Down to earth
Celebrate the planet in more ways than one
You can't change the world in a day because great things start small. Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 and reminds us to be kinder to the environment. Guru lists a few places where you can embrace Mother Nature and ways to be more sustainable.
Environment-centric apps to make your life simpler.
Piphat "Top" Apiraktanakorn and Siraphan "Noon" Wattanajinda invite you to "Say No" to single-use plastic while collecting points and redeeming rewards on their sustainable platform Ecolife (ecolifeapp.com). Encouraging users to deal with plastic waste pollution while having fun, Ecolife offers an ecopoint after you have refused single-use plastic utensils or purchased eco-friendly products from its partner shops. The eco-activities, including returning and donating plastic waste, are also counted as ecopoints. What's more fun than getting freebies by redeeming your ecopoints is that you also get to build your own ecoland within the app, which will grow according to your frequency of taking action on eco-activities. Plus, for every photo you take of a tree you planted, one will be planted as part of their tree planting campaign. Find Ecolife's eco-allies with shops, refill stations and recycle hubs near you.
Are you trying to go green but finding it tough to know the right eco-friendly products or services? Download Green Card (thaiecoproducts.com), an app by Thai Eco-Products of the Federation of Thai Industries. Designed to encourage eco-conscious consumers to make informed decisions regarding their purchases, Green Card has gathered eco-label products and services and divided them into categories on the app, such as food and beverages, clothing and cosmetics. Scan the barcode of your purchased items to see why they're less harmful to the environment and each good shows a green point you can collect to redeem rewards and discounts by submitting a receipt.
DataTrash (datatrash.deqp.go.th) helps track your carbon footprint based on your daily record when you've refused plastic bags or have recycled waste. Developed by the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, it is a waste management system that makes your everyday habits sustainable at your fingertip. You can note down how many plastic bags you have refused daily or how much solid and recycled waste you have sorted before throwing away. There is no point and prizes to conquer, but what will pay us off is a better future. You can check the number of how much plastic waste and greenhouse gases you have saved on the app.
Yindii (www.yindii.co) is a food delivery app with a unique feature that sells surplus food at discounted prices. Chawin Asavasaetakul and Louis-Alban Batard-Dupre founded a social impact start-up that is designed to hook up Bangkokians with eco-conscious restaurants, grocery stores and cafes to combat food waste. High-quality surplus and perfectly edible items that stores and restaurants have to dispose of at the end of the day will be sold off at a special price or flash deal on the app. They range from leftover vegetables that are in good condition from supermarkets to untouched bakeries and meals from restaurants and cafes. All the unsold delicious items will be listed specifically in the app or will be sold as a Yindii Bag, in which you don't exactly know which food items you will get for the day. It's a savoury surprise!
Jump on the plastic-free bandwagon by replenishing your household and bodycare products at a refill station.
ZeroMoment Refillery (fb.com/zeromoment refillery) on Ramkhamhaeng 24 offers an extensive range of products to fill up your containers, from household cleaning products and personal care items like laundry detergent, scrubs and housemade soap to spices and herbs like sea salt and cinnamon sticks, to dried food and super foods like pasta, cornflakes, goji berries and cacao nibs. Don't worry if you come here empty-handed because they provide reusable containers for purchase.
This eco-friendly store/cafe on Phet Kasem 46 is where you can refill your empty containers of shampoo, shower gel, detergent and more, and more importantly, they are all organic. Lessplastic:able (fb.com/lessplasticable) also carries an array of lifestyle products such as tote bags, silicone food holders and beeswax wraps, as well as housemade food and seasonal fruits sourced from local vendors.
Normal Shop (fb.com/NormalshopRefill) on Nanglingee Road houses all the usual refills and environmentally friendly household and body care products, including body wash, shampoos and laundry soap. Besides boasting a range of eco-friendly products for refilling, the store also stocks a good variety of organic dried food, such as dried fruits, herbs and spices, free-range eggs, as well as gardening supplies like Japanese soil and peat moss. You can also check out regular recycling and waste management workshops on their Facebook page.
Make clutter count
These local recycling projects turn your pre-loved items, or even trash, into treasures for people in need.
Green Road: cat block
Don't throw away empty kibble packages of your pets because Green Road's creative reuse project accepts them with open arms and uses them as the main source for their upcycled building bricks. The sustainable social enterprise accepts pet food packages for donation, specifically plastic-coated and aluminium foil packages, to create a plastic brick in the shape of a cat. Each rock-hard kitty saves 4.4kg of plastic waste, equal to 44 sacks per block, and is available to be made to order for B100. Visit fb.com/greenroad.enterprise.
