Klungkung Eco Clubbers Meet Bye Bye Plastic Bag Team

bye bye

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

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

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.

IMG_2985IMG_2982

SMA1 Semarapura Students Take the Recycling Pledge

SMA1 Semarpura's Principal kicking off our recycling education event

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

Getting Silly for a Good Cause

IMG_2953

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

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

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.  

Climbing a Bali Volcano…with a little extra help

 

Gunung Agung, Bali's highest volcano at 9,000 feet

Gunung Agung, Bali’s highest volcano at 9,000 feet

Most trekkers appeal to the Gods for support before climbing Gunung Agung, Bali’s 9,000 foot volcano.  Some of us also need chocolate.

Prayer at Pasar Agung, By Joseph Smith Mewha

Prayer at Pasar Agung, By Joseph Smith Mewha

The trip began at sunrise with prayer at Pasar Agung temple.  I said a few more than usual for my knees, legs, feet and lungs.

Sunrise: The Trek Begins

Sunrise: The Trek Begins

This is a volcano so there is no meandering or switchbacks or any other wimpy western trekking crutches.  The trail went straight up the damn mountain.  The trail began on a narrow path through the jungle which as we rose became less dense and eventually ended after about 2 hours.  The last hour and a half was a scramble over rocks and boulders until a final push of nearly straight up to the rim of volcano…which overlooked this very big, ugly caldera.

10561613_340389426125164_3920378126610713556_n10407595_340389756125131_1423806167795640982_nphoto 5-1photo 4-1

We were eleven.  Joe, Alex and me from America (Max smartly stayed home with Bali Belly) and eight ashram members (Wyasa 1 and 2, Artha, Nengah, Adi, Kawenuh, Komang and Sugi).  Our Balinese friends were bundled up for freezing weather and wore an odd assortment of trekking gear.

Wayan Wyasa, wearing Nomad Bandit trekking gear

Wayan Wyasa, wearing Nomad Bandit trekking gear

Cowboy Nengah

Cowboy Adi

Kawenuh

Kawenuh

Sugi and Adi

Sugi and Adi

Alex, Joe and Kawenuh

Alex, Joe and Kawenuh

Sheik Komang on the mountain

Sheik Komang on the mountain

Also proud that our group picked up several bags of plastic garbage on the trail and recycled it.  Nengah, Kawenuh and Wyasa 1 won the prize for best recyclers.

Our final ascent to one of the holy places on the rim was delayed by a group offering prayers from a village in Karangasem.  Some of us waited our turn to pray.

IMG_2109

The caldera from the rim with incense for prayers

The caldera from the rim with incense for prayers

IMG_2112

Some walked over to the party place to celebrate reaching the top.

By Joe Smith Mewha

By Joe Smith Mewha

photo 1

Wyasa Perseda celebrating

Wyasa Perseda celebrating

Showoff

Showoff

Flaunting it at the top

Flaunting it at the top

Some just celebrated the fact it was over.

IMG_2115

Canti,

Pak Dave