You may have read my last article “Travelling in Indonesia”. I would like to continue discussing the ups and downs of travelling eco-consciously in Southeast Asia. I was very optimistic when I first arrived in Southeast Asia, as the first city we stayed in was environmentally progressive. As I mentioned in my last update, I was in Ubud, a small town in Bali. The town is full of trendy coffee shops and is commonly sought out by Yogis. In Ubud I was able to find a zero-waste shop where I could buy most of my groceries, and I was often given bamboo straws everywhere I went. However, the following month I travelled to Bali’s coast where my experience was drastically different.
On the coast I saw many beaches full of plastic and garbage. There was trash on the side of the roads. I would not say that all the practices I have encountered here are that different from those I experienced back in Canada. I believe some of the environmentally destructive habits are just more apparent. For the most part I struggle with the same challenges as I would back home, including single-use plastics (straws, cups, take-out containers), produce being wrapped in plastic, lack of ethical shops/products, and finding appropriate ways to recycle and compost. The only added challenges I have found living abroad are avoiding plastic bottled water and recycling. Here in Malaysia, I have been boiling water to avoid plastic. Again, it is very important to bring your own reusable bottle to restaurants, as they only serve bottled water. Overall, I believe that our environmentally conscious habits can be brought to and used anywhere in the world.
What positive and negative environmental practices have you seen in the places you have travelled to?