For many, Earth Day is a short-lived soul searching about our individual contributions to the environmental ills facing the planet. But for the folks whose livelihoods depend on the ocean—where so much of our trash ends up—April 22nd is a symbol of the consistent effort that needs to be put in throughout the year. Siladen Resort & Spa is one business that continues to put sustainability and marine life protection front and center, with their latest efforts taking place around this past Earth Day. While Bunaken Marine Park, where the resort is located, has enjoyed protected status since 1991, and sees almost none of the destructive fishing practices and overfishing that occur elsewhere in Indonesia, pollution from single-use plastic is a huge issue, as is the challenge of plastic waste disposal and recycling.
As they do at regular intervals during the year, Siladen’s team got to work cleaning up the plastic bottles, candy wrappers and other assorted plastic waste brought in by the tides. The resort regularly involves schoolchildren from the island in their beach cleanups, and gives presentations to kids about the problems of plastic pollution. Siladen Resort is also constantly looking at ways to reduce how much plastic waste it produces: Reusable water coolers have replaced single-use water bottles and straws are banned, suppliers are asked not to wrap orders in plastic, and canvas bags are given out instead of plastic bags at their boutique.
The resort also works to protect the local nesting turtle population by locating and watching over nests that appear on the island, and relocating them to better areas if need be. To date, they’ve released thousands of turtle hatchlings, and this week—right on cue for Earth Day—they welcomed another 85 olive ridley hatchlings to the world. Check out the video below of the latest hatching.
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