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Let's play for a Trashfree World!

Limpieza Playa Bocas del Toro Panama

If there is one thing I have learned while building the Trashless movement it is this; Everytime when we thought we knew exactly where we were going, reality seemed to be a whole lot different than we could ever have imagined. Learning to deal with setbacks and building faith that better things would come out of it has been the only way to go and there have been many times I wanted to give up, because I did not see how on earth we could reach our goals. I also learned that most of the time, these exact moments were the beginning of a new seed being planted.

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TrashlessGame Santa Catalina

The days before our first game try out, Arthur made a flyer for the can deposit point which said: "Before you trash it, smash it!" This would save the can collector a lot of drives and plastic bags and it would prevent bugs and other insects to flourish.

We agreed with the Panama Dive Center to introduce the game at their next cleanup and went to as many hostels as possible to invite them to join and learn more about it.

To our relief all the hostel owners were positive and praised us for our attempts. They all promised to come and some told us they had already seen somebody taking pictures of trash. (No idea who that was!) Sometimes they even said yes before we knew whether our message came across and it made us wonder if this was the Panamanian way of saying no. Still it felt quite motivating to bring our message across and we learned a lot that day.

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After using the Litterati App for a while, it occurred to us, that we must find a way to change the virgin grounds of Panama (when it comes to litterati usage) into a databank of registered items.

For the record, Litterati is an app that gathers data through the pictures people make of rubbish found on the streets. Can you imagine the look on peoples faces when they saw these two tourists walking by while making pictures of their trash? They must have wondered why we seemed more interested in the trash on their streets than in the beautiful surroundings all the other tourists were taking pictures of.

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Beach cleanup Santa Catalina

I figured, I needed a guitar to perform on the streets and in hostels in order to financially support our mission. So before heading to Santa Catalina, we first needed to fix my lack-of-guitar-problem in Penonomé. I bought a cheap but good enough guitar in the nearest music store (panama only has a few) and off we went to the main road. It started pooring with rain and we waited like we were told…..and waited… Trucks with heavy engines drove by, leaving a gasstrail of black substance and splashing everybody in too close a distance…. and waited… The roads turned into rivers and more busses trucks and cars drove by….. and waited… We were breathing gasoline and black exhuast gasses and still no buss. So we waited a bit more…

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Green Team El Valle

We zijn zonder veel nadenken in het avontuur gesprongen en stonden naar aanleiding van een misgelopen afspraak opeens in Panama, met als enige plan om de trashless movement verder te verspreiden. Het is een ware kunst om hier met een beperkt budget te reizen. Maar wie niet rijk is moet slim zijn en die kunst verstaan we wel. Even reisplannen omgooien, een nieuwe route uitstippelen naar aanleiding van spaarzame betaalbare hostels onderweg en gaan met die banaan!

Eén week, 200 litterati items, 4 cleanups en 2 interviews later….

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En nu zijn we opeens in Panama!
We waren er zelf ook verbaasd over. Mijn vriend en ik wilden ergens heen om de trend te verspreiden om met elkaar de wereld een stukje schoner te maken. Cleanups organiseren met toeristen en de locale bevolking. Interessante projecten bezoeken en daar rapportages over schrijven. Dat soort dingen. Maar helemaal in Panama?!

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