Community Trash

 Secret and partially preserved, it was a spot of paradise the soul longs for. Under crowed yet daily changing island that will feel completely different within five years. Already so much has changed in the past four years. More people have come and even more as the travel tails whispers spread with the help of social media. I sincerely hope the population limit is somewhat controlled and people are conscious about their foot prints they bring and leave here with the islands tourism ever increasing. Environment education is key in a small remote community like this one. 

The waste management is being challenged to improve it structure here. No structured systems is in place to cope in an environmentally friendly and sustainable with processing  it on the island or getting it off. Both the island and its wild life is being challenged, with the increase of tourism, corporations have taken notice of this patch of paradise. In Early 2017 a fire found to be started intentionally, spread across acres of untouched nature reserved mangrove. With corporations pressing to build fully inclusive tourism resorts, prime areas are appear to becoming more fenced off . 

Some locals are excited by the increase of financial abundance, though they will loose the worth of the environmental abundance they may not see right now. It acceptable to burn it all 24/7. They intentionally burn almost everything.. Some of it is dived at the trash site, and a few luxurious hotels do intentionally try separating it to some degree, but the piles continue to grow with a lack of conscious consideration.

The island does have a few who do realise the benefit of composting, there has even been artist come to make trash sculptures on the site.

'The whale carcass'

I had strolled the beach numerous times seeing bits of trash rolling and floating, it wasn’t even high season. Sure you typically pick up what you can but at first it was never ending. I spoke with the owners of a hostel I was volunteering at and they gave the go ahead to utilise some of our time to rally a beach and street clean up project with the staff, its guest and anyone who would like to contribute. We started close to the hostel and spread through the community over time, the first time we ever did it we collected 27 sacks of trash. We went on clearing school fields and local soccer pitches. Educating and encourage the locals to a great cultural challenge to be accepted for what we were trying to do with out offending their ways of living in the community.

At first people would laugh at us, point, stare. Weeks later, we were applauded, offered food, drinks and verbal thank you’s. Three weeks in and not a native local had joined, It was up to us nomadic locals to plant the necessary seeds. 

A local food and juice bar had made an incentive for people to raise awareness and help clean up the problem of cigarette filters. For every 2 litres you would get $50 pesos off anything on their menu. This was absolutely fantastic for some local children because they don’t possess much money.

The smoothies were awesome, and I was so happy that what we had started was being recognised. After the juice bar the two local cell phone shop started to offer free charges or similar to those who would collect bottles of the cigarette filters.

When you go to these unique places of paradise think carefully about the ecological impact you undoubtedly have, how much waste have you contributed too, your impact on the marine and local wildlife and also the local humans. Be conscious about what products you typically use, especially shampoos, gels and sunscreens. They all end up in that beautiful ocean you came to swim in.

Using Format