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Mind your plastic trash when visiting Bali!

Too bad... Bali is well-known for its beautiful scenery and natural landscape but that beauty has been polluted by plastic trashes. Everytime I go to enjoy my nature, I can see plastic craps here and there. I feel so sorry for that.

You can see plastic trash on the side of the street, on the river, at the paddyfield, and in the beach. For example in my village, Angkah village in Tabanan, there is no trash bin at all provided on the street. Of course it is very different from the city and the touristic places in Bali. So for visitors or tourist in every village in Bali, please bin your trash and throw it away when you find a trash can.

Well, how the villagers manage their domestic trash? They have dust bins inside their house, when the dust bins are full of trash, they carry those to a spot where almost all villagers use it to throw their household trash. I can say the spot can be by the river so most of the trash heap runs to the river and keep going until it ends up in the sea. Absolutely the trash contamines the water in the river. What a shame.

Next spot is by the cemetery yard. It is a quiet place and very far from any neighborhood. After the trash becomes a huge heap they will always burn it. Yes, the solution is burning to vanish the pile of trash on that area. But actually burning is only diminish the trash pile not really to get rid of it totally. The trash is keep coming everyday from every house!

So what should we do to save our Bali, our environment, our Earth? There are many campaigns that has been issued about that. We can start from stop using plastic bags, plastic straws and stop buying mineral water in a one-time-use plastic bottle. Those plastics will stay for a long time in our environment although they are only for one time use.

Instead, we can start a new habit by carrying at least one shopping bag made of cloth or recycled sack everywhere when we travel not only when we intend to shop to the market. Because we never know, everytime we go outside there is a possibilty to purchase something. By carrying a shopping bag we can refuse the plastic bag that is offered by the merchant.

Remember to bring your own tumblr or reuseable drinking bottle everywhere you go too! It will save your money from buying mineral water and reduce the plastic bottle trash also. To me myself, it has always been a habit in my family to always include a tumblr full of water from home in our bag everytime we go! It's easy to do and it has many advantages.

If you eat out or buy a drink at a cafe or a restaurant, please refuse to use any plastic straw. Instead, bring your own stainless or bamboo straw. It's okay if you don't have one of the reusable straw, you can still ask to drink with spoon or simply without straw! Just sip it from the glass. Single-used plastic straws are almost found everywhere as plastic crap. It is cheap and its use is only once so the waste is everywhere. Think about that!

One more suggestion to reduce the plastic trash that could be prevented is to bring your own food container, jar or lunchbox when you want to buy take away snacks or meal. For example to buy a portion of meatball from the seller on the street I always bring my own seal-able bowl. I ask the seller to pour the meatball in my bowl. When I go home I don't need to pour my meat ball from plastic bag to a bowl again. I can eat it right away from the bowl. No trash that I take home!

Hot meat ball in the bowl is better than inside of a single-used plastic bag which is unhealthy. Why unhealthy? Because the sellers always use a cheap plastic bag and if they put hot food inside it there is a reaction from the contact of hot food with cheap plastic surface. See? Our effort to preserve the environment is aligned with healthy lifestyle too!

Those are for the prevention, then as the act of care to the environment, I also invite my students to do village clean up weekly. We take a walk to the paddyfield route carrying some big sack or used plastic bag to collect plastic trash during the walk. This is important to bring awareness about plastic trash that is spreaded anywhere. It destroys our ecosystem when you scatter your plastic trash everywhere. Plastic is cheap and durable, it will stay there for a long time.

There is a new habit trend that is called as "zero waste lifestyle". It is a sign that people start to mind their own trash. They try not to keep causing plastic trashes that are difficult to be degraded by nature. Plastic is hard to break down naturally, that's why its waste will last long. When it ends up in the sea, it will endanger marine animals by trapping them or being swallowed. If our marine animals are threatened, we will loose our biodiversity.

Do you have any other suggestions to prevent producing excessive plastic trash in the environment? Please let me know and share it to the folks!

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