Photos of a foreign tourist picking up trash around a beach in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, are making their rounds on social media, showing a refreshing glimpse of good behavior from tourists visiting the archipelago amid numerous recent stories about misbehavior.
“The tourist was picking up trash at the Mananga Aba beach on Nov. 3,” Servulus Bobo Riti, who captured the moment and shared it on Facebook, told Detik.
Littering is still very much a problem in many parts of Indonesia, and the country’s beautiful beaches are sadly not exempt from this bad habit. While most places (touristy ones, anyway) don’t usually get to the point of hosting trash clutter, plastic packages and similar items are often found scattered around, instead of responsibly disposed.
This is presumably what prompted the woman, whose identity is not known, to start picking up trash in the area. According to Servulus, she was doing so with two other people who appear to be local residents.
Servulus wrote on his Facebook post that the woman even told him to help out when he asked for permission to snap some photos.
“She said this to me: ‘Okay, but it would be better if you help us to do the same thing,’” Servulus wrote.
Mindfulness on issues of waste is still a challenge across the country, and while Indonesians certainly need to do much better on this front; sometimes it takes a little reminder like this to be more aware of the roles we all play in taking care of the environment.
On Facebook, several users highlighted how Indonesians also need to start caring more.
“Others are the ones who care… what about us…,” one user commented.
“All of us from Sumba should be ashamed for having other people come in and clean our home, not to mention [she’s] a foreigner,” another said.
Photos of the woman and her good deed that day are certainly a breath of fresh air, considering the frequency of tourists behaving badly and causing trouble, especially in Bali.
Most recently, Bali Police said they will step up patrols in Seminyak area after several videos of tourists getting into fights went viral in the past few weeks.