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Act to Care of the environment at our learning center

Bali is well-known for its beautiful scenery and natural landscape but that beauty has been polluted by plastic trashes. You'll find plastic trash on the side of the street, on the river, at the paddyfield, and in the beach. One of the focus point of Youth Education And Health foundation is to contribute to protect the nature of Bali, Indonesia. We are very happy that our local staff members Intan and Ketut take their responisbility and teach the children about reducing plastic waste and making substainable choiches like recycling. We asked Intan to write more about how they implement those topics in their weekly lessons.

To support our care and awareness to the environmental issue. We also teach the children experiential learning. We don't teach them only theoritical lesson but also by doing it in daily life. As we know we have been using plastic wraps, plastic bottles, plastic straws and plastic bags everyday in our entire life. The trash of the no-longer-used plastics is now everywhere! It is scattered on the

street, on the field, in the river and to the sea. Although we already dump the plastic trash to a safe place, they still piled at that spot and causing a problem. The plastic will not be degradable easily by nature. They will stay there and the amount can be a mountain.

So, to reduce plastic trash, we suggest the children to collect plastic bottle lids and plastic straws.

We keep reminding them to keep the lids of the plastic bottles and the straws whenever they consume drinks with plastic bottles or straws. We also collect the plastic bottles in a separated sack and then we give or trade a heap of the plastic bottles to a collector or trader. Just to seperate the organic trash and plastic trash at our learning center, we provide different garbage bins. And we make sure that the kids know where they should put their trash. So, what will we do with the collected plastic straws and bottle lids? We recycle it, of course. This idea has been introduced to us by Monique Timmermans, who started this project.

But first of all, we soak and washthem with soap. We teach the older kids how to make two holes with a solder to the plastic lids. And also cut the plastic straws into halves or quarters. We join the plastic straws and the plastic lids with woolen thread and make it until about 1-1,5 meter long. After the plastic lids and straws are completely joined in the same thread, we make the new join with the next thread, and once it is complete, we make another one and so on. Until we have enough to make a curtain for our semi open room or bungalow. It is because the various plastic bottles are colorful and different in size they become attractive and fascinating as a recycled decoration. As well as the plastic straws they are also colorful and match the plastic lids. That is one example for many other recycle works. The other things that we teach them to care to

the environment is that we should keep our nature and neighborhood clean. It is our place where we live so it is our responsibility to take a good care of it. Whether about its cleanliness or aesthetic. We do a weekly environment clean up with the kids and sometimes with the volunteers available at our learning center. We walk in a loop path to the paddyfield and come back to our neighboorhood of villagers, houses, guest house and our learning center. We part the kids into different small groups and every group should walk together while collecting plastic trash along the way to the paddyfield.

At the beginning I always mention that we should collect plastic trash, but the younger kids sometimes take organic trash like dried palm leaves or coconut shell. It is funny that they are still don't understand about the different type of trash. But that is totally okay, we learn by doing, don't we? Kids will keep learning as the grow up. That is why it is important to let them learn in experiential way. They will find out that plastic trash is bad because it last long in the environment although we don't use it anymore. On the other hand organic trash can be degradable naturally and we can use it as compost to fertilize or enriching our soil or farm land.

Some volunteers who came to our learning center and joined our plastic trash clean up always said that it is a very good program to do. Even one of them said that the care of environment lesson is the top lesson over the English itself. Yes, I think it is indeed true and I am glad to hear that an American volunteer said her great opinion about our program. In my mind, we can teach our children about many kind of knowledge such as history, mathematics, science or languages. However, it is more important to make them learn about morality and ethics first beforehand.

We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children - The Indian Wisdom Have you take responsibility to your plastic trash? Want to know what you can do? Read it here.

Written by Intan Rastini

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