Island Green Living Association rethinking sustainability strategies in the Virgin Islands

Nonprofit eco-group emphasizes sustainability curriculum to community.

June 13, 2016

 The nonprofit Island Green Living Association (USVI), St. John, has announced it will be pursuing a new strategy to rethink ways of tackling obstacles toward ecological sustainability in the Virgin Islands. 

In an interview with the St. John Source, IGLA president Harith Wickrema said the key to the plan is the word rethink. IGLA says it considers rethink to be the fourth R in the sustainability mantra, “recycle, reduce, reuse.” 

“We need a huge amount of community education,” Wickrema said in the article. “And there’s no better way to get the message to adults than through their children. It’s why I thought we should start with students, kindergarten through grade 12.”

To this end, Wickrema said the IGLA was able to come to an agreement with the Department  of Education to introduce “green living clubs” at schools in the St. Thomas-St. John school district. These clubs will educate students about gardening, composting, upcycling and other sustainability practices. 

The schools that will host these clubs are:
  • Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, St. Thomas; 
  • Joseph Gomez Elementary School, St. Thomas; 
  • Julius E. Sprauve School, St. John and 
  • Gifft Hill School, St. John.
IGLA says it has also begun to host “Green Thursday” events for the community to learn about environmental topics.  
“We are not limited to St. John,” Wickrema said in the article. “I personally believe we can be easily sustainable by growing most of our agriculture products between the three islands. Something St. Croix doesn’t have, maybe St. Thomas can help and vice-versa. We are one territory. We are not three different places.”