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September 13, 2011 / Wave Tribe

Bali, Space Travel, & Plastic Bottles

[dropcap] C[/dropcap]urrently 2 million people visit Bali per year, it’s one of the most popular tourist islands in Asia—not so much for the physical beauty, though that is plentiful, people really come for the cultural experience (we know what the surfers come for). What I notice most, besides the thumping surf, is the kindness and gentleness of the people. I asked the taxi driver coming in from the airport which type of people he liked best: Australians, Americans, or Japanese? He looked at me and said, “Balinese like all people, we welcome everyone no matter where they are from.” He continued, “unless you make trouble, then we don’t mind if you leave.” I love that attitude and I know that he was straight up serious with me, my Western mind likes to qualify people and things and his island commentary reminded me of the importance of accepting all people without judgement, unless they do bad, which is great advice.

When you are in a place like Bali you start to think about how to protect these beautiful one-of-a-kind exotic locations. I first came to Bali over 20 years ago, it is a different place than it was and yet it is the same place. As one of my Asian friends said to me, “same same, but different.” Walking on the beach at Kuta on the way to the surf there is trash along the shore—mostly plastic food wrappers and plastic water bottles. Can’t someone come up with an alternative to plastic water bottles? You know it takes 500 years for plastic to decompose. I was stoked to see the ColaCola-Quiksilver tractor combing the beach in the morning, I love when corporate America invests in these type of projects, putting some of their money towards cleaning up the mess that they create with their packaging. It’s not the corporation’s fault really, they didn’t tell the customer to dispose of the water bottle on the beach when done. But it is their fault for not designing an alternative to plastic.

I am reading this book on innovative entrepreneurs and it’s talking about what Richard Branson has done with Virgin Galactic. Richard has essentailly kicked NASA’s butt and is about to offer private flights into space for 200K. Did you know that once these flights are up and running a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney will only take two hours?

Surf Rincon in the morning and Bells in the afternoon, how cool is that?

We can send people into space but we can’t come up with an alternative to plastic?

I am writing Richard right now, let’s call it Virgin Elastic not Plastic!


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