What’s a perfect weekend on an island without the sun, the salty air, and an eco conscious mindset? For The Ocean Tour is a must-go event that supports environmentalism and ocean conservation. This event is an annual event by ProjekWaste, a non-governmental organisation that started with beach cleanups in 2020, and expanded into outreach, events, and collaborations — all for a healthy ocean and a healthy planet.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our second successful For the Ocean Tour! From upcycling silkscreen workshop to learning about turtle conservation, every activity has been carefully curated to amplify the goals of the event - spend time in nature and learn about environmental sustainability in nature”. — Zen and Marcus, Co-founders of ProjekWaste
This year, For The Ocean Tour was held at Long Beach, Perhentian Island, from 5th to 7th May, and is the first out of two sessions for this year's event. For The Ocean Tour Sesh One for All was curated exclusively for non-divers, and the second event (Sesh Two for Divers) will be hosted in September 2023. This year, ProjekWaste brings together passionate, curious, and like-minded individuals to experience and explore conservation and sustainability in a more intimate setting with only 16 total of participants.
For The Ocean Tour kick started with a chill and sunny afternoon at Harrera resort, where everyone played climate based card games to break the ice. Fun fact: the climate cards are made by ProjekWaste themselves. Pretty cool!
The purpose of the event is to learn about conservation while giving back to nature. Hence, the co-founder of ProjekWaste, Zen, shared an informative session on Ocean Conservation 101, diving into the recurring issues in our oceans, the consequences, and how we can play our part in it.
Things then got all twisty (literally!) with a creative jewellery-making workshop with Natural Mystik, a local shop in Long Beach that sells one-of-a-kind handmade jewellery. Everyone braided their own bracelets and anklets to bring home with them.
The rest of the evening was spent on the beach where everyone participated in a beach clean-up. Members of ProjekWaste gave a briefing beforehand on the simple guidelines and trash segregation. The beach clean-up was also joined by members of the public and staff from the nearby resorts and dive centre. 9.5kg of trash was collected and segregated at Long Beach! The day ended with a relaxed evening at Aman and Laut resort, spent with socialising and enjoying the sunset view.
The second day of For The Ocean Tour was a nice mix of arts, outdoors, conservation and fun in the sun! The upcycling silkscreen workshop invited participants to get creative and simultaneously encouraged them to reuse old clothes or garments. Hosted by Mabel from ProjekWaste, the workshop involved printing ProjekWaste and For The Ocean Tour prints on t-shirts, bags, and luggage tags.
Everyone was also encouraged to bring their own preloved clothes and items from home and participate in a Swap Corner, where anyone can trade their preloved item for another preloved item!
The day continued with a short boat ride to Bubbles Dive Centre, where everyone dove into sea turtle conservation with Penyu, a non-profit organisation that supports sea turtle conservation in Perhentian Islands. Penyu gave an engaging sharing session on sea turtle conservation — do you know that the hawksbill turtle is a critically endangered species, heavily impacted by the infamous illegal trade of its beautiful shell?
As the day transcends into the evening, a lot of hands got dirty with some activities around the conservation centre — digging a sand pit near the turtle hatchery, participating in a beach clean-up, and mending tarp for the hatchery roof. A relaxed and chill session followed after, where everyone went for a nice swim in the ocean, sunbathed, and tried stand-up paddle boarding.
In the late evening, everyone went back to Long Beach and gathered at Panorama restaurant for an early closing ceremony and celebratory pizza dinner.
On the last day of For The Ocean Tour, it was an early and productive morning spent with forest bathing and a clean-up hike to the windmills of Perhentian Island. Throughout the hike, there was a lot of trash laying on the ground and among the bushes.
The event finished off with a Climate Cafe session with Purpose Plastics, where Cindy, the founder, engaged with the participants on plastic awareness.
For The Ocean Tour was a really impactful event that amplifies environmentalism as well as conservation efforts. For upcoming events like this, do checkout their Instagram page (@projekwaste)!
Reena Nadhirah Journalist, Charisma Movement 22/23