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Are You a Trash Hero? Ditch the Plastic

Are You a Trash Hero? Ditch the Plastic

by Megan Whitehead
These islands are home! This is where we live, play, work, and dive. Even though the islands – Gili Trawangan, Meno, and Air – do not yet have the infrastructure to properly manage plastic waste, so our community is taking big steps to minimise our effect on the environment through initiatives like Trash Hero.

Indonesia is one of the largest plastic polluters in the world. Approximately 3.22 million metric tons discarded every year. Over 5 million tourists visit Indonesia every year. The tourism throughout Indonesia has accelerated the problem dramatically.

This issue of plastic in our world is massive, and it will take many many years and a lot of environmentally-minded people to solve. But, there are ways to move in the right direction! Let’s dive into the solutions.
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eco tourism

How To Move Towards a Plastic-Free Paradise in Gili Air

Here are a few ways that you can effectively ditch the plastic when visiting the Gilis!

Reusable Water Bottles!

How would you like to save money and save our oceans at the same time? Time to get one of those epic metal water bottles! And you can deck it out with stickers. But there is time for that later.

We need to drink approximately 4 bottles of water a day. On average, that means that you spend about $3,000 (assuming that you spend $2 on each bottle of water) every year. Think about what you could do with all that extra change!

If you spend $10-$20 on a reusable bottle, you’d be saving $2,980. On top of that, you could be saving 1,460 plastic bottles every year. Even if you only use a single plastic bottle, that is still over 300 bottles a year. Get the picture? It’s time to get a reusable water bottle. Come into the dive shop and we can sort you out!
trash hero
trash hero

Tell Your Cashier “No Plastic Bag”

There is no denying the convenience of plastic bags. They’re available everywhere! However, we don’t often consider the serious negative effects that they have after we throw them out. It isn’t just the fact that we use them either.

One of the most globally impacting parts of the plastic bag is how they’re made. In order to make them, the petroleum used has to be extracted, refined, and then shaped. This uses a ridiculous amount of energy from fossil fuels. After we use these bags, they often end up in landfills or our oceans. Leaving them open for animals to ingest. They don’t know any better!

The sea turtle, for instance, eats jellyfish. Now, what does a plastic bag underwater look like? It’s a recipe for disaster.

Our oceans are a worldwide resource that over a quarter of the total population depends on for survival. Respect our oceans, and bring your own reusable bag!

“Tidak Pippete” – Learn To Sip Instead of Suck

Do you like turtles? Then this is what you need to learn. No straw is what this phrase translates to in Bahasa Indonesia. One of the most useful phrases to learn to help reduce your plastic use.

If you can get into the habit of asking for “no straw” when sipping a coconut or delicious tropical cocktail, you’ve already taken a giant step forward in lessening your single-use plastic waste! Not mention helping the local businesses transition to a more eco-friendly establishment at no extra cost.

Another alternative is to get a reusable straw. Here at 3W, we like our straws how we like our music. Metal! Go for the metal or bamboo straws that you can carry around with you. A small action that can create big change!

Sit Down, Slow Down, and Don’t Get Take Away

The slow-moving island life is the perfect way to live. There’s no need to rush around! So when possible, skip the plastic and styrofoam, and chillax while you eat!

Socialize, play a game, get that insta-worthy shot. It’s not worth a little extra time for the amount of waste that comes from getting take away.

If you do feel the need to stay on your feet, think about getting your own reusable lunch box! In addition, for you wandering coffee addicts, please invest in a reusable cup!
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Get Down and Dirty With Trash Hero Gili Air

Trash Hero has been around the world-wide clean-up movement for a long time now. Recently, Trash Hero chapters in Indonesia have been popping up, and we were able to get one in Gili Air to help the clean-up effort. Working with everyone on the island, the goal of Trash Hero is to educate on how to stop using plastic, and also how to dispose of it properly.

Every week, the Trash Heroes of Gili air meet on the beach to help keep the island clean. Dive centers here (including our own, 3W Dive) get involved as well.

While we know that these clean up’s will not solve the problem of plastic pollution, it is a great opportunity to get the community involved and educate them about eco-friendly alternatives.

Everyone is welcome! No sign-up, just show up and clean up. Often there will even be a free Bintang in it for you afterwards! It’s a great chance to get educated and meet the incredible humans who live on the island!

There is no planet B

Even on a tropical island in Indonesia, #PlasticFree isn’t very difficult.

We love our island. Both the locals and international expats who live here have the same passion for keeping Gili Air beautiful and clean.
Our chilled out vibes, beautiful surroundings, and the epic tribe are only a few reasons why we stick around. When you come to visit (yes when, not if) we hope that you can use these tips to help us in our effort to go plastic free! The goal is not to accomplish this overnight, but to continue to educate and become more aware of how our actions can make a big impact. The solution comes from not a singular person, but many working together!

Hit us up if you have any other great ways to ditch the plastic. And when you visit Gili Air! Come to join our tribe of island addicts. You won’t regret it.
trash hero beach clean
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