In my previous blog post I took you along the journey of our encounter with the english students and their teachers on a tiny paradise island in Indonesia. Now, find out what happened when they invited me to come to their college in the capital of Lombok and speak about plastic pollution!
It was one of those beautiful and sunny, but hot days in Lombok, and out of respect to the students I changed my shorts and tank top for some airy pants and a light jacket. However, I didn’t really notice the heat, as I was too excited to hold the presentation and create some awareness on a topic that was so important to me. When I arrived at the college, there was a laptop and a projector set up already, and the students came into the classroom and sat down on the floor in a semi circle. The kids seemed to be full of anticipation of what was going to come, and I was happy when I recognized some friendly faces!
I started the presentation by pointing out, how great plastic is. It is light, it is cheap, it doesn’t break easily, right? Everybody agreed to that!
The next step was to make the connection between the durability of plastic and the fact that it does not decompose for hundreds of year, but only breaking down in smaller pieces called microplastic. These tiny pieces, along with the bigger debris of plastic waste, are polluting our ecosystems and killing millions of animals every year.
On top of that, fish and other marine animals are mistaking the plastic for food, and even if they do not get killed by that, the toxins and chemicals make their way into the flesh and muscles of the fish – and eventually into our food chain. Especially for societies that live on an island and have fish as one of their main sources for protein-rich food, this is very shocking news.
At the end of the presentation I showed them some ideas and tricks on how they can reduce their own plastic waste, so there will be less plastic that can end up in the ocean.
The students were stunned by all this new information and asked a lot of interesting questions at the end of the presentation. I realized that a lot of them were not yet aware of the devastating concequences that our everyday plastic consumption has on our beautiful nature. But it also made my heart smile that this was a topic that moved them and that they were really interested to learn more about how to protect our environment.
Actually, they had already figured out their very own ways of recycling plastic, showing me how to make flowery decorations made of yogurt cups and colorful plastic bags. Event the kitty got a little flower hat 😉
I was amazed by their funny and creative ideas and at the same time perplexed by the difficulties they had to face without a functioning recycle system.
When it was time for me to leave the school, all the students stook waving and clapping – they all seemed so happy that I came to visit their school! Altogether it was a huge day full of shared knowledge and inspiration, not only for the students, but also for me.
After going back to my accommodation, my mind did not keep still. I kept thinking about how my tiny effort to clean the water had let me to educating students at a college raising awareness about the plastic pollution issue. It kept me wondering if I could possibly develop this even further.
Check out my next post to see what happened after that – maybe you can even guess…. 😉