Alila Manggis’ The Green Bank 2011

Dear friends,
We have just completed one year of thegreenbank at Alila Manggis in Bali, Indonesia and are proud to present to you a recap of what we have done. Let me just say for now that I continue to sincerely believe that it is a step in the right direction and am personally proud of what we as a team have achieved. We don’t aim to change the world but we certainly wish to encourage a few believers to make a difference in Bali. I look forward to hearing from you any ideas, suggestions or comments you may have to share.

The Green Bank 2012 Resolutions :
To complete the Collection Point, Sorting Station and playground for kids in the village which will in turn assure us of extended participation. To appoint a working committee from amongst the team at the hotel. To work at setting up the ‘home gardens’ in interested homes. To train clusters of families in different crafts such as candle making and re‐cycling paper to make cards and note lets, etc, so that as a home industry, our promise would be to buy back from them and sell them through our Alila Living boutique. To set up a better organised composting area. To continue to reduce the issue of non-biodegradable products in the hotel operation.

Happy reading and best wishes for a “Surprisingly Different” 2012. Thank you very much for listening …. It is your support that motivates us to keep going.

Best regards,

Sanjiva Gautamadasa
General Manager – Alila Manggis

Twelve months into the programme and we are still moving forward. It is time to take note of the strengths and work at rectifying weaknesses from the past in 2012. Our aim is to spread the concept from our little neighbouring village of Buitan in Manggis to a few more little villages within the vicinity. As usual, we ended the year with a customary collection of garbage, and completed thegreenbank banner painting, banners that would be used by us at their different events and sessions. A slideshow of the past year and their participation intrigued the children when they saw themselves on the TV set‐up to remind them of the year that had passed. A cake was cut and the birthday song was sung in both Bahasa Indonesia and in English, with a genuine promise to keep going in 2012 and take the initiative to the next level.

The routine collection of garbage continues with emphasis on encouraging members to sort the garbage so that they realise the differences. In our second year, it is our intention to take them to visit some Recycling Centres in Bali.

To continue with consistency, we need to ensure that we gain the support of the extended community and enjoy the confidence of the multiple villages in what we are trying to do. We aim not to make them suspect that it is we who earn the laurels for doing things through them and thus gaining recognition, both locally and internationally. We wish to engage them, and through theoretical methods and through activities, to introduce them to and teach them the importance of looking after and conserving our environment. Keeping this in mind, it is our intention to:
– Set up a Garbage Collection Point and Sorting Station in the village with the support of the village council to encourage everyone to dispose of their garbage sensibly while we continue to as promised manage it and collect it.
– Since having fun encourages learning, we will combine this with a playground for the children. At one corner of this playground will be a Learning Board for the display of notices, educative tutorials and information.

We walked through the village and beach with our neighbours on a clean‐up mission. With time we believe that they will decide it easier not to throw things there in first place.

On 5th August, we handed all participants a fruit or vegetable plant and showed them how to plant it in a bed laid out for the purpose. They would be allowed to come in any time to tend this plant which would be marked with their name. The intention behind this was to encourage them to do the same in their small garden plots back home. The small amount of produce they may generate will be bought back from them for use in our menus, once the broader goal is achieved.

We sponsored 12 older members (children) along with three of our Co‐ordinators to attend this event at the Bali Art Centre in Denpasar in support of the UNICEF Check Out for Children Programme where all the money collected goes towards inoculating children in the underdeveloped world against 9 deadly early childhood diseases. It included a demonstration for all on the martial art of ‘Wushu’, an art that promotes wellness of mind, body and soul. The evening ended for the kids at Dunkin Donuts and KFC – the good mixed with the not so good.

JULY 2011
Six months into our programme, still going strong and evolving continuously, we now saw it as the opportune time to recognise our members for the efforts they had put into making this initiative a success. Every one of the members who contributed in any small way through the collection and contribution of litter was rewarded based on the number of kilos they brought to thegreenbank on their fortnightly visits. We also announced the winners of the “Say No To Plastic”– Recycled Bag Painting Competition that was held among the members.

MAY & JUNE 2011
Our members continue to bring in litter from their homes and the vicinity around them more diligently. The amounts continue to be recorded. Now being six months into the commencement of the initiative, we decided to total the quantities brought by each member and reward them based on their contribution. Each member was to be recognised, however big or small their contribution had been, as a means of keeping them motivated to continue.

