Saint Lucia, the only country in the world named after a woman, is honouring Mother Earth with through a variety of energy conservation, environmental responsibility and sustainable tourism initiatives for Earth Day 2022
Revered as an ecological wonder, the island of Saint Lucia encompasses lush rainforests, dramatic volcanic mountains that lead to the ocean and miles of untouched beaches. This natural paradise is home to colourful coral reefs, geothermal energy and underground reservoirs that produce steam and hot water springs at the Sulphur Springs volcano – plus multiple incredible island resorts, of course.
To help preserve Saint Lucia’s spectacular environment and contribute to tourism sustainability, Earth Day (April 22nd 2022) will be celebrated in dozens of ways across the island. An annual event, Earth Day takes place across the globe to demonstrate support for environmental protection and helps to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation.
A Wrinkly Tradition: Chiffonner Day Saves Energy, Shows Rumples and Crumples
Embrace your medieval side – if you didn’t know already, clothing dryers and electric irons use a tremendous amount of electricity. On Earth Day, many Saint Lucians participate in the local tradition of Chiffonner Day (pronounced sheef-oh-nay), in which clothing goes straight from the wash to the wardrobe, without using electric dryers or irons before wearing.
Also known as “Rumple Crumple”, the tradition is an impactful way that all Saint Lucians are mindful of conservation practices. The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority staff will be observing Chiffonner Day and candlelight dinners on Earth Day, saving the kilowatt hour energy equivalent of running a refrigerator for one year.
Earth Day Dining and Candlelight Conservation
From ‘low carbon’ menus to candlelit dinners, many hotels in the Caribbean paradise will celebrate Earth Day by saving thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity during dinner through a series of initiative:
1 Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet: The multi-course “Low Carbon” menu at Jade Mountain’s Jade Club focuses on conservation and the five-course “Conservation Cuisine: Eat Them to Beat Them” lionfish dinner at Anse Chastanet; helping to eliminate invasive lionfish that threaten native species. Special activities at both resorts on April 22 include many opportunities to support local conservation, including planting a cinnamon, cocoa or coffee tree; assisting in the “underwater clean-up drive” with the Scuba Saint Lucia team; and scuba diving to hunt invasive lionfish.
2 East Winds: This resort celebrates Earth Day every day with careful management of the natural environment around the property and a focus on minimizing their carbon footprint by buying from local farmers and fisherman, keeping imports down to an absolute minimum and supporting local wildlife in the East Winds Garden. A candlelight dinner will be served to guests on April 22.
3 Additionally, The Landings, Rendezvous resort, Stonefield Villa Resort, Têt Rouge and Ti Kaye Resort & Spa will turn down the lights for candlelight dinners.
Getting Creative with Sustainability Year-Round
Determined to lead by example, Saint Lucia is making significant strides in reducing energy consumption year-round. Ongoing initiatives include managing waste, improving conservation and several innovative initiatives that support sustainable tourism in a creative way. Four highlights include:
1 Significant Conservation Practices: Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa, Bay Gardens Hotel and Bay Gardens Inn have earned Green Globe Certified designation for their outstanding efforts supporting environmental protection and ensuring a greener planet. Numerous efforts include phasing out plastic and styrofoam in favour of biodegradable vessels and utensils made from wood, paper, compostable plastic and sugarcane bagasse. They’ve also utilised GEM Link occupancy sensors in guest rooms, leading to a 20 percent energy use reduction per occupied room and more.
2 Chocolate Compost: One for the chocoholics. On the working cocoa farm at Rabot Hotel from Hotel Chocolat, you’ll spot organic compost heaps of cocoa pod husks which break down into world-class compost. The hotel uses every part of this super-crop – the inner cacao beans, the shells encasing them, the nibs, the lychee-like pulp inside and the outer husks for compost.
3 A Museum That’s Bananas: As Gwen Stefani herself would say, “that stuff is bananas”. East Winds resort is home to the island’s first ‘living banana museum,’ producing fruit from up to 10 different yellow, red and green varieties. Originally planted as part of East Winds’ efforts to help preserve varieties of bananas, the museum protects fruit that is becoming rare either because they are difficult to grow or are difficult to transport and so only have a small local market.
4 Cooking with Mama: Bringing farm-to-table cuisine as close to home as it can get, Cap Maison resort guests can learn how to cook authentic Saint Lucian Creole dishes alongside Mama Madeline, mother of one of the hotel chefs. At Mama Madeline’s home, guests enjoy a traditional Creole menu filled with history and produce from her back garden (and the occasional land crab!), as she shares the stories of what makes Saint Lucia the ‘Helen of the West’. Lip-smackingly sustainable.