There are a number of differences from mainland lifestyle and our island way of living. We live on a very small island, one that has been disastrously affected by climate change. while it may seem hopeless, conservation is key to helping save our island home and our whole planet. We can all do our part to change our lifestyle to help slow down the warming of the Earth’s temperature.
While we are a very modern community and our luxury villas are suited for enjoying the finer things in life, we can all benefit from some of the ways of the past, in terms of conservation. Island culture was eco-friendly before the term invented, people lived more simply and wasted less. In the VI, this included; Kerosine Lamps, canning and jarring food and salting fish. there was very little plastic use Before the 1960’s. Of course we can’t go back in time, this is now a much faster society and plastic has infiltrated our world. We are However, determined to change to save the planet for future generations! We hope you will also help us in this cause.
One of our customs that is still relevant is that we collect rainwater to fill up our cisterns, this supplies water to the villa. You should not drink this water unless the home has a filtration system. You can be an environmental steward by conserving water while you are here. We depend on the rain or we fill up our cisterns with desalinated water from local companies who purchase it from the Water and Power Authority. This is very costly. If you use less water It can eliminate the need to buy water. Conservation is key, and can be achieved in a few simple ways.
A Really easy way to start, is by turning off the shower while you are washing your hair or soaping up your body, shaving or brushing your teeth. This saves gallons of water and you don’t have to sacrifice too much comfort. Another way is to use the dishwasher when you have a full load of dishes, the same goes for the laundry. Fill up all your towels and wash them at once instead of a few at a time.
Speaking of water, please buy gallons of water and fill up reusable bottles while you are here. This goes a long way to protect our planet. Ask our retailers to stop selling single use plastic water bottles. We have made strides in putting into law a ban on plastic bags. Although we are not fully in compliance yet, we are trying everyday to limit the plastic in our landfill. Ever wonder where our trash goes? It goes in a big dump in the middle of the island. Some of this has to be shipped off island on barges. All of this takes energy. We are trying to implement more plastic recycling programs and island Green living is a program that is leading the WAY. Find out more here: https://www.islandgreenliving.org/.
recycling plastic is only saving 12% of all plastic waste and it isn’t as effective as limiting plastic use. Please do your part and make small efforts to help us!
A huge concern that is constantly being grappled with, is our electricity cost. We average higher than all the 50 states and Hawaii, at about 40 Cents per Kilowatt! On average across the US, the rate is 12 cents! This makes up some of the cost of your villa stay. We would love to see this go down, we have very little control over the rates. What we do have control over is our usage.
We can not stress enough to please turn off your air conditioning units while you are not in the home. Our A/C units are regularly maintained and can do a fine job of cooling the rooms within about 15 minutes. It is not necessary to turn on for hours before entering. While it may take you a while to get used to, our weather is why you came here! Enjoy the sun and beach and your Body Temperature will regulate in a few days. The same tips can be applied to lights. While we suggest leaving one light on for entry at night, it is not necessary to leave all the lights on. These small gestures of caring, and conserving energy while you are here go a long way and we appreciate your help in saving the planet and saving money that we can then pass on to you!
FInally, please buy and use reef safe sunblock. The VI has passed a law that prohibits sunscreen with chemicals in it. We have lost 80% of our coral reefs in the Caribbean! Sunscreen has been found to affect our reef and ocean animals in fatal ways. Here is a link that you can use to find out more: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/.
Last but not least, bug spray! We know that the bugs are bad. The no-see-ums are not kind. But again, the chemicals in traditional bug spray are known to cause problems for sensitive skin and toxic to plant and animal life, this affects our food chain! Please use non-toxic bug spray. We have lots of options on island but if you want to shop in advance here is a source. https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/beauty/best-natural-insect-repellents?slide=699676#699676.
Thank you in advance for saving the planet and our island home!
Zarah Rose For St. John Ultimate Villas