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Let's play for a Trashfree World!

Back in the Netherlands and already full with Trashless stories to tell

Barely two weeks back in the Netherlands and already full with Trashless stories to tell!

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Interview with a teacher in the Panamese mountains

Kids in uniform looked a bit surprised when we entered the school. We walked through the corridor and looked into old-fashioned classrooms on our way to Eny, the tourism teacher. She had already taken her place in one of the chairs that still have tables attached to it. Awesome! I got to sit in one of those chairs!

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Interview with Robert from the Plastic Bottle village

Plastic bottle village

 

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Community Beach cleanup Bocas del Toro

Plastic bottle village

The cab driver clearly knew everybody on the island. Trying to hit the gas whenever he had a five meter opportunity in the middle of a busy village, it must have been annoying to him he could only drive on such a small island. Every now and then he opened the window to joke with friends on the streets and when people asked him where he was going he shouted; "To plastic bottle." "What?!" "El castillooo!!" (the castle)

 

There has been one thing we knew from the beginning we set foot on Panamanian grounds. One way or the other we would make our way up to Bocas del Torro to visit the plastic bottles village. The taxi driver dropped us off on a quiet road, next to a castle that was completely made out of bottles. After six weeks of travelling, we were finally there. 40.000 bottles trapped into a frame of steal made a pretty neat disney like castle with three floors. We walked around it and admired the structure and paintings of fish with plastics in their bellies and signs writing things like; "Live in what you drink" "More humans is more plastic." "More plastic is less fish." "Less fish is less humans" "Drink it and build it."

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Fotoshoot The Naked Truth

Fotoshoot The Naked Truth

De sfeer was meteen goed bij de eerste ontmoeting. We nestelde ons rondom de tafel waarbij thee, koffie, lach en openheid gedeeld werden.
Eerst de warmte in ons lijf opnemend, elkaar horen en zien alvorens we naar buiten gingen voor een shoot.
De kou in.
Het bos in.
Ik voel mij bevoorrecht dat ik dit foto project voor Trashless en wat daarbij komt kijken mag doen!
Deze mooie vrouwen zijn een liefdevol feest in mijn beleving waar we van alles open konden bespreken.
De schoonheid van Natuur en het contrast van de rondslingerende troep daarin. De motivatie van deze mooie vrouwen om aan dit project mee te werken ('het was meteen JA!')

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Community Beach cleanup Bocas del Toro

Community Beach cleanup Bocas del Toro

After an amazing day with 30 students from the Universidad de Limón, we decided to stay in Costa Rica for another week to get a deeper understanding about what is going on related to the plastic topic. We already knew Costa Rica has recently announced a pretty ambitious and innovative project for the next 4 years: to become the N° 1 country in the world with an integrative national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics!! We also knew there are many places that discourage plastic straws and shopping bags, as many travellers already told us back in Panama. But for a deeper understanding we planned to visit a turtle rescue centre, visit the planet conservation centre in Puerto Viejo and a very active dive centre where they organise regular clean ups to ask them what they thought about the situation.

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Beach cleanup Puerto Viejo

Beach cleanup Puerto Viejo

New town, new opportunities. We entered Costa Rica on a hot and sunny day and got in touch with the Selina Hostel in Puerto Viejo right away to see if we could give our presentation. A young and passionate girl who organised regular cleanups for the hostel fell in love with our proposal and said: " I sometimes get the feeling all this cleaning is useless. We keep on doing it and the next day there is trash again. What a great idea to not just clean, but also gather the data and let Companies know about it." She promised us to make sure many students from the nearby university would attend and before we knew, more than 30 people signed up to come clean with us!

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Interview Jessie en Nicky van het Zero Waste Project maken Zero Waste leuk en makkelijk!

Jessie en Nicky van het Zero Waste Project maken Zero Waste leuk en makkelijk!

Het is even over eenen als het skype deuntje overgaat. Vandaag praat ik met Jessie van het Zero Waste Project. Samen met haar zus Nicky zijn zij in 2014 bij wijze van experiment begonnen met een maand afvalvrij leven, wat uitmondde in een veelbezochte blog, het schrijven van hun eerste boek en allerlei aanvragen om te komen spreken (zoals bijvoorbeeld op het Happinez festival aankomend jaar). Super tof natuurlijk! Daar willen we wel wat meer over weten! Ik druk op het groene opneemknopje en zie daar een dame van mijn leeftijd zitten, spontaan en lekker zichzelf. Zij was ook ziek net als ik, dat schept toch meteen een band he? Goed, daar gaan we:

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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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Litterati

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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Panama

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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