Last Friday was Earth Day across the world and we at Bali Hai organized an event with local groups to spread the message – one earth, let’s look after it. We started Earth Day early on Thursday night with an informative and interesting presentation from Coral Triangle Center, explaining the important of the three islands, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida, from an ecological point of view and the environmental issues and changes we need to be mindful of. Then the inspirational girls from Bye Bye Plastic Bags spoke. It’s a humbling experience to listen to a 13 year old and a 15 year old talk about what they, and their teams, have done to achieve international recognition and to change government policies on plastic bags. At that age I was only concerned with how to get out of doing my homework – these girls just returned from London after giving presentation on Ted Talks in front of hundreds of people and to global audience of +1 million viewers!
We were grateful for the number of island guests and locals who came along and then stayed for the powerful movie ‘Racing Extinction’. Not for the faint hearted but certainly vital for everyone to watch – I know a few viewers had tears in their eyes (me)!
Friday was a display in how like-minded groups can come together and make small changes that all add up to big changes. We had children from all 8 of the island schools come to Hai Tide Beach Resort at 7am to meet with staff from Bali Hai Cruises, including our dive team, resort staff, restaurant staff and management. They received T shirts conveying the message of the event and started the day with a great welcome speech from the Kepala Desa Lembongan (head of the village), I Ketut Gede Arjaya, who emphasized on how important it is to learn to take care of our environment and regarded our cause crucial for the future of the island – we thank all the Lembongan officials for attending the day and we know the kids enjoyed it too. Then everyone participated in a big Mushroom Bay beach cleanup with many other local businesses joining in and guests to the island joining us on the walk and helping.
We live and have worked for more than 26 years amidst the local community on beautiful islands. To ensure they stay beautiful, we want to join forces with our community, NGOs, government and local businesses to create a plastic free Lembongan. The islands are famous for their habitat, natural wild life and world renowned marine life. While we can enjoy them, lets enjoy them responsibly by minimising our impact, managing our waste properly, joining the #diveagainstdebris movement, and SAY NO TO PLASTIC ON LEMBONGAN!