Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said on Sunday she had written to all local authorities urging them to ‘go green’ this Christmas and keep energy-wasting decorations to a minimum.
“Due to the economic crisis, thousands of our fellow citizens are deprived of the essentials and are experiencing the nightmare of unemployment,” Panayiotou said in a statement.”
At the same time, local authorities are preparing to illuminate us with thousands of bulbs in public places to ‘brighten’ the holiday and create a Christmas atmosphere.”
“But Christmas is a feast of love and not of waste,” she added. “Illuminating public areas in times of austerity presents us with a challenge.”
Panayiotou said electricity was extremely expensive, polluting and harmful to the environment, and the challenge for Cyprus was to stop wasting energy and turn to energy-saving policies, the use of renewable energy and green development.
In her letter to local authorities she suggests they implement an ecological policy this Christmas and to reduce to a minimum the decorative lights or use special energy-saving LED lamps.
She also proposes that the decor on trees be made from recyclable materials as much as possible “contributing thereby to raising awareness about reducing, reusing and recycling waste in Cyprus”.
“In our view, such actions by local authorities will send the right social and environmental messages,” she said.