C R U Z A N A

St. Croix USVI Real Estate & Other Good Things

Category: Featured Articles

Going Green on St. Croix

green_usvi.jpgPerhaps it’s just me, but there seems to be more going on with solar energy, wind power, recycling and green building on St. Croix. Since electric rates in U.S.V.I. are 3.5 times the average of rates in the continental United States the level of interest in alternative energy makes sense. Everywhere I look folks are moving in the green direction. In this article I’ll discuss some of the “good things” we’ve discovered lately.

The Big Picture – The USVI government, lead by Governor DeJongh, is actively trying to make positive changes to the environment through various programs. The VIWMA has started a “Preserving Paradise Campaign” and the VI Resource Conservation & Development Council is working hard and in fact received a 2008 EPA Environmental Quality Award. There is also an environmental educators network if you are interested.

Alternative Energy – St. Croix USVI has great potential for solar and wind power. It seems a little ironic we also have one of the largest oil refineries in North America, Hovensa, located right on the island. Here are some links we came across…

Recycling – When we first moved here our trash (bottles, cans and paper) all went in the same can. There was no option to recycle. Recently we’ve discovered the St. Croix Recycling Association is making significant progress to change things for the better. Join or learn more at the St. Croix Recycling Association…

Here are some of their initiatives:

  • Aluminum Cans & Non-Ferrous Metals Recycling
  • Books, Clothing &/or Household Items Recycling
  • Car & Truck Battery Recycling
  • Cardboard Recycling
  • Glass Recycling
  • Old Newspaper Recycling
  • Packing Materials Recycling
  • Plant Pot Recycling
  • Plastics Recycling
  • Printer Ink / Toner Recycling
  • Used Motor Oil Recycling
  • Biodegradable Cleaner Suppliers
  • Organic Food Suppliers
  • Recycled Paper Products

Litter Control – St. Croix has a problem with litter. The road sides are covered with bottles, beer cans and paper. In my opinion, Governor DeJongh has more workers cleaning up litter from roadways these days, unfortunately it keeps coming right back. It’s a shame that such a beautiful island is being trashed. There’s a video out called “Leave Only Your Footprints” produced by the Ivan Butcher of the St. Croix Hiking Association that discusses the problem and perhaps it will help. Check out this St. Croix video called Leave Only Your Footprints…

Some Ting Good

Ting is a carbonated beverage sold here on St. Croix. It’s made over in Antiqua and is found on most of the Caribbean islands we’ve visited like: Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Lucia. We usually find Ting in little green 8 oz. bottles. Most of the grocery stores and convenience stores carry Ting. The cost is similar to other soft drinks.

We like Ting. We even buy it by the case! The taste is refreshing, especially on a hot day. It is slightly carbonated and therefore bubbly. It has a citrus flavor made from Caribbean grapefruit. Of course it’s best served ice cold. No ting like a cold Ting.

Ting’s not full of strange chemicals either. The ingredients list reads: carbonated water, sugar, grapefruit juice, natural grapefruit flavor and citric acid. Not bad compared to all the chemical-laden soft drinks out there. Okay, it’s not actually “good for you” either, but neither is Rum.

Next time you’re in the Virgin Islands try some Ting! We highly recommend it.

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A Trip to Cruzan Gardens

Cruzan Gardens is a fantastic nursery for finding just about any tropical plant one could imagine. From Christmas Palms to Heliconia, from Tamarind Trees to Bougainvillea chances are Cruzan Gardens has it.

Located on the North side of the island sits this fantastic local nursery and landscape company. Enter on a peastone driveway, walk through a circular pillar, cross the Koi pond and you’re in the main entry. In front of you is an orchid room, to your left is the store, out behind the main building are more plants, and if you cross the long wooden bridge you’ll find the larger species.

If you love gardening you could spend hours at Cruzan Gardens on St. Croix. For more information visit CruzanGardens.com

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Golf Carambola Style

The Carambola Golf Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. This 18 hole golf course is located on the North Shore of St. Croix and was originally commissioned by Laurence Rockefeller. Having played at several top rated courses like Kapalua on Maui I’d say Carambola rates highly, although it’s not on the ocean. It is surrounded by undeveloped lush mountains on three sides and has numerous water holes. Expect to see tropical birds like blue herons, red-tailed hawks, pelicans and other species. You may also spot large colorful iguanas, deer and mongooses.

The grounds, fairways and greens are well maintained. Traffic on the course is minimal. There is a large pro shop, restaurant, bar, putting green and driving range. The club house complex is beautifully designed with a crows nest area to view the entire course. Next to the club house area are 5 well maintained clay tennis courts and an open air building in case of rain, and a favorite for kids is the “blue pool” next door.

I have not played the course yet, but it looks somewhat challenging with a few greens isolated by water. Greens fees are in the hundred dollar range, so I’ve heard. There are luxury golf villas for rent if you are planning to stay longer, with swimming pools nearby. And of course Carambola Beach Resort is just 5 minutes away. For more information visit… Carambolo Golf.

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