Hello dear readers,
I have been in Vietnam since January 27th, 2020. Many of you may already know this. What was planned to be just a 2 1/2 month trip has become a place to live since I arrived. We are in uncertain times, and things are changing pretty fast. However, we are also creating more than ever before, I believe.
At this very moment, I am willing to engage more effectively in environmental protection, and the way to do that as a foreigner in a foreign country is to become a professional in the field. After a period of 6 months of research on waste management, plastic recycling, and practical work in those two scenarios, and in addition, water treatment, I have decided to focus on environmental protection. This all started after seeing terrible images of beach pollution that I never saw during a couple of months in Muine. In June 2020, I started to get in touch with plastic recycling projects and was searching for help after being terrified by the amount of trash on the beach. The local population was not disturbed by the pollution, and worse, they were the ones polluting it.
Let’s put aside all the reasons why this is so and continue from where it is most important. The Republic of Vietnam is a very different country, and many things work here differently. It’s like everything is okay, and there are issues here and there, but above all, it’s a safe place to be with a peaceful population. Retired people from Europe or other western countries love to spend their old age here. The weather is always warm, the food is abundant and available everywhere, and the lifestyle is tranquil. Even in the busy city of Saigon, you can say that. Is it a paradox? Once all this ends, and you manage to travel, make your own experience. Vietnam welcomes everyone!
Back to the environment topic, thanks to Vietnam’s economic growth, the situation of nature is not the main concern of all people, but there are people with their eyes open to the fact that it is time to act and create some impact in the common way of living and restore some level of balance in nature. For the moment, my contribution has been to cooperate with different people and organizations to act in the management and recycling of plastic. I have also designed a new line of products that are made from rejected and different types of plastic waste.
As an action of environmental protection, this work needs your contribution, whatever it may be. We all consume plastic, and we all have a responsibility towards our own consumption and waste, as well as the opportunity to help the environment. Once we all have access to materials that can be discharged where they can be used for good and not for the opposite, we can make a difference.
Here are a few things you could do to help the environment according to these ideas:
- Store your plastic waste. Don’t dump it. Clean it, and separate it according to type and color.
- If you have an available area, store the plastic waste from your neighbors, friends, or relatives. This would be one step ahead.
- If you are part of any organization, such as a school, which frequently gets classes on the topic, you can segregate the daily plastic waste and even welcome the waste from the students’ homes. The same goes for any type of organization, like offices, shops, restaurants, temples, ashrams, monasteries, pagodas, churches, mosques, synagogues. Hospitals are a special case, as they need another treatment.
- If you want to add value to the plastic you already have in your hands and in the future to collect, to reduce the volume of plastic in the space you are storing it, create a sorting system: Sorting your plastic waste is essential before adding value to it. A simple way to do this is to separate plastic waste into two categories: recyclable and non-recyclable. You can also separate plastic waste into different types, such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE (high-density polyethylene), LDPE (low-density polyethylene), and others. Sorting your plastic waste makes it easier to identify which plastics can be recycled and how to add value to them.
- Clean the plastic: Once you have sorted the plastic waste, you need to clean it. Rinse it with water to remove any food residue or debris. You can also use soap and warm water to clean the plastic.
- Add value to the plastic: Once you have sorted and cleaned the plastic, you can add value to it by turning it into something new. For example, you can create a DIY planter out of plastic bottles, use plastic bags to make a woven mat, or turn plastic containers into storage boxes. The possibilities are endless, and all it takes is a bit of creativity.
- Store the plastic: Finally, it’s essential to store the plastic you have collected and transformed into something new. You can reduce the volume of plastic waste by compressing it and storing it in a designated area. You can also store it in a way that makes it easy to transport to a recycling facility.
- Creating a system to add value to your plastic waste takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. By reducing the amount of plastic waste you produce and transforming it into something new, you can help to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans. Plus, you can save money by creating your own upcycled products instead of buying new ones.
I want to emphasize that we all have a role to play in protecting our environment, and we should take action before it’s too late. We should educate ourselves and others on the importance of waste management, recycling, and sustainable living. We should also take responsibility for our own consumption and waste and work together to create a positive impact on our environment.
If you’re interested in joining me in this effort, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can make a difference and create a better world for ourselves and future generations.
Thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from you soon.
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