Let's clean up Gili Trawangan!
This comment is a normal thing to see if you are living on the island, and spending a couple of minutes scrolling through your Facebook wall on Saturday morning. Why? Because every Friday between 5-6 pm the islands divers, tourists and locals walks along the white beaches - picking up the trash laying there.
This week we want to give a shout out and credit SeaMade, a local NGO, based on Gili Trawangan, with the main job of raising awareness and education when it comes to the environment of Indonesia. By acknowledging that us as inhabitants of the island are responsible for the debris we create, and where it ends up, slowly the mindset of people will start to change. The goal of the organisation is to encourage us to reuse, reduce and recycle the material we otherwise would have thrown in to the ocean.
SeaMade is not only here to educate us, they are also up-cycling the debris found on the beach, by separating the trash and reshaping them in to a new purpose. So 10 lost flip flops becomes a yoga mat and an abandoned cement sack finds a new purpose as a cosmetic bag.
Being an Island with a lot of tourist, local and expats living together, it's no wonder that loads of plastic and single-use products are being used. But for us as a diving community, it is always heart breaking to see how our way of life impacts the ocean we love so much.
One way SeaMade if impacting our island is the weekly beach clean - up or as they call it: The Debris Free Friday. A great way to get people involved in the local environment is to encourage them to help out for 1 hour a week, and as a "thank you for your help" you actually earn a free beer after the beach walk. Every week there is a new dive shop, restaurant or private person hosting, allowing all Eco Warriors to end up at the same place, to share a old Bintang with each other, discussing the week that has passed. So not only is it a great way to give back, you also get to hang out with friends afterwards. Some places like Nir Na Nog (or more known as the Irish bar) even gives out a free buffet as icing on the cake!
SeaMade being responsible for the "Debris Free Friday" is being run by Sian and Kate, two awesome eco warriors that fight for our paradise island, with a goal to minimize our environmental footprint. In total the happy inhabitants of Gili Trawangan has picked up over 7.500 kg of trash - not bad for a 7km big island. Their "slogan" basically is: 1 short hour of your life can make a huge difference to the environment. And why shouldn't we - after all its our own plastic we are picking up...
Another example of campaigns SeaMade arrange is the: Plastic Free July, pushing people be aware of the plastic they buy or get for free.
At Dive Central Gil and Pesona Resort we try and mind our plastic use by changing our plastic straws to paper, and only upon request. We also offer e water refill station in our office, allowing our customers to get new water for a cheaper prize than in any shop. If you want to know any more information about SeaMade and the great work they do you can visit their Webpage or Facebook!
So, regardless if you are living on the island for many years, or only visiting for a week - do your part and give back to the community and join us and SeaMade for the weekly beach clean! Want to know their schedule? Check out their Facebook.
Thanks to Kate and Sian - you ladies are AMAZING!