Every Day Is Earth Day

Apr, 24 2019

On the 22nd of April we celebrated a special day at Coco Bodu Hithi in honor of our planet: Earth day!

Earth Day is a global event that is celebrated every year on this date to support, encourage and promote action towards raising awareness on environmental issues and challenges. The first ever Earth Day took place in 1970 in the United States and it has since inspired over 1 billion people to take part in this day of action every year!

But the truth is that our Earth deserves more than just one day a year to be celebrated! As so many things in life, we take this planet and its resources for granted often without questioning our lifestyle and habits while nature is falling apart around us. In the last few decades our actions have had devastating effects on both land- and water ecosystems and all its inhabitants. For that reason, this years’ theme for Earth Day was “Protect Our Species”.

Earth Day celebration at Coco Bodu Hithi – Information Board with interesting facts!

To raise awareness and reconnect our guests and team with nature, we organized a full day program with activities to support this message:
The day started off with a relaxing snorkeling session around our house reef followed by an hour of coral planting, where we picked up broken, live coral fragments and attached them to a metal structure in order to give them the chance to grow and thrive around it, as otherwise they would most likely perish. 
 

Our guests planted some corals!

In the afternoon we proceeded with a traditional tree planting ceremony where guests and associates joined forces to grow a variety of plants prepared by our Chief Gardener.

Guests and associates posing with their plants + Guests watering their newly planted plants

The spirit of Earth Day was most present during our Sand Sculpture Competition where associates and guests alike dug into the sand with child-like enthusiasm to create animal sculptures under the theme “Endangered Species”. The creativeness exhibited exceeded all expectations and resulted in wonderful sculptures showing sharks, elephants, sea turtles and rhinos, among others. During our Easter cocktail hour, guests were invited to vote for their favorite art work of the day and the majority agreed on making the Rhino the winner of the day! 

Earth Day was rounded up with a special presentation on species loss and endangered species in the Maldives followed by the screening of the documentary “Chasing Coral” which focuses on documenting and portraying the extensive loss of coral reef ecosystems around the world and its causes.

But in case you missed out on this special event, here are some interesting though heartbreaking facts: 
-    We are facing the highest extinction rate since the dinosaur era, with multiple extinctions daily!
-    Many species will disappear before we can learn about them or the benefits they bring to the environment and our planet
-    Animal populations living on land have declined 40% since 1970
-    Marine animal populations have declined 40% overall
-    We have lost about 40% of all 11,000 bird species
-    Freshwater animal populations have declined 75% since 1970
-    We have lost 75% of insect populations in some places of the world
-    About 25% of the world’s coral reefs have already been damaged beyond repair, and 75% of the world’s coral reefs are at risk from local and global stresses

Why is this important? Why should we worry? 

In nature, nothing exists alone, not even us! Every animal, plant, organism, is interconnected in intricate and complicated ways and when we remove them from the web connecting us all, it has cascading effects that we often times don´t fully understand yet.

It is everybody´s duty to work together to protect and care for our home! Many of us are new to the concept of conservation and don´t know where to start, so here´s a Beginners´ guide to making a difference:

1.    Reduce your plastic consumption by switching to reusable bags and bottles, recycle, and dispose of your waste correctly
2.  Reduce your carbon footprint by walking more instead of driving, switching off the lights when you´re out and turning up the temperature of your AC even just by 2°C
3.   Eat less meat and fish and support locally sourced products
4.   Avoid purchasing souvenirs that are made of animals or animal parts
5.   Avoid herbicides and pesticides
6.   Spread the word! Knowledge is power!

Many small people in many small places doing many small things, can change the world… Every day is Earth Day!