Updated: May 9
During the pandemic we finally got the chance to start projects, for which in normal times we didn't really have time for.
Their goal is to bring at least a partly solution to the plastic waste problem in Ampana region and in the Togean islands. And more importantly: to introduce a behavioural change when in comes to disposal of the waste.
Ecobrick day was even more interesting than a game of football :)
The villagers are not the biggest problem when it comes to plastic waste, it’s more the rubbish that is brought in by the ocean, even from far distances.
Unfortunately there is no good solution what to do with the waste. There is no communal collection or recycling system. Most families burn their plastic, which is not just environmentally an unsustainable option, but also bad for the health when inhaling the fumes.
Together with Celengan Sampah we introduced the village another option: ECOBRICKS! We started in the school, as kids are the easiest to motivate and always happy to receive new ideas.
So this is how it works:
The kids have always one month time to collect plastic waste in their homes, streets, beaches… Where ever they can find it. They clean it and stuff it in plastic bottles, also found mostly floating in the ocean or at the beaches. The bottles have to be filled until they are hard and can be used f.ex. for building purposes.
During the one month our job is to collect donations from shops in Ampana and also our customers have been keen to participate and have given small donations.
With the donations we buy small presents for the kids, f.ex. books, pens, swimming goggles etc. And as a few moms also already got interested in the project, we added kitchen utilities in the present range. Also part of the revenue from the dive shop is used to keep the project alive.
We were extremely inspired by the kids. They were having so much fun while working together and cleaning up their village.
Every month around the 15th we go to the village and the kids can swap their bottles against the presents. Its been a huge success! And surprisingly the biggest problem so far has been lack of empty bottles! They just haven't found enough :)
On the first event we already run out of swimming goggles. Especially the boys are enthusiastic swimmers, and right after getting the goggles jumped to the water to test them out. Girls were more interested in books and the youngest ones in coloring books.
We also give out an extra bonus for the most diligent collector of the month, f.ex. a dry bag or snorkelling gear.
Before we started the project we thought very throughly what all we can do with the bricks. We don't want to send them to Ampana, where Ampana Dive Communities storages start to be full already. There are already so many bottles, that a new solutions have to be found how to reuse them.
We found quite a few spots where we can use the ecobricks for resort renovations. Where we usually would have used rocks or tiles, we now use the ecobricks.
Make the rubbish disappear :)
First place is the new foundation in front of the restaurant, following the foundations in front of the treehouses. These were made out of wood, which we had to change pretty much every 2 years. With the ecobricks we have a more permanent solution.
We also already made some chairs out of the ecobricks. The cover we sewed from an old beanbag.
We sincerely hope the project opens minds in the village and the people start behaving more responsible when it comes to rubbish. Don't throw - take care of it.
There is already a huge difference that can be seen in the village. It’s clean! And we hope the people start enjoying a clean village so much, that they will keep it that way. With or without ecobrics.
We are always happy for even small donations to help us keep up the project. Big donations of course are also welcome, which we could share with Ampana Dive Community. We are also very happy to bring our customers to the village to help in the swap day. Please contact us email@example.com if you would want to give a donation. Direct donations can also be done to our paypal account @arayadiveresort