I was really excited to return to Kampung Blekok the other day. About two years ago, not only had we led an ecobrick training-of-trainers in this community… but I also met Cak Ali! Ali had joined our training to figure how to deal with his community’ plastic. However, Ali happens to be a super skilled carpenter and bamboo craftsman and had contributed his bamboo cups to the training to serve tea to the participants. I noticed right away his amazing craftsman.
Creating a regenerative bamboo cup has been my focus for over ten years– and I had been thinking more and more about shifting to bamboo from clay. So, Ali and I started working together. Over the last year he and I have been perfecting the Earthcup concept in bamboo. After ten rounds of prototyping over the covid period we are getting close!
Ani and my trip across Java took us back to Kampung Blekok this week to meet him and other GEA trainer. It was great to finally be able sit down with him person and work out the revisions for the next batch of prototypes!
It was also awesome to meet up with three other ecobrick trainers who joined us for a catch up. Thank you to Corry, our Probolingo based master trainer, for hosting us and driving together to Kampung Blekok. We enjoyed homemade snacks– a crazy unique and tasty rotted cassava) and fermented casava.
Ibu Yuli and Ibu Etik joined us. They both work in ‘Bank Sampahs’ (“Garbage banks”)– Indonesian grassroots community recycling centers. It’s always, absolutely fascinating to talk with our trainers who work directly with plastic like this. They can tell us all about the pricing and availability trends of a dozen different waste streams. They understand better than anyone how the recycling works, succeeds and fails in Indonesia.
We’re humbled and encouraged that even though they base their livelihood on plastic recycling they passionately advocate ecobricking. They understand deeply which plastics cannot be recycled as they are the ones who must dispose of it into the biosphere.
Cak Ali and I had a little private talk. We agreed it would great to gift our trainers, (who are already doing so much green work for the biosphere and who made a long trip for the meet up) with a great green cup to compliment their efforts.
And now… they are all set with the latest EarthCup model. 🙂