From this picture taken off the coast of Indonesia, I feel both sad and motivated.
Sad, for obvious reasons. There should never be this much trash…anywhere; much less at an isolated piece of supposed paradise, where surfers and nomads wander for waves and good weather.
But mostly, it’s a place where poverty has left its mark on the land and people. People who most definitely did not accumulate all these once-pretty pieces of plastic and treasures. It came from elsewhere – so why should the residents be left with the not-so-pretty result?
At the same time, the picture motivates me to put forth even more effort when it comes to an important Hawaiian value, malama aina. It means to take care of the land to preserve precious resources that are quickly becoming scarce in today’s society.
We can do this by picking up trash – not only at the beach but also on sidewalks, at public parks or poolside at your hotel. Sadly, most of Hawaii’s litter ends up in our oceans anyway, so every piece picked will make a huge difference. Be on the lookout for voluntourism opportunities, such as early morning clean-ups at the beach or on hiking trails. They not only immerse visitors into the local culture but allow them a chance to give back to the community as well.
The picture was taken by Hawaii-born photographer Zak Noyle, who is known for his stunning ocean images taken around the world. This photo, however, adds a bit of variety to his collection of crystal-blues waters and pristine beaches. If anything, it opens our eyes to all this trash hidden among our world of treasured places.
Photo Courtesy: Zak Noyle