Responsible Waste Management Awareness Event for Earth Day

By Petrus Kanisius, GPOCP Communications and Media Officer
There are many simple ways to care for the Earth. Cleaning up the litter in Ketapang City Park and the surrounding area, carrying environmental campaign messages, and giving environmental speeches was the least that GPOCP and volunteers could do to commemorate Earth Day 2019.
Earth Day 2019 in Ketapang City Park. 
GPOCP and the Nature Conservation Volunteers (TAJAM) held a small local event where we invited the public to be more caring and willing to adapt an eco-friendly lifestyle. While giving speeches, the volunteers carried banners that read: “Stop Filling the Earth with Trash”, “Forests Can Remain Without Humans, But Humans Cannot Remain Without Forests”, “We Care for One Earth”, and “Orangutans Have Homes and Families, just like Humans. Be kind to your Neighbors. ” These messages remind all of us to care about the fate of the Earth and were inspired by the theme for Earth Day 2019: “If you can’t repair it, don’t damage it.”
GPOCP volunteers, accompanied by PhD student Andrea Blackburn (white hat), march with inspirational signs between clean-up sites. 
Through a series of litter clean-ups, various parties were enthusiastic to take part in celebrating Earth Day. All joined in picking up garbage and giving speeches about the environment and our responsibility for its well-being. “I am very proud of the volunteers who are so passionate about helping and taking care of the fate of the Earth,” said Terri Breeden from GPOCP. In this series of activities, there were no less than 65 enthusiastic participants from multiple local environmental volunteer groups, schools classes and their teachers, NGOs, and even Andrea Blackburn – our PhD student from Cabang Panti!
Haning Pertiwi and volunteers cleaning out trash from the canals at the local city park.
Vhe Sartono Tjong, one of the first members of the volunteer group Tajam, said that he was very happy to team up with fellow volunteers to commemorate Earth Day through tangible actions, like cleaning up rubbish. Several groups of school children and volunteers did not hesitate to band together and collect trash throughout the community. According to Haning Pertiwi, the mentor of Tajam volunteers: “All participants were very enthusiastic about participating in the special activities. They marched all day and chanted conservation statements made specifically for Earth Day as they travelled through the city.”
Victoria Gehrke, incoming Program Director of GPOCP, also commented on this year’s Earth Day activities: “It is a sad state in Indonesia, in regards to responsible waste management, when it is more strange to see a foreigner than to see trash on the ground. As I joined the fantastic volunteer group during their effort to clean the city park, there were many observers who were more surprised to see us cleaning up trash rather than the amount of trash itself. ‘Why are you cleaning up trash in Indonesia?’ some asked. ‘Because we are all part of one planet!’ we answered.
Mayi Achmad (GPOCP Environmental Education Manager) giving a speak about responsible waste management.
Thank you to all who participated in the event and helped turn our idea into a reality. Our program values the conservation and preservation of all the Earth’s wonderful environments and its creatures, so if we don’t care for it, then who will? Love the Earth in simple ways so that the earth can last forever. The fate of the Earth depends on mutual care from everyone, no exception.
2019 Earth Day logo (and sticker) designed by the volunteers and Haning Pertiwi – GPOCP Environmental Education Field Assistant