World clean-up day

 

Another month and another community effort from Koh Tao’s residents. You would think this would get boring but every time we bring people together they surpass our expectations and show what a great place Tao is to live!

 

 

This month in conjunction with AWARE week and world clean-up day we got our island together for a joint effort. Armed with gloves, bags and a few cameras, we walked the streets to collect the stray bags and bottles that inevitably build up. I thought at this point that it would be fun to tell everyone what the weirdest object we found was…but it was so weird, and frankly disgusting, that I am not able to repeat!! The most common was by far plastic bags and bottles. As we started walking the streets we could see them caught up in grass and bushes and sadly, the day after we could see there was more trash back where we had collected from.

 

As an island we managed to collect 665.3 KGs of trash, 276.8 KGs of which will go off for recycling. This is great news as due to efforts from several areas within our community we are now shifting our trash that has been building up. After our incinerator breaking down, trash has been building up on the island with negative effects. Over the next few months our trash is being taken off the island and transported North to a recycling plant that uses waste to create clean energy. After buying a compressor to squeeze the trash into small, manageable blocks, we are now able to remove the estimate 50,000 tons. This hopefully means that there will be less debris blowing in the wind and with good habits from locals and visitors, we can keep our island clean. https://www.matichon.co.th/region/news_1114426

 

The clean up team with a small portion of what was collected

 

More than just reefs and clean ups

 

Following on from world clean-up day we showed the film Chasing Ice. As a team we have seen the film Chasing Coral (more than once!) as it is something so close to our hearts, but I think it’s worth remembering that there is a bigger picture to climate change. It is after all what we are expecting others to do when they leave Koh Tao and carry on good environmental practices that will save our reefs! It’s a fantastic film. The images are as beautiful as they are worrying. I highly recommend it.

Dive Against Debris

Our next mission was for our AWARE week Dive Against Debris at our adopted dive site Laem Thian. We were really pleased to see a huge reduction in how much trash we found on the beach and underwater. This month we collected 8 KG from the beach and 2 KG form underwater. A massive improvement from previous collections. We also need to give a big shout out to Tilly, one of our dive master candidates, and Lara, our newly qualified advanced open water diver, for completing their Project Aware Dive Against Debris speciality course.

 

This has been a fantastic week of group efforts, individual wins and team work. I owe a massive thank you to everyone that got involved with world clean-up day, I didn’t expect it to be such a success so next year is going to be even bigger, and also for every single person that has picked up some rubbish, refused a plastic bag, or used an eco-straw. The planet and everyone at Master Divers is truly grateful.

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