Well, there’s something to be said about carrying the American Attitude towards life when traveling internationally and unfortunately, I learned this one in ways I didn’t quite expect. So after an unplanned 8 month layover, I have finally been able to begin to explore and examine the methods of civil defense and Fa’a Samoa. To the many who have wondered where I have been, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth – but may have landed at the far ends of it. I will apologize for the disappointment of the unexpected delay and assure all that my plans for continuing this journey have picked up as close as possible from where I left off on Sep 11, 2015.
The first thing I have learned regarding the disaster of pollution in the Pacific Ocean is that there seems to be very little respect for the land and environment by the population as a whole. There is no national recycling program, plastic water is a way of life, and litter is a catastrophic issue. This morning I was blessed to wake before the sun, the calls of roosters filling the air begins somewhere between 3 and 4 am even thought the sun isn’t even hinting at it’s existence yet.
The blessing is that an environmentalist and entrepreneur like myself has only need of a simple excuse to go clean up some environmental pollution. Today my cleanup lasted about an hour and a half and netted about 18 gallons of crushed aluminum cans while cleaning up approximately 1/2 mile of roadside. This does not include the quantity of plastics especially single use water bottles and metal lined chip bags that can be found everywhere.
Today I made initial visits to a variety of offices for the American Samoan Government including the Governor, EPA and Dept of Commerce. Currently there are no national sustainability programs with public information, or plans under development for a national recycling plan. However, there seems to be some private businesses and a scrap yard so, meetings in the coming weeks will provide some additional insight.
As it goes, the mental processes for conservation seem to be blotted out by packaging and collection systems in an area where burning trash is as common as attending daily church services. Either way, the ability to start implementing change here is based simply on the desire and ability to have meaningful conversations and real passion. To those aspects I am grateful to be back blasting to the world and updating this process as often as possible.