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How Green is My Island?

August 24, 2007

We are continuing to realise that Cyprus is a place of contrasts. One small example …

Take the following rooftop photograph – representative of pretty much all of all rooftops in Cyprus. It is incredibly, and wonderfully, Green!

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The large white object is the main water reservoir for the property. We are told it holds a Ton of water although the supports don’t look strong enough to do so. The smaller grey-ish tank is the hot water supply for the house and the two rectangular black plates are solar water heating panels.

By 9:00 am in the summer, courtesy solely of the sun, our hot water is scalding and stays so until well after dark – and then it doesn’t cool much. This situation lasts for around 8 or 9 months of the year. Even across the late autumn and early spring months months the water will slowly warm during the day. All houses come with an immersion heater for hot water but even in our first winter we used it for about 30 minutes in the morning – and this was probably only for two months in deepest winter.

All in all, very Green, and environmentally friendly.

The opposite end of the scale, which we will not illustrate, is the penchant of the populace to dump unwanted household items anywhere in the countryside where they won’t be caught in the act. For sure this by no means the exclusive preserve of Cypriots, but this is an island which is about the size and population of Norfolk: and the countryside is heaving with abandoned rubbish.

In truth the bin men come three times a week, but they will only take away bagged up household waste – not your dead fridge. So far we have found no organised way to dispose of such items – maybe this is the root of the problem?

It’s not only the general populace either. A recent newspaper article concerned an open Council rubbish dump which is located about 200 yards from a spectacular piece of coastline: a key tourist attraction. Four years ago the Government recognised the inappropriate nature of this and committed to close and green over the dump. So far, the press report, there isn’t even a plan to do this.

Decidedly non-Green.

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