The winner of the 13th annual Conde
Nast Traveler Essay Contest, which drew 1,000 entries from 23
Caribbean nations, was announced at the recent Caribbean Tourism
Conference in St. Thomas.
Greida Gibbs, a 10-year-old student from St. Eustatius, won a
$2,000 scholarship for her essay on the theme: If you were given
the responsibility of preserving your islands environment and
maintaining its beauty, how would you do that, and how would you
involve your whole community, from children to
Nordisia Lake of Anguilla and Tamika Jude of Dominica won $500
scholarships. The winning essay follows:
environment and maintaining the beauty of ones island calls for
hard work and dedication. It is a never-ending task. It is a
responsibility handed down from generation to
As it stands, it
is already the responsibility of my generation, and I am happy that
I am challenged to think more in-depth about what I would do if
given this huge responsibility.
The existence of
mankind is threatened daily by environmental setbacks in the world.
The setbacks differ country by country. The one thing we do have in
common is that it is all up to mankind to preserve the environment
and maintain the beauty of the places we choose to live permanently
In my little
corner of the world in St. Eustatius, we too have a few
environmental matters to deal with. I will try my best to address
the areas that I think are most important.
I am only 10
years old, so you can imagine I will need a great deal of help to
accomplish this task. I would seek the support of my teachers and
fellow students to start an anti-litter campaign.
The first place
to start would be our school premises, moving to our homes and
campaign would focus on actual cleanup throughout the island,
competitions for the best posters, signs, best garden and best
would be to create awareness and help citizens to take more pride
in their island by preserving the environment and maintaining its
Another way to
deal with the problem would be to start a recycling project with my
friends. We would have fun by collecting bottles, cans, paper and
plastic, and removing them from our environment in a creative
Also, as a youth
volunteer at the St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation, I would
encourage the use of environmentally friendly products at
supermarkets and other businesses. Environmentally friendly
products will safeguard the natural environment.
When plastic bags
end up in the ocean, sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish. They
eat the bag, which sticks in their systems and stops them from
eating. This is indeed a cruel and unnecessary death caused by a
few inconsiderate people.
My mother and I
like to plant fruit trees all over the island. I would enjoy seeing
the growth of guava, tamarind, mango, papaya, bananas, soursop and
sugar apple trees everywhere for free tasting by residents and
visitors to St. Eustatius.
I would make use
of my small voice to speak to all those jokers who think its OK to
throw soda cans, bottles and napkins on the ground. My friends and
I will hand-paint beautiful island scenes on bins and place these
in the parks.
I dont like it
when my island looks messy! A messy island reflects on all the
people who live there and not just the few who are the real cause
of the problem. One spoiled apple can really spoil the whole bunch,
if you allow it.
responsibility for the environment on my tranquil and charming
island of St. Eustatius would be a task I would carry out with lots
of pride and joy.