A few months ago we were contacted by Joshua Shuckman, who runs "Social Change Nation" - a site and podcast dedicated to promoting cause minded organizations and businesses. We finally got Kyle Parsons, Indosole's founder and president, on the phone to do an episode of Social Change Nation and the results were pretty awesome. So if you want to hear how it all got started, the ups and downs of running a socially conscious business, and everything in between go ahead and listen to part 1 of Kyle's interview here: http://socialchangenation.com/029-part-1-kyle-parsons-of-indosole/ If you need it on the go, Social Change Nation is also available for download on Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/voices-social-change-social/id921408507
“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
We caught up with our friends from Bureo Skateboards to find out a little more about the company, where it came from and where it is going! For those who don’t know, Bureo was started by Ben Kneppers, an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the environment and of course skateboarding; David Stover, a surfer with great respect for the ocean and Kevin Ahearn, an engineer that brings this knowledge to the world of sustainably made skateboards. Tell us a little about your product and how it came about? While living in Sydney, Australia back in 2012, the idea sprouted as the team made it a mission to find solutions for plastic pollution in our oceans. The goal was to develop fun and innovative products from upcycled plastic waste by creating a sustainable collection program that gives back to coastal communities. Brainstorming ideas eventually led to plastic skateboards and faced with a multitude of plastic debris, we became intrigued with fishnet waste, highly durable materials that are a massive source of plastic pollution in our oceans. From there, we spent several months in a plastic engineering lab to study the fishnet materials, and develop a recycled formula for our skateboards. What made you aware of the situation in Chile and how did you begin to do something about it? People think the reason we are working in Chile is because they have a huge pollution problem, but the fact is ocean plastic pollution is a global issue. We began in Chile because they gave us the opportunity to do something about it. In addition to the funding we received from Northeastern Universities IDEA Venture Accelerator program (IDEA), we received critical seed funding from the Start-up Chile program, which allowed us to bring our ideas to a proven product. We were also supported by World Wildlife Fund Chile and a collection of fishing syndicates that were open to support our project from the very early stages. In the first year of operations in Chile, we spent a significant amount in a few select fishing villages. During this time we explained our objectives with the communities and began working with the fisherman to responsibly collect and recycle their fishing nets. We are now working to further establish our relationships with these communities and expand our collection programs. What does Bureo mean and why is it important to you? The name ‘Bureo’ comes from the language of the Mapuche, the native Chileans, and means ´the waves’. Selected in honor of the Chilean people, the name represents our mission. Just as a wave originates from a disturbance of wind along the ocean surface, Bureo is starting with a small change in an ocean of plastic. Through time and energy, the waves of Bureo will develop the force required to cause real change. We wanted to recognize Chile, as they gave us the opportunity to launch our project. We hope that we can show them, through our actions, how grateful we were for their support. What is Net Positiva? Net Positiva is our fishing net collection and recycling program. Currently, it is operating in three communities in Chile with plans to expand this year. Through Net Positiva we aim to work with fisherman to ensure their gear is disposed of properly. We have plans to continue expanding Net Positiva in Chile and other global regions. We hear you’ve found yourself a collaboration with Patagonia, tell us what this means to Bureo? We have always looked at Patagonia as the benchmark for delivering quality products while maintaining a high standard of responsibility at many levels. It was awesome to be able to share our plans and goals with a partner that aligns so well with our vision. Gaining the support of Patagonia through their $20Million & Change fund ensures that we are able to continue developing Bureo. This includes expansion of our current programs in Chile, and exploring projects in new regions. Tell us about your distribution, are you doing anything to prepare for the upcoming holiday season? We just launched sales in the US in September. Currently we are just getting our boards into select retail location, and offering product on our online store. We are running a recycling program in Chile to collect 6-7 tonnes of fishing net in the next 6 weeks, so this will keep most of the team busy before the holiday! A part of our team has stayed behind in California to keep distribution going, and to make sure we get our boards out for the holidays. We think the Minnow cruiser board is pretty high on a lot of wish lists…followed closely by a pair of Indosoles of course! We thank the Bureo crew for taking the time to let us know a little more about their awesome skateboards. You can find them at www.bureoskateboards.com
We are stoked to relay the news that all of Bali's oil burning power plants will soon be converted to a cleaner alternative, natural gas. This is truly a major environmental initiative for Bali since many innovative and benefiting programs can easily get lost in Jakarta politics. The program, Bali Interim Gas Distribution, will focus on implementing modern generators that operate on natural gas. The current outdated generators depend on diesel fuel thus has created mass pollution since Bali's energy consumption percentages have exponentially increased due to both a rise in population and tourism. This cleaner energy initiative will begin this September. Although we would love Bali to operate on 100% clean energy such as solar, this mandate to switch from diesel to natural gas is a paramount step in the right direction. Even if you have never been to Bali, its natural beauty is known so lets continue to respect the island. IndoSole was founded on strong values that cherish Bali's beauty hence we have chosen to use no fuel powered machinery in our workshops.