Over the years Island Green Living Association has been a trailblazer in initiating meaningful change on St. John and throughout the territory including establishment of the island’s ReSource Depot, which has allowed 290,000 lbs. of building materials to be repurposed/reused to date, items that would have otherwise wound up in the overflowing landfills. The organization also launched Green Building and Green Villa Certificate programs that encourage builders to use eco-friendly practices. Island Green launched the Preserve St. John initiative to combat recycling issues on the island and has organized countless beach cleanups of bottles, cans and other debris. To date, tens of thousands of aluminum cans have been collected and crushed for recycling. Green education and reward programs with both private and public schools and local organizations have been created. Island Green has also been a leader in advocating for legislation to ban straws, plastic bags and now oxybenzone in sunscreen, working with legislators to write bills and cosponsor town hall events to educate the community on the vital issues. One of our proudest accomplishments was preserving the air we breathe with the “Ban the Burn” campaign to prevent the burning of hurricane debris on all three islands following the devastating effects of Irma and Maria.
Our latest endeavor is the Sustainable Living Center, currently under construction and set to launch later this year. It offers a groundbreaking approach to accelerating zero waste sustainability including facilities for composting, recycling glass, plastic and used cooking oil from restaurants (for power), solar energy, co-op food market and garden, expanded ReSource Depot, green education, training and a community center.
Below is a timeline of Island Green milestones:
Island Green Building Association founded. Promote green building & sustainable development. Educate public on pollution to oceans, etc. caused by construction.
Produced Guidelines of Sustainable Green Building Design and Construction
Established IGBA “Tropical Residential Green Building Certification Program
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community Service Award
Monthly“Green Thursdays” Island Sustainability Series –over 50 public seminars, environmental film showings and vegan potluck dinners. (These have been on hold since the destruction of its headquarters during Hurricanes Irma & Maria in Fall 2017 but will resume with the launch of the Sustainable Living Center)
Received EPA Environmental Quality Award for Region 2.
NOAA Grants -VI Green Construction Rewards Program I & II, Produced 3 PSA videos on environmentally friendly design, construction & living. Conducted Green Building & Site Design Training Seminars.
Opened ReSource Depot. Accept donations, usable construction & household materials. Sell items, very reasonable prices. Currently six 20’ containers of usable items, diverting 290,000+ lbs. of waste from landfill on St. Thomas.
IGBA’S 10 Anniversary, expanded the scope of work from building to living and rebranded as the ISLAND GREEN LIVING ASSOCIATION.
Began collection and recycling of Aluminum Beverage Cans in partnership with the St. John Community Foundation. Purchased aluminum can compactor to crush and bale used beverage cans for shipment to U.S. aluminum manufacturer. Initiated “Preserve St. John” campaign.
Established the GreenVilla Certification Program, to provide guidelines for environmentally responsible villa operations and use. St. John has more
than 1000 rental villas that have major impact on water, energy and waste production and use.
K-12 Sustainable Curriculum development with Department Of Education.
Worked with legislators on single-use Plastic Bag Ban legislation.
Began work with legislators on efforts to ban the importation and sale of sunscreen containing Oxybenzone, which is devastating to coral reefs and marine life.
Established the Green Restaurant Program to promote elimination of single use disposable plastic and to promote composting and glass and aluminum recycling.
Worked with legislators on Source Separation/Composting legislation.
Lead efforts to Ban the Burn of hurricane debris following Irma & Maria.
Worked with legislators on legislation to Ban Plastic Straws.
Introduce Solarize St. John campaign with a $75,000 donor grant.
Construction started on Phase I of the Sustainable Living Center, including facilities for recycling glass, plastic and used cooking oil. The facility will include solar energy, a co-op food market and community garden, and expanded ReSource Depot.
Sold first load of over 400,000 aluminum cans to recyclers in Puerto Rico