Just this last September I had the privilege of participating in CPI’s newest initiative in which we send a couple of employees out each year to different volunteer programs around the world! I had the FANTASTIC opportunity to work at a Hawk billed sea turtle rehabilitation centre in Bali! I have always been pretty invested in environmental and animal conservation, however this opened my eyes to a whole new level of understanding the responsibilities we have, in caring for our planet. According to statistics only 1 in 10,000 sea turtles will reach maturity…and this number is ever decreasing due to the pollution and destruction of our oceans. For example sea turtles mostly eat a diet of jellyfish, however a huge number of sea turtles have been found dead with plastic bags in their stomachs, it is thought they eat them with the mistaken impression that they are jellyfish. Extremely sad, and 100% avoidable!
Sea turtles are truly remarkable creatures – they are born racing for their lives as they rush from the beach directly into the ocean. They are faced with predators attacking from every direction and if they even make it to the ocean, they are still at risk from other predators as they grow and develop into maturity. These fantastic animals then remain in the sea travelling around 10,000 miles OR MORE every year, returning to the beaches on which they were born once they reach 20 years old in order to continue the cycle of reproduction. Sea turtles are incredible animals that need to be protected.
At the rehabilitation centre in Bali we played an active role in looking after the sea turtles that were being cared for in the centre, cleaning up the local beaches, collecting food for the turtles and teaching conservation classes at the local schools. There was a great deal of work to be done, and it was extremely fulfilling to be a part of! It is, however, important to remember that we don’t need to travel 6578 miles in order to make a difference. We can begin to make a difference TODAY by being more conscientious of the amount of plastic we are using and the way we are disposing of our waste. If everyone were to make even very small changes, we would see a remarkable difference in our environment. But it starts with the one. It starts with YOU.