Apr 3, 2018 | BY Frida Ongre
Starboard has been working with Trash Hero for a few years now – acting as a centre for the Bangkok chapter. We do weekly clean-ups, eco-bricks and support their Bottles and Bags campaign.
What has made the Trash Hero Bangkok chapter unique are Starboard’s paddleboard clean-ups. We pick up trash from the local waterways around Bangkok on Stand Up Paddle boards. At Starboard we believe that the best way to engage people with ocean pollution is to hop a board and connect with the water.
Being in the blue element, seeing the problems it faces first hand and actively doing something about it – that is one of the most important experiences we can offer as a watersports company. We like to combine fun action with meaningful actions.
Future ambassadors for the planet
Lately, Starboard has realized the immense importance of sharing that experience with the younger generations. Education is the most powerful tool we have and we truly believe it is the key to change. No matter how hard we try – we are not going save the planet. Today’s kids are. We call them the future ambassadors for the planet.
Together with SUPKids and many other awesome ocean advocates, Starboard is working on a one-year curriculum for schools on environmental issues. But before we see that come into place, Starboard is already making progress with local schools.
We are not teachers, we are not coaches, we are not educators – but we do know a fair amount about sustainability. That is why we are teaming up with schools around Bangkok and hosting eco-activity days with students all ages.
We have had classes with up to 70 students come in to learn how to be a Trash Hero. Activities vary from clean-ups to making eco-bricks to creating their own upcycled waste designs. The goal is to get creative and change our perspective on trash. Reduce, reuse and redesign: that’s the attitude we want to practice.
Understanding the problem
Another part of the program is awareness. It’s important to understand why we do Trash Hero. That’s why we talk about the facts and statistics. We educate the students on the plastic pollution. However, the main focus is on solution. What can you do? How can you change your habits? In what ways can you influence your community? How can you make a difference in the world?
Those are the questions we want every Trash Hero student to think about. And it’s obvious that they have. One school reported that after their Eco-Day at Starboard, the students have started a campaign to stop selling plastic water bottles in the canteen and are highlighting the school’s water refill stations. Another school reported an increase in reusable food containers and water bottles being brought to school.
Starboard is stoked to work with young, bright minds. After meeting up with Melati and Isabel from Bye Bye Plastic Bags, who managed to get the government to ban plastic bags on Bali, we would love to see more members of the youth stand up for our oceans and fight for change.