As part of our activities for International Clean-Up Day 2010, Narima Diving and Scubafish staff (plus many of our local business friends) went back to school!
The diving community have a responsibility to foster environmental awareness, responsible attitudes and values. Narima Diving & Scubafish aim to encourage positive action, and inspire a change in personal behaviour, highlighting the value of our natural resources. Or:
Think global, act local. Today, for Tomorrow.
So on a local level we set out to enthuse and influence the thinking and attitudes of the next generation, through a series of fun environmental and educational activities (or stations), which we presented to the 70+ local schoolchildren of Ban Klong Hin School.
Station: Re-Use and Recycle!
Tetra Pak (Thailand) Ltd. has launched a new campaign entitled ‘Green Roof Project for Princess Pa Foundation’ in collaboration with Princess Pa Foundation, Thai Red Cross Society and Big C Supercenter.
Narima Diving & Scubafish introduced the schoolchildren to this project with cartoons and videos, and then got stuck in.
This Project calls for the thai public to participate in collecting four million used UHT beverage cartons which will be recycled and made into 2,000 roof tiles for charity.
These roof tiles/sheets will then be presented to the Princess Pa Foundation, and Thai Red Cross Society, to help support victims of natural disasters, especially flood victims, throughout Thailand. These rooftops will be used in home building projects within these disaster-hit communities.
The campaign plans to amass the four million UHT cartons (about 40 tonnes) by the end of this year. The recycling of four million cartons would help shave off 36 tonnes of carbon missions.
Tetra also collecting discarded milk cartons from various schools, to turn them into materials used for making tables and chairs for rural areas within Thailand.
The children had all been asked to bring in used cartons with them and were shown how to “Cut, Clean, and Collect” these cartons to be re-used for a worthy cause. Everyone had a go, and the school now has its own collection point for future use!
A large part of Narima Diving & Scubafish’s Intl. Clean Up Day Fundraising this year aims to improve community recycling facilities around Kantiang Bay. Through sponsorship and fundraising we will create a Recycling Station for Plastic bottles, Cans, Glass bottles.
The children of Baan Klong Hin School all did their part by painting small mosaic tiles, which will be used to decorate this Community Recycling Station once it is completed.(They even managed to paint within the lines!)
Project AWARE have put a special emphasis this year on the plight of the worlds shark populations with their ‘Protect the Sharks Campaign’.
Working and living in Thailand you soon become aware that the majority of Thai people are petrified of sharks, and so we set out to try and change these school-children’s perceptions and show the ecological importance of these often misunderstood animals.
As expected when we asked what the children thought of sharks they all answered that they are scared of sharks, because they will bite them and eat them.
A Presentation in thai, posters and photos of the main 3 types of sharks found in the Andaman Sea; the whaleshark, leopard shark and blacktip reef shark, were shown and discussed. Everyone watched a video of Whalesharks, taken during dives around Lanta, which included what they eat, where in this area they are seen and why they are endangered.
To demonstrate to the children just how massive a whaleshark could be, 12 children stood next to each other with their arms open…this certainly didn’t fit in the classroom, and the children were very impressed!
We also discussed why we need sharks, and the dangers facing sharks including how long it takes them to reach maturity and the problems with shark finning.
As this station came to a close the children were asked a second time what they thought of sharks, and this time only a few in each group said that they were still scared – although not of leopard sharks and whalesharks anymore (but of blacktip reef sharks!)
Station :The Plague of the Plastic Bag
Last year Narima Diving & Scubafish launched it’s “Do Something Drastic, Say No to Plastic’ Campaign. Remaining with this theme we examined the environmental problems caused by our over-dependence on plastic bags.
Together we discovered that:
-600,000 plastic bags are given out every day in Bangkok.
-1,800 Tonnes of plastic bags are disposed of every day in Bangkok.
-If you laid all the plastic bags that thai people use in one year end to end they would reach to the moon and back 7 times!
Yet plastic bags take between 200 and 1000 years to breakdown.
The group discussed alternatives to single use plastic bags, and how if we do not not properly dispose of them, many of these discarded bags end up in rivers and the sea where they cause years of damage to the marine environment.
Using photos of seals, dolphins, turtles, and sea birds all of which were either entangled, or eating plastic bags, we explored the dangers of plastic bags to marine animals.
We discussed how when an animal becomes entangled, it’s ability to swim and therefore catch prey is effected, in addition to causing stunted growth and restricted circulation. We also discussed how if animals ingest bits of plastic they may suffocate, or their digestive system becomes blocked.
Demonstration time: We illustrated how difficult it is to catch food if you are entangled with a fun game!
Kids had to imagine that they were a turtle or dolphin, and pretend that their index finger and thumb was their mouth. Using only these fingers we timed how long it took to catch and remove our little fishes (made from old diving fins) from a small tank of water.
Next we wrapped elastic bands around these fingers and got them to try again…it took a lot longer to catch the food this time, and the kids also found that it was nearly impossible to pick up these fish without getting small bits of plastic which were floating in the water too.
All in all, the day was a huge success with children and staff alike. The dive team were even roped in to games of marbles, dancing to the Why Not? Bar band and much, much more! We are still not sure who was more exhausted at home time…the children or us!
Narima Diving and Scubafish wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the following local businesses and sponsors for their support, help and funds towards this community school day:
- Why Not? Bar – Thank you for your fabulous entertainment courtesy of the band, and for providing so many people with lunch to fuel the day!
- The Houben – Thank you for providing the sweets and pudding;)
- Pimalai – As always, we thank you, especially for your cookies.
- Kantiang See Villa – Thank you for coming along and supplying milk and snacks for the children.
- Dream Team – Thank you for your drinks and syrup.
- Nine Art Gallery – Thank you for creating the beautiful mosaics for the children to paint.
- Baan Laanta Resort & Spa – Thank you for providing the paints and the wooden tiles to be decorated.
- Narima Resort – Thank you for your generous donation.
- Same, Same but Different Restaurant – Thank you for your kind donation, and for joining and helping us on the day.
- Drunken Sailors – Thank you also for your donation, time on the day and some fabulous photos.
- Anti -Gravity Divers – Thank you for joining with us and donating to this event.