Gili Trawangan, the island of sun, sea, sand, incredible nature and of course notorious parties, is a very popular tourist and backpacker destination. First inhabited by Bugis fishermen from Sulawesi over 50 years ago, the island started to become a tourist destination in the 80’s after the beautiful surrounding coral reefs were discovered and started to attract scuba divers. Since then, tourism boomed and thousands of people started coming to the island for 2 main reasons: beautiful diving and the fun night life.
But can you imagine what happened to this idyllic island? Rubbish! Rubbish everywhere. The beaches became lined with plastic glasses, plastic straws, plastic bottles, take-away boxes, glass bottles, cigarette butts, just to name a few. Luckily for us all, the Gili Eco Trust, a non-Profit Organization committed to coral reef restoration, waste management and recycling initiatives, was established in 2000 to initially protect the coral reefs around the Gili islands from destructive fishing.
Every Friday, between 5pm-6pm, they team up with their eco friends at SeaMade to organise a beach clean to rid our beautiful beach of marine debris and litter. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to contribute to our beautiful island whilst you are on holiday, meet new like-minded friends and enjoy a free ice-cold beer after!
This picture was taken last Friday when they collected over 10,000 cigarette butts in just one hour! Flicking cigarette butts is still dropping litter. The filters are made from plastic (to stop degradation) and are full with toxins that you do not want in your lungs. So please do not poison the beach or sea with butts.
You can also check out the Gili Eco Trust webpage to see what other activities they have going on or go and visit them at their office (just a 2 minute walk away from Broken Compass). You can donate some money, buy some beautiful eco souvenirs or take an eco bike or snorkel tour! They can teach you how to be a responsible tourist, what are the most sustainable fish to eat and where you can refill your water bottle on the island to keep your eco footprint small! Fed up of your travelling clothes that you’ve carried around with you for months? Donate them to a good cause and check out their vintage clothes rail. They also have a great library and offer a free book swap.
Every little helps! And donating one hour of your time whilst on Gili will go a long way. Please always SAY NO to plastic straws. If you really need to use a straw you can buy a bamboo one here so that don’t create more litter!