Bali, Beautiful but damaged

Dear Readers,

During my travels I spent 3 weeks volunteering in bali, a beautiful island in Indonesia. I had a wonderful time there exploring the natural beauty the island has to offer, meeting another like-minded vegan girl who joined me in teaching Indonesian children about caring for the environment.

 

 

Discovering secret waterfalls, watching monkey’s in their natural habitat and climbing barefoot through a hidden canyon were just a few of my favourite moments. Its safe to say Bali was my favourite country I visited in the 3 months I was away.

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Bali, although beautiful, is undergoing an environmental crisis. Little do most people know that this small island contains the 2nd highest amount of plastic waste in the world after china. With respiratory illness being listed as the number one killer. The pollution has been a result of the growing tourism, lack of education to the local people and the amount of rubbish that washes up during the rainy season.

Originally banana leaves were used as packaging by the local people, but as times developed and through tourist influence of their culture, the use of plastic bags took over from the previously used leaves. Local people would originally throw their banana leaves to the ground once used, as these would biodegrade and therefore would not be a problem. Unfortunately Local people still keep up this habit, but this time it’s plastic bags being tossed away. This has resulted in rubbish everywhere on the streets.

Bali is overflowing with rubbish, particularly in the built up touristic area Kuta, which I had the unfortunate experiencing of visiting for a night when there was a mix up with our hotels. Needless to say it wasn’t a highlight. 

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Just teaching the children highlighted the huge issue with lack of awareness amongst the locals. When presented with these photographs (we found online) of the devastation in Bali (see below the photos I showed to the children) the children immediately denied it, claiming we were wrong, it could not be Bali.

There is no awareness of recycling or the damage plastic does to the environment. Such as releasing dangerous toxins into the air or killing sea life. Nobody understands that it won’t just disappear, its there for the long run.

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The time spent with the children was trying and difficult, having to start from square on. We had to start by teaching them simply why we need the environment, before we could even touch upon how rubbish damages it or what we can do to solve the crisis. Unfortunately, the children did not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the situation; continuing to throw their plastic trash around the school and damaging the surrounding area. It was an eye-opening experience. I now understand just how bad the situation has become in this beautiful island.

Nevertheless I throughouly enjoyed my stay ❤

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I will be writing soon about the restaurants I discovered whilst there so stay tuned!

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

 

Sri Lanka

Dear Readers,                                          11221772_10200773172009400_2654219686985017137_n

So its been 3 and a half weeks since I last posted…. I’ve been away volunteering in Sri lanka, working with both elephants and teaching english to 4year olds! Its been the most incredible experience although being vegan out there had its challenges! I stayed in Am
balangoda, a  small costal town famous for its devil masks, located near places such as Hikkaduwa, Mirissa and Bentota which are far more tourist orientated and feature beautiful beaches.

I exprienced and saw some amazing things which I will keep with me forever, including trekking through Sinharaja rainforest, mediating with monks and watching my pupils english skills progress with me throughout my time with them. Being in a 3rd world country was incredibly 11169475_10200773174009450_5393963272659028777_neye opening. To see the lack of development, infrastructure and commercial companies was in some ways refreshing. To see a country so untouched my man-kind, left instead in its natural beauty, is a such a special sight. Despite being a less economically developed country, which does have its consequences, such as poor sanitation, poor health care and lower living standards. However, as is often the case in L.E.D.C’s the populations life is much simpler, they often appear happier and even healthier than populations within M.E.D.C’s. 11222173_10200766999535092_5568935128322924864_nThis has been argued to be down to their diet.

Most of Asia eats a predominately plant based diet, due to lack of meat and dairy in their culture. In fact Okinawa, Japan, has the highest life expectancy in the world, with an average life expectancy of around 110 years, it is believed this is due to their diet and amount of exercise they incorporate into their daily lives. Sri Lanka, being a country in Asia, meant that the food their did feature high levels of grains and vegetables, for example rice with dahl or vegetable curries where the main dishes available and eaten widely there. This diet is highly sustainable and very nutritious.  ‘The China Study’ by Dr. C. Campbell looks at this diet in great detail and created the asian food pyramid, “As you will see in this book, there is a mountain of scientific evidence to show that the healthiest diet you can possibly consume is a high-carbohydrate diet. It has been shown to reverse heart disease, reverse diabetes, prevent a plethora of chronic diseases, and yes, it has been shown many times to cause significant weight loss.” -T. Colin. Campbell, The China Study.foodpymdBeing in a country like Sri Lanka makes you realise how simple and natural life could be, it makes you forget about all the pointless aspects of life back home which so many of us spend far too much time worrying about, such as owning the latest technology, having the best paid jobs, living in the biggest house, driving the most expenisve car, even silly things, like the amount of ‘likes’ a photo you just uploaded on Facebook gets. When you’re out there, surrounded by their culture and way of life, seeing how people live, 11267486_10200767007095281_3548749054077098445_nthe suffering some endure but yet still appear to be so content with life makes you brutally aware of how stupid and insignificant so many of the things we revolve our lives around are. If only we could just let go, even detach oursleves from this bubble we find ourselves in and take a step back to appreciate the real meanings to life, I think the world really would be a better place.

Especially considering so much of the problem is the amount of corruption caused by the addiction of some people to gain power, money and status, if you look at the meat and health industry it has been argued so many times by countless scientists, nutritionists, authors, researchers etc that the extremity and consequently damage from these industries is caused by the lack of care for anything but money, if the wellbeing of animals, the planet or even us, was even remotely in their list of priorities the world today would be another place. It saddened me to see the presence of the ever dominant fast food chains such as McDonalds, KFC and Pizza hut scarring the otherwise very authentic and cultural landscape of the towns and cities I witnessed whilst there. These companies have spread their damage so far, poisoning even the most untouched countries such as Sri Lanka, bringing with them the illness and cruelty and pollution package thats seemingly inescapable with places such as these. It shows how dominant and powerful these companies have become, they are literally taking over the world and it needs to stop. But until people begin to wake up to this reality more and more beautiful places are going to be ruined, more animals are going to die and more people are going to get sick.

But unfortunately people like this exist and will always exist and the modern societies we live in today in our western world are now so ingrained in our consumer culture of needing more to be a ‘better’ person etc that simple acts such 11018060_10200773172969424_109779863132485675_nas changing our diet to veganism are little things which we can all do to help us get back in touch with our planet in its most natural, simplistic and beautiful form. So if anything, this trip to Sri Lanka has widened my eyes, boosted my confidence on this vegan lifestyle I lead and shown the damage man kind can have on its planet if given the opportunity. Look out for my next posts where i will be reviewing more of Arbonne’s products,

Heres to a better future, until next time, charlotte xxxx