We used our discarded bed sheets to make bags that the members could use next time they go to a shop. We encouraged them to paint a message and a picture on them using some natural colours made of chocolate, beetroot and carrot as well as some regular paints. Of course, the paints were more popular among the kids – they had fun and so did we. We selected the top ten which were displayed on the hotel grounds during afternoon tea time, inviting guests to judge which one was the best in their opinion.

APRIL 2011
Earth Day was on the 22nd of the month. It also coincided with the Saraswathi Festival and ceremony in Bali – where the Hindus worship books and education. In order to ensure that we did not disrupt or get limited attendance for our Earth Day activity, we held it earlier on 20th April 2011. All of our registered members, 60 in all, along with some guests converged on the village our members come from. Upto now, they had been collecting and depositing with us the waste from their individual homes and not the waste that is strewn around the lanes and roads and land spaces. In the past, the hotel staff would do a Gotong Royong (a Balinese concept meaning ‘Together, we can do it’ ) every Earth Day to clean the village for the villagers resulting in the villagers themselves not really owning the issue. This time they had to join in, and join in they did! It all ended with lunch and dessert at the hotel compound, and oh dear, we served drinking water in disposable plastic cups. We too are evolving. Till then, we will make mistakes too.

MARCH 2011
We lost our way for a couple of days here and stalled on some of the activities we had planned. We promised ourselves that for this programme to be consistently sustainable and productive, we as a team would have to ensure continuity by being more diligent.

We have now started recycling the paper we dispose of in the hotel and offer it as an activity for our guests through our experiences booklet. We asked the participants (mostly children) if they would like to learn. The enthusiasm was overwhelming. We registered and enrolled all the children over Grade 3 who were interested.

It is never easy to stay motivated when it comes to change and introducing it to a group of people who live very differently. That is what we believed anyway. We sent out an invitation reminding everyone that 14th January 2011 would be the first day of collection for 2011. Did we expect a huge participation, especially considering that in the invitation we had purposely left out the aspect of a tea party afterwards? Would they still be keen to attend was the question on our minds. This time we had even more participants, 34 in all, and again many with bags of litter all standing in line to be weighed. A few had even taken the trouble to pre‐sort them into the different categories before bringing them to the hotel. Members of our team, Arnaya, our F&B Manager, Suastika, our Security Manager, Sudiasa, our Engineer, and once again Rantun, took the chance to share some information. We decided that from the next time onwards, we would pre‐program (??do you mean pre-record?) what is said in order to ensure that the participants gain focused information and in small doses. The afternoon ended with a glass of water for each participant. They left us with smiles on their faces, feeling refreshed that they had done something very good and positive.

In pouring rain, while we at the hotel had decided that the community would not show, we were pleasantly surprised when 31 people appeared, eagerly pulling their bags of rubbish for us to record and segregate, keeping us on our toes, so to speak. We did as we were expected. We were also planning to teach them how to recycle paper but this proved difficult given the weather so we re‐scheduled it. The afternoon ended with some Balinese sweets and water for each participant. They left disappointed that they could not recycle paper as they had hoped to, but with the knowledge that they would be back next week to learn the art.

27 December 2010
The staff and their families came marching into the hotel with an average of two sacks each of litter. The pillow cases were just too little for what they had in mind. Our staff registered every person who brought a bag in and weighed their contribution, making a note of each contribution next to their name. There was a welcome address and a thank you from Rantun, our Housekeeper, who took the opportunity to explain a bit about what negative effects can be caused, sooner or later, if we don’t start doing things differently. A tea party followed thereafter with some snacks, sweets and ice creams, juices and ice tea. A thank you note in Bahasa and English was handed to each participant. We promised to maintain a minimum of two collection dates every month commencing 2011 – a promise I am proud to say we kept save for on two occasions.

21 December 2010
Twenty of our staff live in Buitan. We met with them and asked them what they thought of our proposition. Their usually callous outlook to disposing of waste made me expect a frightfully negative response, but instead, they wanted to know when they could start. We gave them an old pillow case each and asked them to fill them up with litter that they throw out on a daily basis from within their homes. We asked them to bring these ‘recycling bags’ back to the hotel on the 27th with as much litter as they could for systematic sorting.

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