SAP (student action program)
Seedlings mini grant supporter
Students worked on 2 different projects
1)Worked with local school and educated children ages 10-12 years old about reduce, reuse, recycle (50 children total)
*beach clean up
2)Mangrove forest awareness and importance fieldtrip with the children.
Mini grant helped to make both events possible:
*cloth bags which children decorated
*mangrove tree starts which children planted
*billboard (children made spreading awareness of importance of proper trash disposal, and rrr principle)
I was fortunate enough to go on the Eco tour Kelly has started with Indigo Pearl Resort. We started the day with a sea kayak adventure through a section of mangroves. I learned several ways Mangroves are important.
1) Preventing erosion,flooding, and minimizing storm wave damage.
2) Soil absorbs harmful chemicals from fertilizers etc. before they reach the ocean.
3) Mangroves are able to use salt water effectively to grow.
4) Medicinal purposes, good for making charcoal, and wood is great for building.
5) Trees mature rapidly and are nearly self sufficient growing their seed pods from branches and shoots will go all the way to the ground to start a new tree naturally.
The following were started by other NGOs and are running successfully on there own.
Hydroponic vegetable farming
Mushroom grow operation using palm waste
Rubber tree farming is a steady industry that continues to grow with increased rubber prices. Thailand is the number 1 producer and exporter.
Trash and the lack of proper disposal is a major problem. It's funny/ironic that all Thai people are almost OCD about sweeping leaves and debri from around their home or business yet they will pitch trash everywhere but a trash bin.
Unfortunately the government doesn't help, making trash bins a rare commodity. This in conjunction with locals not being educated on the harmful effects trash has on land and marine areas makes this a difficult issue to tackle.
I had come across the dugout style trash bin when I was in an Eco friendly community out east. The concept is simple, cheap and very effective in keeping animals out. Literally dig a hole and put a lid over it with a handle. The lid itself can be made of a material that would hold up in the tropics like that composite decking material they actually make here. Getting funding either through resorts, government or grants would be necessary to get this off the ground. Kelly seemed to really like this idea, but if any Seedling supporters have additional thoughts it would be great to have them posted.
Just creating the bins brings us to the next problem. That is awareness of locals and tourists alike on how to properly dispose of things. Kelly through Sustainable Smiles works directly with the children in hopes that they will share information with parents.
This is not enough to change the older generations bad habits. Which leads us to the question Kelly and I brainstormed about. What is the quickest and most effective way to educate and retrain people to want to change? Money of course, possibly getting news recognition in conjunction with prize or reward... Government backing would be nice.
Although my time with Kelly was short due to her continued Ed in Bangkok, I could see how much she had I influenced the local children. It seemed she was not only a teacher but a confidant and friend to many of the kids we saw out and about. Everywhere we went "Kelly" was a name that was shouted out with glee in passing. She has clearly done an amazing job educating about environmental awareness but also immercing herself into the Thai culture. I am thrilled to have had this opportunity to see first hand how we at Seedlings helped to make another successful project happen for Sustainable Smiles!
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