Koh Tao Earth Day 2019

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Koh Tao Earth Day 2019

Our planet is a fragile being. I use the word ‘being’ because it is exactly that. Brought to life by a complex web of interactions and inter-dependencies that exist between human beings and all other living species. Over the past 50 years, we have lost the harmonious balance that Earth thrives on due to the numerous challenges that humankind throws at it. From climate change, to pollution, habitat loss to species extinction, it is important that we as a race recognise the negative footprint we are leaving on planet earth.

 

Let’s celebrate ‘Earth Day’

Earth Day is an environmental movement of monumental scale. A movement which aims to educate and activate people across the globe. It is believed to be the largest secular observance in the world and just this year alone, over one billion people in 192 countries are thought to have been involved. In terms of raising awareness in young and old alike, Earth Day is an initiative which encourages people to continue to be mindful of their actions on the environment and to do their part to help return the harmony that has been disturbed.

Koh-Tao-Earth-Day-2019-group-photo

 

As an island, Koh Tao recognises that we have a collective responsibility all year round, with hundreds of people conducting regular beach cleans each month. However, on the 22nd April each year, Koh Tao Earth Day allows us to devote a day to organise and combine our efforts to create a highly effective environmental clean up. With so many passionate individuals living and visiting Koh Tao, there is always scope for an impressive event.

 

Impressive Results

Koh Tao Earth Day 2019 was no different! The day started with a land clean up in the morning, with several designated areas across the island that were cleaned by over 80 volunteers. That’s an impressive amount considering our little island is only about 21km squared! All volunteers spent a solid 2 or 3 hours in the 34 degree Celsius heat picking up any trash they could find and sorting it out into general and recyclable. By 11am, the total land clean up reached 984 kg which almost half of it was recyclable.

cigarette-butts

 

The attitude in the afternoon was no different, almost 100 divers took part in underwater clean ups, with most recording their clean ups as a Dive Against Debris and submitting their data to Project AWARE. A total of 219kg of trash was removed from the waters surrounding Koh Tao, with over 20 dive schools spreading their efforts across the beautiful local dive sites.  It was amazing to see so many people join forces to help combat one of the biggest problems that Koh Tao faces – pollution.

plastic-bottle-in-the-ocean

 

It would have been wrong to not celebrate this amazing effort. On the evening, hundreds of people gathered to socialise, enjoy games of bingo and win some fabulous eco-related prizes, kindly donated by many of the dive shops and small businesses on Koh Tao.

It is days like this where the quote “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean” really comes alive.

divers-getting-ready-for-cleanup

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