I’d just like to say that I’ve been loving my time in Thailand so far! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve already learned so much.
One of the major themes of this course is the environment. I’ve always been very invested in sustainability as it’s the reason I went vegetation (minus my flexing on this trip). Throughout my first week and a half here, I’ve noticed both disheartening and promising sustainability practices. For example, I’ve noticed a lot of plastic on the sides of the roads, etc. I think this may be partially due to the large amount of single use plastic in their markets and other areas. On a positive note, I noticed that the Karen man had solar panels on his roof which is very encouraging. Additionally, some of the homes we’ve visited don’t have AC which would go a long way in minimizing a carbon footprint. If people in the US, could live without AC for even a few days of the week, the planet would be much better off. Also, I noticed a zero waste school in Chiang Rai. It would have been very interesting to learn more about their methods.
On our free day, we met two people who’ve traveled around Southeast Asia. They noted that in Vietnam people were burning their trash including batteries. Sustainability starts with education and proper infrastructure which is unfortunately lacking. It seems like there are dedicated people in Thailand who are working to make these changes as the consequences are becoming noticeable in the area. Overall, it seems like they’re taking positive strides but also have much room for improvement. However, the United States also has a lot of room for growth when it comes to sustainability. I hope to make more observations on the topic as I continue on the trip!