By: Clare Bruce
Every year, a million Aussies flock to Bali for holidays, corporate conferences and schoolies parties, drawn by the island’s resorts, gorgeous beaches and laid-back lifestyle.
But we leave behind our rubbish. And so do millions of visitors from other parts of the world.
Tragically, tourism has become an environmental disaster for Bali. Visitors are dumping hundreds of tonnes of plastic rubbish each year, which ends ends up in the oceans and beaches, choking the life out of the delicate environment.
Each day there’s more than a tonne dumped on Nusa Lembongan alone, one of the smaller islands off Bali’s coast – it’s more than can even be recycled.
Running to Save a Pristine Island
That’s why on December 8, a group of 20 runners from around the world, including some well-known Aussie contestants, competed in the inaugural Bali Hope SwimRun event, raising funds and awareness to help protect Nusa Lembongan.
SwimRun is an endurance sport birthed in Sweden, combining running and swimming, with competitors entering in teams of two. Australian competitors in this event included bloggers, writers, athletes and social influencers such as Jackson Groves, Josh Lynott and Paul Newsome.
Bali Hope founder Tom Hickman said fast action is needed to save Nusa Lambongan.
“Everyone’s aware now globally that single use plastics are a real problem,” he said. “We see it on the TV, but living in Bali you come across it on a daily basis. Nusa Lambongan is a stunning, innocent island that’s just starting to be put on the tourist map. It’s an island of 10,00 people and is generating already over a tonne of plastic a day. It’s impossible to ignore the impact that tourism’s having.”
He had hoped SwimRun would raise $60,000 for the two charities Bali Children Foundation, and Friends of Lembongan. It raised over $38,000 ensuring the island will be better equipped to protect the island from plastic pollution. to The event also aims to spark change around the use of plastic, and ensure a sustainable future for Bali and its oceans.
To help spark change around the use of plastic and support the cause, you can donate directly to Bali Children Foundation.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
About the Author: Clare is a digital journalist for the Broadcast Industry.