Khiri Travel Vietnam’s Recycling Events Seek to Drive Change
In support of International Recycling Day 2018, Khiri Travel Vietnam last month hosted three events across the country. In Hanoi and Hoi An, we began with our ‘Adopt A Spot’ campaign – an event that took us and our partners to two areas of concern.
In Saigon, we arranged a larger event where we held a conference on sustainable projects around the country with highlights of the work being done, while also showcasing some of the amazing new sustainable products available.
We would like to express our thanks to the teams who organized these events and a special thank you to all partners and attendees who contributed to the day.
In Hanoi, Khiri Travel Vietnam partnered with Blue Dragon Children’s foundation and GROUND Vietnam to arrange a clean-up day near the banks of the Red River. We concentrated on the collection of non-biodegradable waste, giving the local community the opportunity to send it to the waste recycling plant.
Despite it being a small event, the most telling factor of the day was seeing the local community lend a hand. They appreciated the effort we were making and joined us enthusiastically in the cleanup. A memorable day was had by all, and building awareness of the problem in the local community was an important step.
Tuan Anh, a street boy from Blue Dragon summed the day up perfectly: “Thanks so much for giving me and my street friends a chance to join this event. We feel very happy to meet everyone here and collect trash together. There is so much trash here so we did really hard work to collect it all. I hope that our activity today can make other people notice and next time they will put the trash in bins and reduce it if possible”.
We all look forward to returning later in the year to assist once again. We already have pledges from the local community that there will be a bigger local participation at the next event.
In Hoi An Khiri Travel Vietnam co-hosted the event with Grasshopper Adventures and were supported graciously by Evergreen Labs, Nvrland Creative, Xone Radio, Fred Wissink Photography, Market Bar Hoi An and Travel Massive.
We gathered bright and early at the Grasshopper Adventures shop to begin our day. After a short cycle through the old town, rice fields and local villages, we arrived at the cleanup site. Cam Kim island was chosen, since it’s a destination that Khiri Travel and Grasshoppers use on our countryside tours.
Despite the sweltering heat, the team of 23 participants, toiled away for over two hours before stopping for refreshments and returning to Hoi An via the local ferry. We look forward to returning there again soon to help make sure the area stays trash-free.
In the afternoon, we made our way to Market Bar and in conjunction with Travel Massive held an International Recycling Day event where we could share stories from the day, discuss future partnerships and events, and work on ways that as a community we can keep Hoi An as clean as possible.
“It was great to see so many people contribute to the day. The support of the sponsors and local community was great, and creating these relationships with locals is important for us as a travel company, said Thanh Le, Khiri Travel Vietnam’s event organizer.
HO CHI MINH CITY (SAIGON)
The aim of this event was to present not only theories, but solutions to the problems facing Vietnam with regard to plastic waste and non-biodegradable waste in general. We recognize the shared goals, yet different solutions offered with recycling, upcycling, zero-waste, sustainable building materials, and that both larger business models and smaller entrepreneurial ideas can work together.
In the morning we had seven guest speakers, who gave amazing presentations on their projects, the issues they face, how we can work together toward these goals and what people as individuals can do to start making an impact:
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Quynh & Truong Thi Truc Lan, Hoa Sen University – Recycling nutrients from cow urine
Jan Zellman, Evergreen Labs – The power of decentralized waste management
Tran Ngoc Khanh An, Upp! UpCycling Plastic – Closing the plastic loop locally
Mi Nguyen, Nguyen Tat Thanh University – Precious Plastic: Recycling plastic to 3D filament
Peter Cornish, Clean Up Vietnam – Clean Up Vietnam
Michael Burdge, Zero Waste Saigon – Every Action Counts
Tanya Mefta, Wholistik Permaculture – Plastic Bottle Bricking / Natural Building – How to build your own house for under $5,000
In the afternoon we arranged for some activities, with presenters from the morning demonstrating their projects, and suppliers of sustainable goods showcasing their goods. Again, thanks to Green Around the Corner, Organik House and Zero-Waste Saigon, for bringing their incredible sustainable products, as well as Wave-Ecosolutions for their cassava bags.
“I am very glad to see that the waste challenges in Vietnam are being addressed by many organizations and individuals from different angles. Some of the presented solutions have the potential for real systematic change and we are committed to playing our role in it going forward,” said Jan Zellman from Evergreen Labs of the event. “The funding situation in Vietnam is still challenging but the increasing openness for public private partnerships is improving the ecosystem and opens new ways of shifting the burden from the municipalities to create opportunities for private initiatives,” she added.
At Khiri Travel we look forward to returning to help Clean Up Vietnam and to seeing how these projects in Ho Chi Minh and elsewhere have progressed a year from now.
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