While traveling I got to see many environmental issues all around the world. One of them is the amount of waste and trash along streets, tourist attractions, and beaches. While the first two affect mainly the aesthetic image, garbage on the beach is an even bigger problem. Unfortunately, a large part of the waste gets into the seawater during due and ebb. This is how the oceans are poisoned, marine animals die and we suffer from a degraded ecosystem.
Walking along the Beachfront in Kuta, Lombok is a disaster. Countless plastic bottles, rifles and even electrical accessories lie twisted on the beach and are just waiting to be washed into the sea. So I decided to start a little beach clean up. So my friend Claire and I started to collect the trash and as soon as the locals saw what we were doing they joined us.
I have done this before but it was actually the first time collecting trash in front of locals and the response was absolutely amazing! Some of the locals told us, how grateful they are that we are doing this and that they have never seen a tourist doing something so kind like this. Some of the women wanted to take selfies with us and even a few locals started to help us. After less than 30 minutes we already filled up our bag.
Seeing how much we could do with only investing 30 minutes of our day showed me, how important it is for us tourists to be role models and support local communities and show them, that we are coming in peace and not only to use them and their land for having a blast.
At the end of the day, Claire and I were almost exploding from the amount of love we experienced. We were so crazy happy, that we told everyone at our Hostel about our Beach Clean Up. All the other Backpackers were also excited and are very willing to join.
So I think, ladies and gentleman, that only one of us needs to start and you won’t be alone for so long. And this is why I challenge you to take a trashcan with you on your next beach visit and collect ten minutes of garbage. Best in a place where as many people as possible can see it. You’ll see how effective and useful those 10 minutes were.