Paradise LOST? Everyday we are fortunate to wake up on the beautiful island paradise of Bali. Bali has always been a land of contrast. Shallow ocean reef and endless terraced rice fields; Ancient culture and new development; Forested volcanic mountains and hipster coffee shops. The beauty is being drastically contrasted by the ever growing trash problem affecting us globally and now locally on our beautiful island. Every time we buy plastics we adhere to the systems corporations have established as our now normal. Big Players like Coca Cola produce 200,000 bottles per minute and 3 million tons of virgin plastic every year. This past Saturday, Feb 15th we came together to try and do something about it. A collective of 12,500 Women, Men, Children; locals, expats, business owners and tourists; coming together in 115 locations to collect over 20,000kg of waste in one day. For the past 4 years in a row, Bali’s Biggest Beach Clean-up has been lead by: One Island One Voice, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Liina Klaus, Potato Head and Indosole for a truly localized global initiative. We spent our morning at the beach with Liina Klauss, an artist, environmentalist and a true Good Human. She has made it her life’s work to try and shed some light on what is happening on the beautiful island she now calls home. “I’m only making this horror look good so that you pay attention. Plastic in its single-use cannot be justified. Not with a rainbow, not with ignorance, not with convenience, money or time. We must not avert our gaze any longer. We need to stop the flow at the source. It is the only way and the time is now or never.” - Liina Klauss That morning at our beach alone, our group of 32 Ocean heroes collected: 1200 flip flops 240 toothpaste containers and brushes 330 styrofoam pieces 400 plastic straws 37 PET bottles 310 plastic spoons and forks There is still lots of work to do to change industry, policy and way of life but these significant gatherings of people are moments to celebrate. Paradise not Lost, just a bit hidden. We will do our best to get you back. #balisbiggestcleanup, #oneislandonevoice, #byebyeplasticbags, #potatoheadbali, #greenschool, #tidakplastikdibali, #liinaklauss, #indosole
As Americans generate 230 million tons of trash per year, as 8 million tons of plastic winds up in the ocean every year, and as 600,000 tons of pesticides get used every year in the US to saturate cotton crops, one thing is clear — what we buy as consumers is having a direct impact on our planet. It’s a reality that makes us all look at our feet in shame, want to shake our fists at the atrocities committed by businesses behind closed doors, and just want to do something about it all. But it’s maddening, because all too often, the eco-friendly options on the market are just too freaking expensive for the average person to go out and buy. Unless you’re set with a swanky salary and stock options, organic underwear and fair-trade coffee just isn’t in the cards. We want to make a difference, we want to empower ourselves with better purchases that are kinder to the planet and support businesses that are putting planet above profits, but how do we do it if we can’t afford what they’re selling? Finally, the market is actually listening. Affordable eco-friendly fair-trade is bursting onto the scene like never before, and the prices are coming down. It’s not everything, and it’s not everywhere, but these businesses have seen the writing on the wall and are offering products that we can all actually afford. Why Eco-Friendly Costs More Even more frustrating than knowing the impacts of conventional manufacturing is not being able to choose otherwise because you just can’t afford to. The bottom line is, eco-friendly products cost more because often they just take more time and labor to produce. You’re not creating a fiber out of petroleum stew, you’re growing it in a field, and you’re not sucking the local aquifers down with crummy farming practices to make them grow faster. Organic, free-range, sustainable, free-trade — all of these things reflect the real cost of a product: • What it takes to pay the people who make these things fair wages. • What it takes to grow things slower, the way nature intended. • What it takes to use wholesome ingredients, instead of synthetic junk. These companies put so much more on the line financially than just what goes into their products too, putting money into getting the certifications that prove to their customers that they’re putting people and planet above profits. B-corp and fair-trade? It all costs money to get those certifications, but these companies go for it anyway. I know it’s frustrating, I know you just want some organic sheets AND to pay your rent on time, but trust me, there are some really great reasons you’re paying more for eco-friendly, and some really sad reasons you’re paying less for the conventional stuff. Businesses That Are Changing the Game Okay, all of that doom and gloom aside, there are businesses that see this problem, and despite all of the things that make it so challenging to compete with cheap, inferior products, they’re working their tails off to make it so we can actually buy from them. These businesses have prices that are surprisingly lower than what you’re used to seeing from eco-friendly retailers, so pace yourself — it’s only affordable if you don’t go on a shopping spree. Mattresses Avocado Green Mattress I’m having a personal love affair with this mattress company. Their mattresses are INCREDIBLE, made from organic cotton, wool, and even recycled steel springs, and they’re 100% polyurethane-free (which is like, insanely unheard of). >The crazy part? A queen-sized mattress from Avocado is just $1,399, about the same as something you’d get from Serta. Shoes Indosole This shoe company has decided to make use of tire waste in one of the coolest ways possible — by turning it into eco-friendly