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Friday 18 November 2011 | Published in Regional


The Vaka Eiva green team has rejoined its forces for the 2011 Vaka Eiva, again aiming to ease the burden it places on the environment.

Businesses, community groups and government agencies are all making the effort to reduce waste created through the event, increase awareness of the environment among its participants and lessen the impact the event has on Mother Nature.

Vaima Water, Snowbird Laundry, CISNOC, General Transport, Cook Islands News, the National Environmental Service and CITC have all joined with the Vaka Eiva organising committee again as eco-partners for the 2011 event.

And with Muri becoming party central for the event this year, it only made sense to sign up the Ministry of Infrastructure and Plannings Muri-based Water, Waste and Sanitation unit (WATSAN).

Each of the businesses and groups is bringing something different to Vaka Eivas green push.

Event coordinator Victoria Dearlove said with all the visitors Vaka Eiva brought to the Cook Islands, it was only right that it worked to make sure they did not bring an added pressure on the local environment with them.

Were fuelling a big spike in visitor numbers and there is an environmental impact that comes with it, she said.

Dearlove said the paddlers were usually environmentally conscious people spending their days on water as a hobby seemed to have that effect on them and the eco-thinking of the event was an extension of that.

The National Environmental Service has been assisting Vaka Eiva in setting up its green initiatives over recent years, and this year Vaka Eiva is taking a more prominent role in leading the push.

Dearlove said Vaka Eiva volunteers were taking over policing of recycling depots about the island and General Transport would also be putting eyes over the waste to make sure the proper materials are being put in the proper areas.

Vaima Water is taking steps to reduce the amount of recycling in the first place, and is putting water top-up stations at Vaka Eiva hotspots for competitors to refill their water bottles.

Vaka Eiva is also pushing for people to forego plastic bags and take on reusable bags to reduce the amount of waste created.

CITC is bringing on specially designed disposable plates, which are made to degrade within about a month of being composted.

Dearlove finished in saying she hoped everyone involved in Vaka Eiva would try their best to keep their recycling in the right bins and reduce their environmental footprint during the event.