The University of Belize Environmental Club held a Recycled Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on November 28th, 2017 at the University of Belize (UB), Belmopan Campus. The Environmental Club has been an active club for more than 19 years. It has participated in various cleanup activities in Belize such as UB’s Annual Earth Day; the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, and the “Walk for a Green Belize” which is a partnership of the Department of Environment, the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society.Dr. Pio Saqui, a lecturer at Faculty of Science and Technology, gave the welcome address and Jamal Witty, the Environmental Club President, spoke on behalf of the club. Certificates were awarded to club members, UB’s President Clement Sankat and also UB’s Vice President Mariott Simon. Julianne Pasos, the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology delivered the closing remarks.
The recycled Christmas tree, now displayed in the front of Belmopan Central Campus, is 10 feet high and made exclusively from Bowen and Bowen plastic bottles. Even though the company accepts used bottles as part of its recycling program, many bottles still become discarded. The Christmas tree is comprised of 18 rings containing 1,211 bottles topped off with a beautiful recycled star created by Jolie Ruiz. Justine Myvett, a senior field technician at UB said “It took the Club three days to build the Recycled Christmas Tree. The first day the Club prepared the bottles by washing and drilling holes. The second day Environmental Club members Mr. Eric Flores and Jimmy Zometa used their creativity and knowledge of mechanics to build the tree frame and on the last day club members stringed the bottles and tied them on the tree frame, ring by ring.” Bowen & Bowen Limited donated snacks and beverages for the event which was packed and filled with steel pan music courtesy of Mark Jones.
UB President Sankat applauded the club members for their dedication and commitment. He also said, “I doubly applaud the UB Environmental Club for this initiative because they did not receive any financial or academic reward on this project and especially because it was done during final exams week. They did it for the love of the environment as a labor of love.” Since it was a festive occasion on the heels of the December closure of the school, President Sankat reminded remind the students about the true meaning of Christmas and encouraged them to study hard during this exam week and wished them success. President Sankat added “As the National University, we are happy to spread joy through the creation of this Christmas tree which symbolizes the Birth of Christ, our savior, bringing us together for the season.”