There’s no denying the fact that Bali is a destination that has been hugely impacted by tourism. On the bright side, through education comes power, and more tourists are looking to support environmentally conscious businesses during their travels. It may have taken awhile, but Bali is starting to catch up when it comes to eco-friendly and sustainable options, catering to the new generation of conscious tourists by joining what has widely been known as the Recycle Revolution.
There are some inspiring movements going on when it comes to supporting sustainable practices in Indonesia and at the forefront is ecoBali Recycling. Established in 2006 by like-minded professionals, ecoBali works towards the vision of a Zero Waste Policy, implementing such practices as waste separation, recycling and composting; practices that are imperative to a region so heavily burdened by tourism. By providing recycling programs, education and drop-in centres, ecoBali are currently recycling 12-4 tonnes of plastic, metal and glass per month, along with 30 tonnes of beverage cartons.
Along with the recycling of these consumable materials, ecoBali are committed to innovative “upcycling” initiatives including turning discarded glass bottles into reusable glassware and using recovered fabric scraps for pillow stuffing. Their drop-in centre also allows local businesses access to recovered materials for further production, and these recycled matters are currently being used for everything from surfboard wax to bags.
Initiatives like this are a sign of great things to come for Bali; a region worthy of maintaining its status as paradise on earth. For those who want to enjoy their holiday without feeling guilty every time they lie back with a cocktail in hand, do your research and support the admirable businesses that support ecoBali’s practices.
The following provide a couple of examples of businesses that support recycling programs and mindful business practices. From saying no to plastic bags, to utensils made from upcycled glass, these are places well worth supporting:
Bali Buda Cafe & Health Food Shops (3 locations)
Founder of ecoBali Recycling, Bali Budda is more than just another healthy, vegetarian, good vibe café for the Eat Pray Love masses. This entity wasn’t created to follow a trend, but to follow a way of life that honors homemade, organic food and a zero-tolerance waste policy while supporting local organisations. The popularity of these little gems speaks for itself and is great testimony to the hard work and dedication of the staff.
There really can’t be enough good things said about Bali Buda. These guys not only make mouth-watering, healthy food, but they have made sustainable practices part of their standard procedures. Bali Buda source recycled jars from ecoBali to use for their soups, take away, coconut water and Kombucha, while utilizing the help of the local community to fashion paper bags made from old newspapers in place of harmful plastic. They use banana leaves and recycled paper to wrap their food, while washing their own laundry using natural soap and air-drying. If there is another establishment as dedicated to sustainability and recycling as Bali Buda, I have yet to hear about it.
RedDoor Villa, Canggu
This is where you want to be if you want to indulge without the guilt. RedDoor provides a contemporary take on luxury island living, containing all the opulence of a five star resort while remaining committed to environmental sustainability. This is eco-friendly chic at its finest, where guests can rest assured that their money goes back into the local community in ways that create positive change.
RedDoor villa is certified Carbon Neutral and parts of accommodation profits go to The Sabah Rainforest Rehabilitation.They have a partnership in place with ecoBali which guarantees that the villa remains committed to recycling over 90% of all waste on the premises. Guests also enjoy organic produce grown onsite in the surrounding gardens.
Let’s just say RedDoor Villa deserves the splurge!
Bali Recycled Boat Furniture
The name speaks for itself really, and what an awesome idea this is. These guys source materials from old boats around the Balinese islands and use the timber to create beautiful and unique items of furniture, from closets to coffee tables. They have fair trade agreements in place with local fishermen, buying old fishing trawlers that are too expensive to repair and upcycling them into kick ass furniture. The fishermen receive pay for the old boats, the carpenters receive the money from the furniture sales and the environment is saved from more damage, making it a win-win transaction for all.
The workshop is open Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM and Saturday from 9AM – 3PM. Well worth a look, with exports easily arranged. Check out their website here.