Recently a team from Tinggly traveled to the Indonesian island of Bali to install plastic-catching trash traps in the island’s rivers. By arresting the plastics in the rivers Tinggly is helping to eradicate the continuous influx of deadly plastics into the planet’s oceans.
Watch the entire journey story here.
At a time when the world seems to be in a state of great flux, it’s evident, that now more than ever, humanity needs a cause that will bring us closer together.
The American writer, farmer, and environmental activist Wendell Berry had this to say, “The Earth is what we all have in common.”
Environmental and climate change activists, like the young Greta Thunberg, James Wakibia, Autumn Peltier - among countless others - are rallying the troops around a common banner and a common goal - the global mission of protecting the Earth and its survival, the one thing we all share in common.
Around the world, many others whose conscience has been pricked, have also been stirred into action. Tinggly is one of those who have decided that actions speak louder than good intentions and it was time to turn Tinggly’s good intentions into action.
That’s why an energized team from Tinggly HQ recently traveled to the Indonesian island of Bali, with the aim of constructing plastic-catching trash traps and deploying them in the island’s rivers. By catching these plastics at the source our aim was to prevent them from entering the oceans and adding to what is already a problem of huge proportions.
This is our journey.
One change at a time
Tinggly, the experience gift company at the forefront of changing the way we give gifts, and the brainchild of serial-entrepreneur Linas Čeikus, is one such place where the future is being molded for a cleaner, healthier planet.
What started as a simple idea to replace the ‘stuff’ we gift each other, with real, life-enhancing experiences, has grown to become an environmental beacon for others to follow.
From humble beginnings to cleaning oceans
Tinggly’s founder, Linas Čeikus has always had the spirit of adventure, and the love of nature coursing through his veins. It was this combination that led to the entrepreneur questioning his reasons for doing business.
Despite the experience gift company’s success, the company’s founder was convinced that there was more to business than simply making a profit.
A conversation with Sir Richard Branson at his home on Necker Island provided Linas with his own personal Road to Damascus - an epiphanic moment that would determine both the company and the CEO’s future path.
Armed with what he describes as “maybe a crazy idea” Linas focused his love affair on the Indonesian island of Bali, a paradise with a dark secret. Bali and the surrounding islands were suffering from the scourge of plastics entering the ocean through the country’s many rivers. The Tinggly founder was sure he could do something about it.
Having fun while cleaning the planet
If Tinggly could actively promote removing these plastics before they reached the ocean, along with offsetting Tinggly’s CO2 footprint by 200% it would go a long way towards actively influencing social change.
The reality behind these changes was that even when people are having fun while enjoying a Tinggly experience they are still part of a movement to make the planet a cleaner place.
Armed with nothing more than a vague idea, Linas returned to Tinggly headquarters and presented his vision.
This vision was simple and involved a small team journeying to Bali and installing ‘Trash Traps’ in the island’s rivers in an effort to stop the plastics from reaching the sea. Thankfully the team at Tinggly HQ was 100% behind the project from day one.
From plan to action
Having explored the possibility of purchasing river trash traps from a company in the US the cost of over $150,000 was beyond prohibitive. It was time for a change of tack.
If there was ever going to be a series of Tinggly trash traps in the rivers of Bali, they would have to be both designed and built by the team at Tinggly. After many consultations, experiments, costings, it was discovered that the home-made traps could be designed and built for 1,000th the cost quoted by the US company. It seemed that this was definitely the way to go.
Before long, and a lot of hard work, a prototype trash trap was trialed in the rivers of Lithuania. It was deemed to be a success. The team was bound for Bali.
Halfway around the world
Once on the ground in Bali there was no time to be wasted.
With the valuable assistance of the local chiefs, communities, and government officials two suitable trash trap deployment sites were quickly located. Without their help, advice, and guidance the project would have many times more difficult.
With the help of some local fixers, all the necessary hardware was sourced and purchased, a workspace was found and the team got to work with the construction of the trash traps.
Working late into the night the team finally had the final products, two trash traps ready and waiting to be deployed in the Balinese rivers.
From idea to reality
Following an early morning start, the newly constructed trash traps were transported to the sites.
Once again, with the hugely valuable assistance of the locals, deploying the first trap went without a hitch.
The same went for the second trap, which was sited near an overhead bridge in order to increase visibility and awareness of the Tinggly project.
It was an incredible feeling to have traveled halfway around the world with just a dream, and hope for the future. But only shortly after the idea was hatched and plans were being formed, the island of Bali was now benefitting from not one, but two Tinggly trash traps and the first plastics were being prevented from entering the ocean.
Where to next?
After a project of such magnitude, there is always time for reflection. What was learned? What could be improved? Is the idea scalable? Did we pick the right locations? So many questions to be answered, but already the first steps have been taken.
It is not a short journey, not for Tinggly, not for the world. But every journey begins with a single small step and every journey made can be improved in the company of willing and forward-thinking comrades.
There is no denying that plastics are a major problem for the planet. However, every small step we take gathers momentum and the task at hand seems more and more possible.
It’s not a journey that can be made alone, it is a team, a planet effort, and every one of us is part of that team and that journey.
Together we can reach our destination.