If you've ever been to Haiti, you've no doubt noticed the lack of a recognizable consistent waste management system. Even if you've never set foot on the western half of Hispanola, our photos tell the untold story. Trash is an ongoing problem in many areas of Haiti.
This issue has been on our minds and we've decided to do something about it. This summer, we are implementing a "waste not" initiative at Camp Jake.
Throughout the course of the week, counselors will use every opportunity to teach campers the importance of proper trash disposal and to care for their environment. We will not only lead by example, but gently enforce the use of proper trash receptacles, leaving behind no trace of camp waste. In addition, all supplies being brought from the states are being broken down to their base form and repackaged to minimize the impact on the country.
Case in point: we received a large donation of fruit roll-ups for Camp Jake. They arrived in six individual boxes, inside another cardboard box, nested inside a shipping box! Instead of carrying the donation into Haiti "as is", the contents have been broken down into gallon-sized zipper bags, leaving all cardboard in the US. These same zipper bags will be used for supply storage following camp or brought back to the US so we leave as small a footprint on Haiti as possible.
While this concept may not be new, it is sure to make an impact on the kids as they see us "putting our money where our mouths are!"