Monday, April 20, 2009

Countdown to Earth Day

This Wednesday, April 22nd, marks the 39th celebration of el Dia de la Tierra (Earth Day!). If it wasn't for a very good friend of mine, who kindly reminded me, I would have completely forgot about it. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is not eco-friendly and it can be quite frustrating for those who strive to be. For starters, finding a garbage disposal company which offers recycling services is close to impossible. Of course, this depends on which part of the island you live in. However, I live in the San Juan metro area, the most densely populated region in the entire island. Wouldn't it make sense to have recycling available?

Although we've been able to find recycling companies, they refuse to come pick up because we don't meet their requirements. In a nutshell, we don't generate enough recycleables and they'd end up losing money by making a trip just for us. Believe me, it's frustrating. Whenever I'm in the Netherlands, where my significant other is from, I am always amazed at how environmentally-conscious the Dutch are. Western Europe, in general, is much more eco-friendly than any other part of the world. Before I even land in Amsterdam, I see the huge wind turbines from the plane in the North Sea. You just can't miss them, because there's just so many. I probably sound like a complete dork, but they look absolutely incredible!

One day, I'd love to see Puerto Rico filled with solar panels. Despite being so close to the equator, and all the sun it gets, solar energy is not something which Puerto Rico has taken full advantage of. This is such a shame. The local government has recently proposed a series of incentives hoping to promote the usage of solar panels, heaters, etc. If only the government seized the opportunity 20 or 30 years ago, Puerto Rico can be a model of solar energy like Denmark is to wind energy.

(Earth Day graphic obtained from

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