Zero Waste Saigon bamboo straws and cleaners

Sustainability Spotlight: Zero Waste Saigon

Zero Waste Saigon is a fast expanding social network and planet-friendly movement dedicated to raising awareness and reducing waste in Vietnam. The group provides education, community support and sustainable alternatives to single use plastic and are making waves in the war on waste.

KOTO: providing hospitality training to at-risk youths in Vietnam

Know One, Teach One. This is the mantra by which Vietnam’s first social enterprise lives and thrives on. KOTO is a non-profit that endeavours to end the cycle of poverty by supporting and empowering underprivileged youths. It does this by utilising what Vietnam knows best… Food.

Geoffrey Bawa – The Tropical Architect

Geoffrey Bawa was one of the more interesting Sri Lankan characters we learnt about on our trip. He was eccentric architect who got around in a vintage rolls-royce, loved a gin and tonic in the garden and was openly homosexual in a time when that was considered scandalous. He was also a leading proponent of ‘tropical modernism’, a beautiful blend of nature and construction.

Sustainability Spotlight: Original Source and Supply

Original Source and Supply is a small business based out of Sri Lanka that creates and sells hand crafted, thoughtfully produced and individually unique pieces of artwork, stationary, home ware and clothing. I was fortunate enough to meet the woman behind the brand to find out how it all began.

Sustainability Spotlight: Salvage Sri Lanka

Salvage Sri Lanka is a jewellery company with a difference, creating not only unique and sustainable products but also providing skills, jobs and support for people in need. Based out of Colombo and developed with the help of many passionate individuals, it’s an organisation built on two key objectives; to recycle and rehabilitate.

Plastic-free Lent: The Sri Lanka edition

A few weeks ago I posted an article outlining last year’s attempt at giving up plastic for Lent while living in Australia (read about it here). This year we are on the road, and I wanted to see what it would be like to try and live (or rather travel) plastic-free in Sri Lanka. In a country where single-use plastic is a relatively recent addition, the experience was mixed. It was refreshing to embrace traditional alternatives that are readily available across the island, yet disheartening to witness how ubiquitous items like plastic bottles and straws have become. Seeing how much of it ends up strewn across the landscape only highlights the work still required to turn the tide.

Giving up plastic for Lent

This year I’m following in the recent footsteps of the Queen (who has banned single-use plastic from her palaces), and in the spirit of preserving the beautiful ocean that I swim in most days, I have decided to give up plastic for lent; again.

Beach Cleanups on the Sri Lankan South Coast

When you think about Sri Lankan beaches you probably imagine picture-postcard shorelines of white sand, sapphire waters and low-hanging palm trees, and quite right too, because they are some of the finest beaches in the world. But what might come as a surprise is the effort that is going on behind the scenes to keep these beaches looking so bloody good.

Rice & Carry Table

Sustainability Spotlight: Rice & Carry

Hidden deep among the coastal rice paddies in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, a small company is making a big difference in the war on waste. Rice & Carry is a social enterprise that seeks to improve the lives of local women, while providing an alternative outlet for waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.