Forget blue, Cayman is green

Bella Luna Food Truck. Photo @callumscreations

The eco-conscious traveler is on the rise. With over 70% of global travelers wanting more sustainable and eco-friendly travel options, many tourism companies, airlines and destinations are gearing up to cater for this demand. Even royalty are getting involved with HRH The Duke of Sussex (aka the charming Prince Harry) recently announcing the launch of a bold new initiative, Travalyst, to change the impact of travel. Collaborating with big hitters such as, Visa and TripAdvisor, his mission is to help travelers explore our world in a way that protects both people and places for generations to come.

This couldn’t have come at a more critical time. According to the World Tourism Organization, 1.8 billion people will travel internationally by 2030, which will significantly increase the impact on the environment and local communities. If we want to preserve the world we know, it’s time to make sustainable changes.

The Cayman Islands might be small, but we’re going green in a big way. We take our responsibility to conserve our environment, marine and wildlife very seriously. With lionfish culling and specific fishing seasons, to offering sustainably sourced fish on menus at many of our restaurants.

Why not join in the fun and catch it yourself during the different seasons in Cayman for both conch, lionfish and lobster…just make sure you’re don’t fish out of season or you’ll face a hefty fine!

Our diving, boat charters and watersports use our ‘backyard’ to not only offer visitors amazing water activities, but also to educate and ensure our local marine life is protected.  Many also participate in the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation projects which focuses on developing strategies for promoting the conservation of our oceans.

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Every year we produce millions of tons of plastic and around 8 million tons of that ends up in the ocean. This is really, really bad for our sea life. Plastic does not biodegrade, which means many marine mammals such as our beloved Cayman turtles end up ingesting or tangled up in plastic and dying. The only way to change this is to reduce the use of single-use plastic like straws and cups. Plastic Free Cayman has been a strong advocate on our island for the #NoPlasticStraws initiative, seeing many local resorts, bars, cafés and restaurants adopting paper straws instead or serving drinks without a straw at all. Le Vele even serve their drinks with a pasta tube. Now that’s creative eco-thinking!

Reusable bags have become a hot trend in the western world, and Cayman has caught on too. Most locals can be seen walking into grocery stores with a cute canvas bag slung over their shoulder. Did you know, using reusable bags can remove over 22,000 plastic bags over just your lifetime?! Awesome. And they say one person can’t change the world! If you don’t have a reusable bag yet, no problem, you can pick up one at any of the grocery stores on island, or purchase canvas and mesh bags at many local cafes including Jessie’s Juice Bar.

Cayman locals and visitors often get together for regular beach clean-ups. It’s a great family-fun activity to get you outdoors and involved in something worthwhile.  The next one is on 21 September for World Clean Up Day, at Barkers Beach. So, come along and volunteer because a clean beach is a happy beach!

But don’t stop here. The fun is only just beginning! A healthy planet = a happy planet = a better life = a happier you.

Here are some top tips to being a Cayman Eco-Warrior:

  1. Don’t touch the coral or pick up any sea life out of the water (that includes starfish and stingrays!)

  2. Wear reef-safe sun lotion (available at Foster’s Supermarket)

  3. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store

  4. Eat local. Scotch bonnets, coconuts, mangoes, conch and sustainable fish...yum yum

  5. Hydrate using reusable water bottles and refill around the island, even our airport!