Want to learn more about how you can get your family involved in conservation for kids? Read on to find out about the Trash Hero Movement!
It’s all over the news. Billions upon billions of plastic garbage are piling up on land, floating in the water, polluting the sea, rivers, and lakes. The situation is critical. Sharing on social media to show our concern, hoping that someone else will do something about it, is not enough. That someone has to be us, and our children.
Back in 2012 while traveling in the Maldives and off the normal tourist route, backpacking in non-resort islands, we found ourselves literally walking on garbage. I naively thought that at the time it was just locals dumping their garbage. I didn’t give it a second thought, I didn’t do anything about it, I just hoped on to another island. This is what travelers do, right? It wasn’t my business.
Now, I see things differently. Now, I understand more, I think more. I am a mother. Since Roy and I became parents, we’ve spent four European winters in Thailand, and three of them in a small island called Koh Lanta. This is where we got acquainted with the Trash Hero concept. And my husband and kids have volunteered in two beach clean-ups. Find out more about Trash Hero and how your family can get involved!
Conservation for Kids: The Trash Hero Movement
What does Trash Hero do? They bring communities together to clean and reduce waste. We first got to hear about them via the local playschool that our son attends while we are here. They introduced us to The Trash Hero Bottle Refill program which essentially means you buy a reusable stainless steel bottle and you can refill it at no extra cost, as many times as you want, in many different locations across the island. Instead of buying plastic bottles, you buy these ones instead and reduce the plastic bottles waste. Can you imagine how much plastic garbage one single tourist leaves behind every time they visit? The NGO surmises that one bottle sold will “save” an average of 365 plastic bottles (one per day for a year), and therefore estimate that they have prevented waste equivalent to almost 26.5 million plastic bottles!
The people behind this initiative do so many great things at all levels. They take action, as in picking up trash. They raise awareness by motivating others to do the same. They educate the local communities, starting by actively engaging children through their multilingual kids’ program, connecting environmental values with hands-on experience of the impact that trash has on the local and global environment. Adults, on the other hand, learn experientially, backed up with information and workshops provided by their volunteers. They create sustainable projects such as the water refill program and selling reusable shopping bags. They inspire people, they motivate them, by demonstrating how with simple actions such as picking up a cigarette butt anyone can help and bring positive change. With a philosophy of “small steps”, they remove the barriers to change.
The Trash Hero network is concentrated in Southeast Asia, in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore, but also extends into Europe, Africa, and the USA. I hope they can grow big and expand further, I hope they can inspire many to be a Trash Hero in their daily lives even if the program is not operating in their area.
Mums, they also have a Trash Hero Kids’ Program, an interactive website with info and games to inspire children which you might wish to check it out with them here. It shows them that anyone can be a Trash Hero! And who is a Trash Hero? Someone who wastes as little as possible, reuses as much as possible and works to preserve and improve the spaces they are in, wherever they may be.
So get your family involved in conservation for kids with Trash Hero! For more information, visit the official Trash Hero website: www.trashhero.org