Plastic. It’s everywhere here in Bali and is most evident at the beaches. Indonesia is currently the second-largest plastic polluter in the world, coming just behind China. Too see plastic in such mass right in front of our eyes is sobering and feels defeating.
The plastic problem is complex and will not be solved overnight but we wanted to do something to let our kids know that they are not powerless. To get stuck with plastic is a failure of imagination and who knows, maybe they will be the ones with ideas and solutions for better alternatives to plastic in our every day lives.
We found that there are various organizations here in Bali trying to do their part for a better future. We joined up with Trash Hero Canggu during one of the weekly clean ups during a kite festival. The kids were not into it and gave us a hard time when it came time to go. But what better way to learn about the world than to lean into being challenged, uncomfortable and forever changed. They warmed up after seeing the enthusiasm and excitement from fellow Trash Hero’s that two kids from the U.S would spend their time cleaning up a dirty and crowded beach.
Kite Festival Clean Up
The kite festival was incredible! We’ve never seen kites so big. Imagine kites so large it take 20 people to fly them. Now imagine thousands of kites gathering at the beach. Now imagine the amount of trash produced! The task was endless and there was no way a group of 11 adults and 2 children would be able to make a significant impact. But that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to inspire and educate.
Trash Hero – Yasa Made
Meet Yasa Made, he’s a local who shows up week after week to clean up the beaches. He started because one day while enjoying his local beach, he noticed foreigners cleaning up all the trash. Deeply moved and challenged, Yasa decided to take action and has since joined Trash Hero.
Yasa was so excited that we joined during the kite festival, especially bringing our children, because he knew the impact it would have. As it turns out, many locals were so shocked to see us cleaning up their trash, they helped us clean up their area. Success!
We hope there will be more Yasa Made’s from that afternoon and we hope our kids will carry this memory with them into adulthood.
It breaks our heart that our kids will inherit the destructive repercussions of generations past and most days we feel powerless to change anything. But we have to do something because this is not just a problem belonging to Indonesia, it’s a problem belonging to all of us. We all have responsibility to do our part for future generations.
Here are some simple solutions we can all do:
- Metal Straws
- Use Glass Tupperware
- Stop using disposable razor blades
- Reusable grocery bags
- Bring a reusable mug to coffee
- Use a reusable water bottle
For a world school project, we asked Leilana to write a little recap of her experience (looks like she didn’t hate it after all):