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a sunset over a body of water

island time signWhat does ‘island time’ mean to you? If you stop by Foxy’s Bar over on Jost Van Dyke you might get the impression that island time is about forgetting time. After all, the clock on the wall measures time by the day of the week! However, if you get a chance to sit down with Foxy, you might walk away with a different idea. His perspective, tempered by weather, waves, and the sun-kissed faces of hundreds of thousands visitors, tells a different tale.

According to Foxy, island time is about living with what you have in the moment – and conservation is the key. At 78 years old, with dozens of accolades bequeathed upon him (he has been knighted by the Queen of England!) he will tell you about the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society, and the conservation initiatives he is championing to preserve the island he has welcomed visitors to all his life.

We agree with Foxy, the Virgin Islands need our help today more than ever. Whether a low-lying atoll or a steep volcanic rock, there is one commonality among all of the Virgin Islands today – trash. Unlike a land-locked community, an island community must live with its trash, and everyone else’s.

marine debris, trash, plastic pollution

This is what the windward side of our islands looks like – covered in marine debris!

Some island communities are overwhelmed, leaving their beaches covered in the colorful litter that masquerades itself as plant food for animal life. Yet other island communities have seized the opportunity to become pioneers of sustainability in the face of potential tragedy. Caring citizens and loving visitors cried out for change, and unified. The Plastic-free island of Kefalonia, in Greece, is one such example. Bali, an Indonesian island, is another. At Ocean Runner, we believe that the Virgin Islands can join the list of these caring examples.

This is why we are shepherding the “Leave No Wake” campaign for the St. John Charter Boat community. Initiated by our friends at Wet Woody’s, the campaign outlines the green boating habits we must follow. As part of our efforts to lead the way, we will outfit our vessels with filtered water systems. So you can refill your water bottle all day long and stayed hydrated, without using wasteful, single-use plastic water bottles! We will also collect your aluminum cans (read: drink more beer) to support the recycling initiative on St. John at the Island Green Living Association’s Resource Depot. These are just some of the changes you will see in the way we charter on St. John!

get trashed, st. john, plastic pollution

“Get Trashed St. John” is one local community group that helps to combat the problem with trash on the island.

Together, we can make ‘island time’ about remembering the things we cherish about the Virgin Islands, not about forgetting how it used to be clean and pristine. We know you love the Virgin Islands as much as we do! Join us on your next trip to paradise as green leaders on the sea! Many of you can remember a time when the Virgin Islands were not covered in trash. Together, we can help make that memory last for generations to come!

*For more information, resources, and ways to get involved in the global effort to reduce plastic pollution visit the Plastic Pollution CoalitionSailors for the Sea and the Waves of Change, Blue Community websites.