“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

Conscious travel in Bali

BALI, what images does your mind conger up when you think of this place; Yoga retreats, beach bars, surf, and stunning terraced rice fields?

Not the piles of rubbish and waste in deserted lots or washed up on the beach’s aye?

 But Bali is getting buried in a mountain of plastic waste. Indonesia alone produces 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year. Unfortunately, now most places there are facing this environmental problem.


Whose problem is it?

It’s so easy to say, “well it’s their problem not mine”. But this is something we are all facing, even here in New Zealand.

Here our trash is collected once a week from our front yards, taken somewhere and dealt with. Outa site outa mind. But in Bali it’s in your face and you can’t but realise the disaster this is for the whole planet, not just Bali or Indonesia itself.

Bali is a tourist destination with over 5 million tourists visiting each year and with the Tourist Ministry aiming to attract 7 million people. So as a tourist there I can safely say it is your problem too.

It’s sad to go to see the Tegenungan Waterfall, especially after all the gorgeous Instagram shots you’ve seen only to notice downstream the pile of rubbish that has built up against the rocks, which of course will end up in the sea.

Or people lying on the beach in the middle of waste including babies’ nappies, plastics of all shapes and sizes, without at least trying to clean up.

Plastic has only been around for the past 50 years or so. It’s only now we are seeing the true effects, which we cannot ignore any longer. Do we want to wait another 50 years or do something now?


We can make a difference.

So, on a positive note, the fact is we all can make a difference.

 Even the little changes you make to help the environment, as a collective can make a big impact.

Education is key, and it’s great to see organisations like Eco Bali, Trash Hero’s, and Balinese local government getting in with educational programs and weekly clean ups.

The Balinese government has just introduced; following other countries, the ban of single use plastic bags. With business’s given 6 months to implement the changes. One small step in the right direction.

There are other changes happening with many business’s, restaurants, bars and cafes getting on board with the environmental message. Suppling only paper or bamboo straws, biodegradable cartons for food, paper bags and recycling bins.

So how can you be a conscious traveler in Bali?

So how can you make a difference?

Whether you’re traveling in Bali or anywhere else in the world, there are some great little tips to be more environmental conscious.


Here are a few to get you started being a conscious eco-friendly traveler.

#1; Support those business’s with good environmental practices, as well as ethical ones.

#2; Refillable water bottles. One of the best things you can do is take your refillable water bottle. Water stations will be found wherever you’re staying in Bali as well as the water supplied in your accommodation.

#3; Cotton produce bag. These easily fold up and can be used for everything from buying these tourist trinkets to produce at local markets. Say NO to plastic bags.

#4; Say NO to plastic straws. Most bar’s etc are getting used to the fact plastic straws are no longer acceptable. Just go without or take your own stainless steel or bamboo straw.

#5; Environmentally friendly toiletries. Remember that Bali does not have the same sanitary systems you might be used to. So, the things you put down the wastewater can often end up in the water ways. Buy eco friendly products that are kind to the environment.

#6; Easy basic one, take your own earphones on the plane getting you to and from Bali, this is a great way to save all those plastic bags headphones are stored in, and you’ve gotta love your own earphones.

#7; If you have rubbish and can’t find the correct place to dump it, take it with you. Your accommodation should have a proper disposal area.

#8; Get involved, spend one day giving back to the community by joining one of the Trash Hero’s pick up’s, run in Ubud, Canggu, Seminyak, Sanur as well as other locations on the island. You can find the dates via their FB pages or local posters in the community.

Here are some links for more info…

Trash Hero’s: https://trashhero.org/our-network/

Eco Bali: http://eco-bali.com/

Zero Waste Bali: https://zerowastebali.com/

Photo courtesy of Trash Hero’s Sanur: https://www.facebook.com/trashherosanur/


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