Eco Club leaders from SMA1 Dawan and SMA1 Semarapura traveled to Kuta today and were inspired by the Team from Bye Bye Plastic Bag, a group of middle school miracle workers whose goal is nothing less than banning plastic bags in Bali.
Bye Bye Plastic Bag and Klungkung Eco Clubbers
Their strategy is just as audacious as their goal. They are in the process of collecting ONE MILLION SIGNATURES on a petition to ban plastic bags in Bali. If they can meet their goal, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has agreed to impose the ban. If you would like to sign their petition, please click here.
SMA1 Dawan Eco Club leaders
Our Eco Club leaders and the Bye Bye Plastic Bag kids are planning to work together to solve the problem of plastic pollution in Bali. Stand aside grown-ups. Watching these kids in action, I have no doubt they will achieve their goal.
We were also able to sneak in a little fun too with a diversion to the beach at Sanur and to this silly tempat foto.
SMA1 Semarpura’s Principal kicking off our recycling education event
The Eco Club students at SMA1 Semarapura organized their first recycling event last Friday for the 11th grade class of 200 students. They created a very compelling powerpoint presentation. The school principal strongly promoted the event…and I did my thing as Head Cheerleader of Keep Bali Beautiful.
Getting Silly for a Good Cause
Our message was simple. The plastic and other trash from 4 million Balinese and a like number of tourists is killing this beautiful island. It’s poisoning the air and water, killing the animals and will eventually destroy the economy as the tourists opt for cleaner places to vacation.
We then ask who can solve this problem. The students looked around at their teachers, their principal and finally at one another. We told them they are the solution to Bali’s pollution problems and they could Keep Bali Beautiful.
Having Fun and Learning About Recycling
They believed, and took this pledge:
Saya Berjanji Untuk Jauhkan SMA1 dan Bali Indah
Dengan Daur Ulang Sampah
“I promise to keep my high school and Bali beautiful by recycling plastic, paper and glass garbage.”
Eco Club Co-President Reny making her case
Our Eco Club leaders will go on a field trip next week to see where the garbage they collect is taken to be recycled, and to see a legal and illegal dump….We’re making progress here one high school class at a time.
If you’d like to help please, go to Keep Bali Beautiful.
Clean-Up Day with our Partners at SMA2 High School
Plastic pollution is a huge problem in Bali. It seems that every river, every beach, every village, every temple, and every household is becoming blighted by discarded bottles, bags and other plastic rubbish.
Our first step was to clean up our own act.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” -Gandhi
At the ashram we decided that enough was enough. We researched whether there are credible plastic recyclers on the island, and there are, and we put together a deal with them to pick up our plastic garbage.
It took some time for our ashram members to grasp the concept of recycling after a lifetime of simply throwing rubbish on the ground. But after a couple of months they caught on and embraced it.
We knew there was a breakthrough when Kadek and Komang returned from a weekend trip to their village to tell us how much they hated the “plastic sampah,” littering their home, and what a shame it was that the villagers didn’t recycle.
We really knew we had made progress when Kawenuh talked his high school principal into starting a recycling program. Kawenuh also took the lead in organizing an Eco Club at the school to operate the program and educate all of the students at the school.
SMA1 Eco Club
We’ve now begun to expand our little recycling operation into more schools and hopefully our village of Pakse Bali. We’re hopeful of making progress, but our eyes are open to the many obstacles we will face….of which we will keep you posted.
If you’d like to help with our Bali Recycling Program, go to: Ahimsa In Action