What colour do you prefer your beach? Most people you’d think would say white or golden yellow but a trial in Cyprus
has discovered that an increasing number of you sun lovers prefer it green, so says the results of an interesting study carried out last summer at two of the island’s most popular beaches which has just been released in Cyprus.
Don’t worry, we’re not talking spray painted sand or imported sand from some geologically challenged quarry somewhere but the environmental credentials of the beaches. Until the study, neither Fig Tree Bay, nor Nissi Beach could be considered anywhere close to being environmentally friendly; plastic water bottles littered the sand; water sports polluted the seas and the air and the hinterland was jammed with cars that had driven to the beaches.
The trial, which ended last year, saw water fountains installed for refilling water bottles, lockable cycle racks to encourage people to cycle to the beach and a host of other green features including using signage made from natural material.
Literal ‘greening’ of the beaches involved planting hundreds of native species of plants to give the beach and the hinterland a more natural look.
A survey of beach users following the completion of the scheme showed an up to 20% improvement in user satisfaction when compared to pre-project surveys.
The plan was extended by encouraging the beach bars to use only locally sourced products, reducing the carbon footprint and involving local schools and community groups to join in with litter sweeping the beaches.
Beach wildlife has benefited greatly, despite the numbers of tourists, and the setting up of protected areas has enabled many species to get a renewed foothold.
And it’s not just the flora and fauna that have benefited. After being shunned for many years by families and the more discerning traveller who were dismayed by the mess and the damage to the environment, people are returning to the beaches, attracted by the new look and better facilities.
It’s now hoped that the plan will be extended to many of the island’s other beaches where, for some, it will become a preventative measure and for others, a way to restore the natural landscape to what it looked like when Cyprus first attracted holidaymakers to its shores.