I like to think that I am a conservative shopper and housekeeper. I don’t buy much and if I do it tends to be second-hand. On the food front, we cook from scratch and avoid snacky foods, as apart from being unhealthy, they come in non-recyclable packaging. This tendency to be frugal has been strengthened when I came across the zero waste movement and did a one month zero waste challenge in spring last year. But living here in Bali I have realised how much more resourceful the locals are. They have put my frugal ambitions to shame.
A few weeks ago I wrote about Bali’s plastic problem and how hard it is to educate the locals that plastic won’t go away. That it is not like traditional packaging made out of banana leaf, which will decompose if thrown on the ground. Now I would like to share with you the other side of Balinese. The frugal, resourceful and sustainable mindset they have. Not because of some high-minded ideology, but through necessity. Balinese don’t have much money to buy new things, so they have learnt to fix things, upcycle and use what is cheap/free/local.
The lesson to be learnt here is to take better care of what we have, learn how to fix things and make use of available materials.
There is no municipal recycling and private recycling companies are expensive. There are local recycling depots where locals collect rubbish, because they can make some money on recyclable materials like plastic, metal and glass.
A Heineken bottle is reused by a local drinks producer for their own product. We didn’t like it, but you might 🙂 It’s always interesting to try local flavours.
Beer bottles can be returned to the shop, but I have not found a way to recycle bottle tops. Someone has hit upon an attractive idea of upcycling them.
I love this idea of upcycling plastic bottles as hanging flowers baskets.
These upcycled glass bottles are a very attractive lamp shade.
I hope you have found Balinese inventiveness inspiring. Which one is your favourite? I love to hear from you, so do leave me a comment or get in touch on Twitter.
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