will send participants biking, trekking and paddling across the central part of the state to spread the message: “reuse, recycle, and repurpose.”

7. If you can’t make it to Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary to participate in Earth Day observances, you can sponsor a sloth with a donation to restore its natural habitat, and plant more of these animal’s favorite almond trees.

8. The Maldives are revered for their natural beauty, and a number of resorts across the island chain stage special Earth Day activities such as tree plantings and reef cleanings. Kurumba Resort will follow their annual lagoon cleaning with a party, while the Constance Resort has created a “Low Carbon Foot Print Menu,” and will observe an hour- long power shutdown.

9. On Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Merida Verde is staging a series of free cultural and musical events for Earth Day, including a slow foods festival and street dances in the historic district of Merida.

10. In the South Pacific, citizens of the small nation of Kiribati will come out in force to restore the mangrove forests that are essential to protecting their coastlines from erosion.

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