shoes that rock and roll. Indosole carries sandals, flats, urban walking shoes, and flip flops, all made with upcycled tires by people paid a living wage in safe facilities. Their latest release, the ESSNTLS, are their most affordable yet, at just $35 a pair with free shipping within the US. Clothes PACT Apparel PACT has taken the internet by storm with their comfortable collection of organic cotton basics that are as versatile as they are comfortable. With everything from underwear to kids’ clothing, this company offers a solution to the environmental catastrophe that is conventional cotton, at prices accessible to the rest of us. Get it all here — a long sleeve women’s tee from PACT is only $16.99. Home Goods Lehman’s I’ve raved about this store before, and I’m shamelessly at it again. For those of you living a rugged life (or maybe just wanting to try your hand at home fermentation), this store has it ALL, and so many of their products are made with materials like wood and metal, right here in the US. Built to last is built for the planet, and Lehman’s has it all. Get their lamb’s wool dust mop for just $24.99! Clothes H&M I know, you’d never expect to see this fashion giant on a list of green brands, but believe it or not, H&M is the world’s largest buyer of organic cotton! From maternity clothes to menswear, H&M carries an impressively large line of fashion-forward organic and consciously produced products. Me? I’ve got my eye on these sweet organic cotton maternity leggings — just $12.99 a pair! Clothes, Home, Electronics, Pets, and Jewelry Overstock When you’re on a budget, sometimes these big box stores are your friend, and you can feel good about it because SO many of them are carrying eco-friendly options these days. Overstock carries a huge range of products, but they have a particularly nice selection of organic bedding at some great prices. Check it out — these organic cotton sheet sets are priced at under $85 for a queen-sized set! Bed, Bath, and Home Under the Canopy When it comes to sheets, linens, and rugs, Under the Canopy is another great one to shop around on. Their mantra is ‘Beautiful. Sustainable. Affordable.’, and they live up to it well. With six kinds of certifications that showcase this company’s commitment to planet over profits, Under the Canopy just raised the bar a little higher for everyone. You can get an organic cotton towel set from these guys for $64.99! Kids’ Dishes Re-Play One of my favorite companies, this business makes use of plastic milk jugs by turning them into durable dishes for kids. Re-Play’s dishes tough and built to last, but also free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates, and shipped with minimal packaging. They’re even made in the USA! At just $18 for a six pack of their plates too, these dishes are crazy affordable! Toys Green Toys Another company recycling plastic waste in the US, Green Toys makes a wide variety of tough toys that are 100% safe and non-toxic, and even packaged in biodegradable boxes printed with soy ink! Ready to try one? These toys last forever, and you can nab a whole recycling truckfor under $30! Epic and Eco-Friendly It’s challenging being a conscious consumer on a budget, no doubt. But the tides are turning, and the world is wising up to the idea that to make eco-friendly options truly sustainable, they’ve gotta be affordable. Don’t despair, and you sure as hell better not give up, because left and right, businesses are finding ways to compete with lower prices without compromising their values. As a culture, we can all turn our consumer habits down a notch, but as an economy, we can move forward in a sustainable way to support businesses that are meeting us in the middle, and not compromising the health of our home sweet home to do it. Guest Environmental Writer: Destiny Hagest
Being located in Indonesia and Northern California, we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of worlds most beautiful cultures and climates. With Indonesia’s booming influx of tourism, as well as an outdated awareness of waste reduction, the amount of litter and lack of reusable resources/recycling, the quick deterioration of its beauty is easily apparent. In light of #WorldEnvironmentDay2017 theme: “Connecting people to nature”, we challenge you to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish the places you love. As the landscape and people of Bali has captivated us so much that we set out to save 1 million tires from burning by transforming discarded tires into soles. So far succeeded in saving over fifty thousand tires from the flames, we are well on our way. To us, Bali & California are places those special places that matter. We feel a strong social responsibility towards protecting these amazing places we call home. We love hearing about your favorite places! Show us your place that matters this #WorldEnvironmentDay!
If you follow us on social media, you may have already read about our contest with Free & Easy Traveler (FNEZ) that is running until March 17. Yes, a free trip to Bali & the Gili Islands plus a prize pack from Indosole in exchange for posting a selfie on Instagram is very exciting, but what's even better is the fact that the winner will travel with a company that we love, which shares our belief that we as travelers should do our best to protect and give back to the places we visit. There are a number of Global Initiatives that FNEZ travelers can get involved in, ranging from beach clean ups to minimizing plastic waste to volunteering with local communities. FNEZ as a company also supports organizations that protect children from exploitation and ensure ethical animal treatment, not to mention they are on the way to eliminating their carbon footprint completely! Read more on their website and don't forget to enter the selfie contest--there's a week left to tag @fnez and use #FindYourSelfie to see if you win the chance to visit beautiful Indonesia.
