Australians love Bali and its one of their favourite holiday destinations. On the flipside, this has developed at a faster rate than the Balinese environmental management can sustain. Garbage has become a major eyesore on the island, and sadly enough, it is affecting the lives of both humans and wildlife.
One of the major factors that have contributed to the menace is the fact that Balinese tap water is unsafe to drink. This leads to heavy usage of plastic water bottles, and specifically, the no reusable 240ml Aqua-cups used by Indonesian school children and then littered around, they literally finish their drink and toss the cup because they don’t know how to do it any better.
As a part of her university research, Christine started volunteering in Bali hoping to concentrate on turtle conservation. While she didn’t have much luck in that field, she happened to meet Pak Yasa, a celebrated Balinese primary school teacher who keenly focuses on environmental education; together they created Bottle for Botol, a charity that purposes to eradicate the Aqua-cup menace.
The organisation aims at eradicating the horrendous Aqua-cups by trading them for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable replacement. The Bottle for Botol charity came up with the idea of providing the school children with half litre stainless steel reusable water bottles, which they can easily fill up from the main drinking water source provided in school.
This is how the organisation works; for each bottle bought by an Australian, it pays for itself and buys another for an Indonesian child. That notwithstanding, this organisation is much more than just sustainable bottles, they are also actively involved in educating children on the need for environment sustainability.
In partnership with primary schools in both Bali and Australia, they came up with a bottle design competition. This was helpful in educating the Australian kids, and then they also got involved in the selling process to their families and friends, all for a charitable cause. Not only do the schools learn more about environmental protection and sustainability, it also creates international engagement.