We had everything you could ask for in Bali. Air and water temperature at about eighty degrees, not a cloud in the sky, the waves were six feet and peeling, the beach was almost empty. Just me, my wife, a couple of monkeys and… TRASH!

I hadn’t been to Bali in over 10 years. I was a frothing teenager the last time I went, so the only things I cared about were good waves and where my next meal was going to come from. I can’t remember if the trash was a problem back then, or if I just didn’t notice, but this time it was astonishing to see what each wave would bring as it washed up on the sand.

Straws, sandals, cups, fishing net, lighters, syringes, tires, toys, bags, you name it. Anything plastic, and we could’ve found it within a few steps on the beach.

Seeing the garbage covered shorelines on one of the most beautiful islands in the world was both saddening and eye opening. Now that I’m a bit older, I understand how serious this problem is. And it’s not only in Bali, it’s happening all over the planet, and we have to do our part to protect it.

There are many avenues of solving this, so do what you can to help. Properly dispose your garbage, recycle, adopt reusable products such as water bottles or shopping bags, or even use organic sunscreen that comes in biodegradable packaging :)

On your next visit to any beach, whether it’s your local spot or a tropical paradise, enjoy a few waves and think about what you can do to leave it better than you found it.