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Everyday sustainability in a throw away society 

  • Brittany Ainsworth

Koh Samui Beach Clean-Up

What do you do on your holidays? Personally we look up beach clean ups and get involved in the community!

Venturing over to the beautiful islands of Thailand I knew plastic pollution was an issue. Everything is wrapped in plastic, from your Thai iced tea in a plastic cup coupled with a plastic straw to be carried off in a plastic bag, to your takeaway pad thai thrown straight into a plastic bag. Let’s not even mention the fact that the tap water isn’t drinkable and that plastic water bottles are an evil necessity.

In our privileged eco warrior bubbles we see this plastic use as a horrible habit, but in reality using plastic is frequently the cheapest and only option some people have.

So in preparation for our trip I packed up my Zero Waste kit and practiced saying “no straw/bag thank you” in Thai.

We traveled from Phuket to Koh Saumi via a scenic ferry ride, seeing my first pink dolphin on the way and topped it all off with a rainbow stretching across the sky (not even kidding).

It was all rainbows and dolphins until we started to approach Koh Samui…

When I cast my gaze out of the ferry window to spot a whole plastic chair floating in the water! Shattering my beautiful dreamlike bubble with the rise an irrational anger at the plastic pollution littering this beautiful island.

I stumbled onto Trash Hero in my attempt to try and do something about this issue. A mother and son team started cleaning up Koh Samui beaches two years ago, which has now blossomed into a full scale operation. Trash Hero raises awareness about helping the environment through clean-up programs, sustainability projects and education. Connecting communities all over the globe including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Europe, Africa and the USA.

It just so happened that there was a beach clean-up hosted by Trash Hero Koh Samui while we were on the island and we scooted off eagerly to join in!

We met a whole bunch of passionate people consisting of locals, expats, tourists and kids, all armed with gloves and garbage bags to pick up litter washed up on the shore and shoved into the oddest crevices.

It’s a no cost, no sign up operation with all cleaning utensils included, all you had to do was show up!

It was a great afternoon meeting like-minded people and I hope to join other Trash Hero events as we continue to travel throughout South East Asia.

Trash Hero Koh Samui runs every Sunday at 3PM check out their Facebook page the next location, otherwise see if there is a Trash Hero group in your area!

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