ECO-TRIP April: An Anti-Mainstream Holiday
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Our April eco-trip is held on April 21st-22nd, 2018, coinciding with Earth Day 2018. Participants of the trip consisted of two French reporters from Le Figaro newspaper and three Indonesian travellers.
On Saturday, April 21, 2018 we met in Ancol Marina and rode the boat to Harapan Island. There, we went directly to our homestays managed by local citizens, where we proceeded to have lunch. The food prepared in eco-trip use reusable plates, cutleries, and containers. Swietenia and Amrul from Divers Clean Action were in charge in leading the trip accompanied by Agung and Kristi, along with Onil and other Bintang Harapan tour guides, and they briefed participants regarding the background and rules of the eco-trip such as #TakeYourOwnTrash, and we distributed refillable water bottles/tumblers to each participant so they can refill it from gallons and pumps available in homestays and boats.
After renting and adjusting our diving and snorkeling gear (which are included in the eco-trip package) we head to our snorkeling and diving spots using a small boat without an anchor, but instead was tied to a mooring buoy. We distributed nobi bag to the divers and snorkelers, so they can enter the water while collecting marine debris. Approaching nighttime, we went to Bulat Island to watch the sunset and snorkel a bit. There, we witnessed the devastating condition where so many trash are disposed everywhere. During our impromptu clean-up in a 10 meter beach area, we collected 0.9 kg of polystyrene, 49 plastic cups, 32 straws, and other items such as empty polaroid camera films, plastic bags, plastic bottles, single used cutleries, etc. Bulat Island is inhabited, but it is filled with tourists that litter. FYI, Perak Island, another sunset-watching island, is closed because of waste problems, and the same thing happened to Boracay Island, Philippines. Another proof why our small islands are in dire need of saving.
On Saturday night, we gathered with the local children and watched “A Plastic Ocean” a documentary film by Craig Leeson. On Sunday, April 22, we went to Harapan Island’s waste bank and recycling facility to learn about how they operate, and walked around the island to see the current waste status. Crossing to Kelapa Island, we visited the turtle conservation and mangrove planting sites. Harapan Island’s local community ladies who participate in Waste Bank taught our participants and local children on how to make proper eco-bricks. Island and coastal communities are crucial in sustaining small islands and oceans, and that is why we empower them.
Other than eco-trip activities, in this eco-trip we met participants who share similar passions in travelling but concerned about the environment. We all got along really well in this trip, and had an amazing time together.
We asked our participants on why they decided to join this eco-trip and how they feel about it. They said because this activity is not “mainstream”, where you can have fun while also helping the environment, and since this trip is on weekends it did not interfere with their work. Most of them are aware that the environment needs to be preserved and they should be #ResponsibleTravellers. They feel happy, got a sense of accomplishment that they helped the environment, but mostly enlightened. After seeing the true beauty of our ocean that is continuously damaged by irresponsible humans, participants realize that they should also join the fight to achieve a better ocean. Interested? Download E-Nyelam application and book now. See you in our next eco-trip!
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