“Welcome to Bali, do you have any plastic bags to declare?” After a year of campaigning, Pastika, the Governor of Bali, has met 12 and 13 year olds Isabel and Melati Wijsen from the Green School in Bali. Finally he has signed the Memorandum of Understanding to take measures that will see the use of plastic bags minimised on Bali by January 1st, 2016. Pastika said he was touched by the social initiative of the “child led action” that had gained such attention on Bali and around the world, following their recent talk at INK India. “I am not a hero, it is part of my job,” replied Mangku Pastika. He said he not only sympathized with the project, he loved it and wanted to support it. The Bye Bye Plastic Bags campaign began in 2013 when the two Green School students attended the GIN conference and decided to follow their role models to take action to make a change in the world. Since then, the girls have gathered a team of kids from local and international schools around the island to support them and have managed to collect over 60,000 signatures for a petition [www.avaaz.org/en/bye_bye_plastic_bags_on_bali/?rc=fb] to ban the use of plastic bags on Bali by 2016. At the meeting today, Melati told the Governor of their dream that one day all those visiting Bali would be greeted at the airport with the words: “Welcome to Bali, do you have any plastic bags to declare?” “It won’t be easy” said Isabel,“ but together, working with the Governor, and all the kids from Bali, we can return this island to the beautiful paradise it was.”
The Bye Bye Plastic Bags Girls, Isabel and Melati Wijsen, are putting plastic where their mouths are in a bid to force a meeting with the governor of Bali to highlight the plight of their campaign to rid the island of plastic bags. On November 24, the girls will begin a food strike as added leverage to get the governor, I Made Mangku Pastika, to meet with them and put a timeline on a law that will ban the use of plastic bags on Bali. The girls, who have just returned from India where they were met with standing ovations at the INK Conference in Mumbai, have been gathering widespread support for their campaign in a bid to ramp up more support for the Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB) petition to raise a million signatures. "It is now time for Pastika to meet with us," says Isobel. "We and the team have done a lot of hard work to get our campaign noticed and it is only fair that Pastika takes the time, like many prominent people have now done, to talk to us about how we are going to stamp out the problem of plastic bags in Bali," says Melati. "If we have to go on hunger strike to get his attention, then so be it," says Isobel. BBPB is a social initiative driven by children, local and international, living in Bali between 10 and 15 years old who are committed to preserving the beauty of Bali by banning plastic bag use. The initiative was founded by Green School students, Melati and Isabel Wijsen, in late 2013 and is now made up of a dedicated team of 25 children, with more joining from around the world every day. So far BBPB have raised nearly 65.000 signatures for their petition through AVAAZ, spoken to more than 3500 students across the world in three different languages and is running a plastic bag-free program in a pilot village on Bali, with local authority’s approval, as well as raising general awareness at markets, events and festivals. The group have already garnered significant support for their lobbying of national and international media and have met and received the support of Jane Goodall and her Roots and Shoots program as well as the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki moon. This week the team won Bali Yak Awards and received a nomination by The Role Foundation for Green School to become a role model high school for 2014. The BBPB team have sent many letters to the government and Governor but he has still not made any effort to respond. With all the publicity surrounding the campaign the girls have decided to act now to speed up the process. They will NOT stop drinking but WILL refuse solid food from sunrise to sunset from November 24 until they have this meeting. On November 28, the girls are asking their school and all those on Bali aware of their campaign, to join them. For more information contact; email@example.com sign their petition here https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Byebye_Plastic_Bags_On_Bali/?aDjcKgb
b the change
Indosole represents a lifestyle of resourceful creation. Each year, over one billion waste tires end up in landfills worldwide. We are on a mission to salvage discarded tires and give them new life as soles for our footwear. So far, Indosole has prevented over 30,000 tires from ending up in landfills and have turned those tires into over 60,000 pair of shoes. As a whole, Indosole features a toxic-free manufacturing process and does not use fuel powered machinery to make its footwear, just strong hands and minds. While based in San Francisco, CA and Bali, Indonesia the company's ethos is to take care of their people while chipping in to protect the environment's bottom line. We've partnered with organizations that contribute to the planet's well being and often conduct beach clean-ups, give backs, and community based events. B Corp is a natural fit for Indosole as it represents the values of our brand's integrity. Together, we believe we can produce high-quality products with a conscious effort to take care of our people while making our planet a better place to walk on.
Luxurious and hip are two perfectly suited words to help describe the island of Bali, Indonesia, and inevitably placing it high on the tourist destinations list. Bali has inspired tourists and transplants to help make and support Bali in becoming a cleaner and more environmentally conscious place. Change can come about through education, and with different inspiring projects and movements immersing, this well needed change in Bali is definitely starting to be seen, and more importantly felt within the community. EcoBali recycling is undeniably at the forefront of these namely inspiring projects. It was Founded in 2006 by individualsd who unanimously had the burning desire to respond to the waste management issues in Bali and actually do something about it. Envisioning a 'Zero Waste' policy as their solution, EcoBali takes matters into their own hands by operating its own facilities such as sorting and material recovery. In providing services such as waste separation, recycling and composting, collecting an average 15 tons of non-organic waste every month, their sustainable solutions to waste management have replenished a staggering 50-70% waste reduction. With different initiatives, like adopt a school, within the project, EcoBali recycling aims to increase the inherent needed awareness on a broad spectrum, educating on the best environmental practices achievable among individuals, communities and businesses. Initiatives like this are a sign of greater things to come for Bali, allowing it to maintain its luxurious and unique status. For those who want to enjoy their stay in Bali without feeling guilty of joining that pollution bandwagon, ecoBali is the best and easiest solution. Do your research and get involved!