On Groundhog’s Day I packed up the family (I actually packed two weeks before that) and headed off to the breathtakingly beautiful island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos. My main goal was to have no goal at all; to relax and soak in some winter warmth, but I was also in search of a sustainable Caribbean.
At first glance you would think a natural life would be easy. With water the color of topaz, sugar-white beaches, and sweet breezes it seems like everything is right in the world. It’s not as easy as it seems though. Most of the what the tourist sees, eats and does is anything but sustainable. Turks and Caicos is not an agrarian society, although there is a growing farming community. When flying into the island, it looks a lot like a flat sand-dune sticking up out of the ocean, hardly ideal farming conditions. Most of the produce and even most of the fish is flown in now creating a wallop of a carbon footprint. Resorts use water and electricity at alarming rates, and even our sunscreen damages the delicate coral reefs.
I wondered if it was possible to live an even-remotely sustainable life while enjoying paradise. The next few posts will be about my successes (and failures) at sustainable vacationing on heaven-on-earth Turks and Caicos in the British West Indies.