The free concert which included Bermudian musician Heather Nova & Friends was one of the first major public initiatives organised by environmental group Greenrock, a charity working to encourage social and environmental harmony in Bermuda, through education and entertainment. The aim is to empower all individuals to do their part in making Bermuda socially, economically and environmentally sustainable for future generations.

"The concert was a means for not just bringing people together and celebrating something such as the Arboretum Park, it was also a means to do soft-sell education," said Greenrock president Erin Moran, a natural health practitioner who runs Willow Natural Health Center. "We are going to introduce you to things while making it fun," she said. "At the concert, we wanted to show people what is possible, and also showcase a few things that are available right now."

Greenrock brought in biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery for the concert through Lindos Supermarket.

"These things were all made from corn, and can be placed in a backyard composter, or sent to Marsh Folly dump," said Miss Moran. "The beer cups looked so real that everyone kept throwing those into the trash, but they were also made from corn."

Andrew Vaucrosson, Greenrock Vice President, said they also used a generator running on bio-diesel fuel to power the event.

"This is a great product, not only because it is made out of reused cooking oil, but also because the fuel helps to clean and preserve the engine, and it actually smells clean," he said. "We also encouraged people to recycle bottles and cans."

At the concert, there were also a whole series of electric scooters on display, that are now for sale by new local company called Go Green. Miss Moran said the concert, overall, was a great success with around 1,500 people in attendance despite some windy weather.

"I think the weather deterred a few Bermudians from coming out," she said. "I think we could have had double the audience size if the weather had been on our side. The word on the street was that everyone knew about it and we had good coverage in the press. It was a great event for families. It was so great to see all the kids running around together and it was a safe closed environment."

Greenrock was started in 2003, when Miss Moran returned from Seattle, Washington after obtaining a Masters degree there. "When I came back in 2001, I really felt like we needed to up-the-ante when it came to environmentalism," she said. "I wanted to give environmentalism in Bermuda a 'funkier' edge in order to appeal to more young people."

"When the strategic development plan came into being, we really jumped on that, because that document is probably the most important document in terms of Bermuda's future and how we can co-exist with nature on this little rock."

Mr. Vaucrosson, said Greenrock wanted to stress that sustainable development consists of three inseparable triangles, economy, social issues and environment. For this reason, Greenrock's focus is broader than just the environment.

"It is a little bit hard to really sink your teeth into what Greenrock is," said Mr. Vaucrosson. "At the concert we wanted to introduce ourselves to the community. So many people who attended it were saying 'tell us about Greenrock, summarise it in a few words'. The few words that we have used are "changing the mindset".

"We feel people will not understand the importance of sustainable development until they change their attitude towards certain issues. We think that fundamentally this is one of the challenges of Bermuda."

Miss Moran said Bermuda can't keep thinking entirely with its pocketbook in mind.

"For a long time Bermuda has been primarily looking at the economic side of things; it is always about the dollar," she said. "We realise now you can't just do that. Greenrock is trying to look at things through the lens of sustainable development."

Mr. Vaucrosson said Bermuda is fortunate in that we haven't suffered much economically in the last fifty years and our standard of living is good.

"Our environment is naturally flushed out of all of its toxins, pretty much," he said. "I don't mean that they don't exist, but that people don't see it in the day to day gloom the way you would in the city in the form of smog and the UV index .

"Unfortunately, those who have lived on the island for a long time have seen dramatic changes, traffic jams, attitudes of certain pockets of people, congestion that exists around certain areas, sit-on-the wall gangs, the affluent separations especially in the high schools. One needs to start paying attention to all these factors. That is where the sustainable development strategic plan comes in. If we could get the public to really focus in on that, then that would be a means on which we could make government more accountable to us."

One of Greenrock's aims is to act as a clearing house for information and news about environmental issues in Bermuda. They are doing this through their website, www.greenrock.org .

"We also want to act as facilitators," said Mr. Vaucrosson. "We are doing a lot of beta testing, and consumer review of new environmental products available. When you go into green technology there are sacrifices. There is not going to be the convenience factor that you might have with a combustible engine. But then there is another side of it."

Mr. Vaucrosson said the freedom you feel when riding an electric scooter is comparable to sailing a boat.

"A motor is convenient," he said. "You can go from point A to point B quickly, but with a sail you can relax and there is little fuel consumption used and little smoke and discharge. There are so many other things that the door starts to open. We are going to talk about global warming initiatives. We want to establish some kind of interactive research. Students can conduct their own studies at home."

Greenrock is now focusing on fundraising and increasing membership. There are currently about 600 Greenrock members.

"In order for us to continue on we really need the support of the community," said Mr. Vaucrosson. "We are hoping to reach out to the community in terms of getting people to become a patron. Patron membership is from $250 to $500. Regular membership is free. That money will definitely be used on the three areas we are trying to create, communication, facilitation and acting as a information depository."

Mr. Vaucrosson said, so far, fundraising had not been easy, but Greenrock has a dynamic group of people on their advisory board from Bermuda and abroad. For more information about Greenrock go to www.greenrock.org.

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About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more


Where to find Us

Suite 324, 48 Par-La-Ville Rd,
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda

Telephone: 1-441-747-ROCK (7625)
Email: info@greenrock.org
Website: www.greenrock.org