What is this? A Styrofoam popcorn piece. And this? A broken bottle. It’s green – I take it the remains of a Heineken beer bottle carelessly tossed to the side of the road after having been guzzled down. And that? A toothbrush. And what about that blue thing over there? Oh… just aaaanother cap to a Sprite bottle. And here lies a flip flop. Yes singular, the right side to be exact. So where is the left side? I never understood how pairings of items always end up going solo while the other half, (perhaps the better half?), is found washed up on the beach, thrown onto the middle of the street, or even lingering in a brush of shrub, in Aruba at least.
Can you guess what I’m doing? I’ll give you a hint – I’m wearing latex gloves and am holding a black trash bag in one hand while I scoop up particles of this, that, and the other, on a Friday at 1:30 in the afternoon, with my other hand. I am spending it how 20 or so other De Palm Tours employees spend theirs once a month. Picking up trash? DING DING DING! The Green Committee at De Palm Tours organizes activities where the company takes part in implementing environmentally friendly behaviors every month, like their trash cleanup. Usually done at the Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba, the Green Committee, led by Annie Leest, decided to change it up and put together an event at the port by De Palm Island. This is where guests stop at to collect their tickets before they hop aboard a ferry that hauls them over to the mini-tropical paradise.
*For those reading who do not know what De Palm Island is, it’s a place for leisure, fun, and sun away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel area (one of the many amenities De Palm Tours houses). It’s got a water park, banana boat rides, unlimited food and beverage (yes, alcoholic drinks as well for all you daiquiri lovers out there), and some of the best snorkeling in Aruba, as it is home to the colorful blue parrotfish cove (only found at De Palm Island). Intrigue you much? No worries, I’ll be posting an experiential blog about a day at De Palm Island next month :)
Quite a handful of De Palm Tours employees have been raking away shrub, bagging nondegradable trash like plastic this, aluminum that, a Cheeto chip bag here, a Budweiser beer bottle there – incredible! Not much was found when our Snuba and Seatrek guides did an underwater sweep of the parameter around the port. Unfortunately our day has been called short after over two hours picking up junk when it starting raining on our parade ... or in this case, our cleanup. Fortunately we have been rewarded with the rest of the day off and a trip to De Palm Island itself to enjoy a hot lunch buffet of grouper in creole sauce, fresh green beans, broccoli, and red peppers steamed together, with a side of wild rice and a salad with fresh, cool, and sliced cucumber, earthy-tasting red beats (“eww” for a lot of people, but “yumm!” for me), and juicy red tomatoes with honey mustard dressing drizzled atop (I’m a sucker for sweet and salty, and this does the trick!). I can’t wait for the next Go Green happening, so stay tuned for events like this and others I’ll be posting about.
|Some of the team that helped out|
|Amy Spagnola (in charge of Safety for De Palm Tours) and some of her Snuba and Seatrek crew that did an underwater sweep for trash|
|Big boy tools for buzzing away shrub|
|Ricky, the Central Purchasing Unit Manager, showing some love for the cleanup|
|Miriam, Manager at De Palm Island|
|You should have seen the trash and weeds before these men came to the rescue|