Won gives shoppers who have gone on online shipping sprees during the auspicious-date sales (who haven't?) a chance to clear out their delivery packages. They require you to peel or cut off any of the stickers or tape on the packages. Clean and dry them out, then pack them tightly into a bag for delivery or drop them off at a "Won box". Apart from packaging waste, namely parcel boxes and bubble wrap, they also accept any kind of stretchable plastics, such as handle bags, shopping bags and film for water bottle packs. Above all, a kilogramme of your waste sent to the reuse project is equal to B5, which will also be donated to local environmental organisations. Visit fb.com/wontogether.
Precious Plastic Bangkok
Precious Plastic Bangkok is in charge of the conversion of plastic waste into miscellaneous pieces of furniture, jewellery and construction materials for online sale. You can send milk gallons, plastic cups and food packages with the HDPE No.2 and PP No.5 plastic signs by mail, while the plastic bottle caps can be deposited at donation sites. Plus, the selling profit will fund their waste separation project for communities and environmental workshops for students. Visit fb.com/PreciousPlasticBKK.
It's just a few simple steps for you to prep up a used box of milk or juice or any drink containers for the recycled roof tile by the "Greenroof" project. Rip those beverage boxes wide-open to clean them inside and out, then stack them all up for delivery after folding and pressing them into a thin layer. However, recycled roof tiles aren't for sale but will be reserved at the Friends In Need of "PA" Volunteers Foundation of the Thai Red Cross Society to be used to build houses for natural disaster victims and underprivileged communities. You can either drop them off at a donation box at any of the 130 branches of Big C across Thailand. Visit fb.com/Thaigreenroof.
Return to the wild
Embrace nature and mingle with wild animals by embarking on wildlife-friendly journeys.
Witness the majestic creatures and learn about Bryde's whale and marine conservation in this fun-filled day tour with Samut Sakhon Whale Watching. Board a charming double-decker fisherman's boat to go on a quest in search of whale sightings in the upper Gulf of Thailand. Then, learn more about the marine mammal from a naturalist on board who is an expert on whales and marine conservation. The package comes with a seafood lunch set and free-flow soft drinks for B2,000 per adult and B1,800 for children below the age of 12. The Bryde's whale watching schedule for this month is April 24 and 30. Visit bit.ly/3rcQooS.
Head to Mun Nai Island in Rayong to embark on one of the best bird-watching experiences in Thailand. The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) and the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center, Eastern Gulf of Thailand, are in charge of the seasonal birdwatching on the tropical island. It's free, but you must book (via shorturl.asia/po3PE) in advance as Mun Nai Island is limited to 40 visitors per day. Visit fb.com/bcst.or.th.
Thai Raptor Group of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsart University, introduces a five-night wildlife watching trip at Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Surat Thani. The programme features dawn-to-night creeping on the fauna of tropical rain forest, while the highlight is sailing on a long-tail boat along the river to witness reserved wild animals in their own natural habitat. Expect to marvel at a herd of gaurs and elephants bathing on a riverbank, and the rarest sighting you may catch is when birds of prey hover and catch their food under the water. The all-inclusive private tour for five people costs B18,000 and B16,000 for seven people. Visit fb.com/ThaiRaptorGroup.TRG.
Forest in the city
Within the concrete jungle, there are a few green lungs where you can indulge in the peace and tranquillity of Mother Nature.
Benjakitti Forest Park has formed a new ecosystem to add green space to the concrete jungle as it houses a plethora of trees and plants, ranging from mangrove trees to evergreen meadows and Thai flowers, as well as freshwater swamps. The latest extensive downtown park on Ratchadaphisek Road doesn't only offer a new lung to the city but also a playground for Instagrammers as it features plenty of photogenic backdrops. Think of picturesque natural footpaths, a human-made archipelago garden and a 1.6km skywalk to get off the ground and indulge in the panoramic views of the whole area from above.
PTT Metro Forest
PTT Metro Forest, an ecological regeneration project on Sukhaphiban 2 Road, is designed as an outdoor exhibition to cultivate environmental awareness and educate visitors about local forest ecology. For example, the eye-catching high-wall hallway of its building facility is constructed of compacted soil and clay to help absorb and reduce heat, with ivy slithering down from the roof to provide shade. Surrounded by sounds of birds in high spirits, the park is bursting with lush, tropical greenery, with plants, flowers and trees that have been spruced up spectacularly based on their geographical traits. Whether it's a lowland dipterocarp forest, limestone vegetation, aquatic plant or bamboo collection, visitors can explore the metro forest by strolling on a skywalk or heading up to an observation tower to indulge in a picturesque panoramic view of the forest from above.