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Collecting rubbish on a romantic kayak tour: A special kind of green action

Would you like to change your perspective and explore the surroundings by kayak? Then put a paddle tour with IMPACKT on your bucket list. Because boating is not only green and saves CO2. You can also give something back to nature by collecting floating rubbish. 

While researching a sustainable leisure activity in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I came across the Kayaking Facebook group. In this, weekly kayaking trips are organised. When I told my Scottish friend Graham about it, I had the idea of fishing rubbish out of the river during the kayak trip. No sooner said than done. We met one afternoon at the Kayaking Centre at Fah Ham Temple's Pier, where the boats were available for hire. Since the rental is on temple grounds, it is organised by Buddhist monks. That's why the cost is only €1.40 per person. So even if you're on a budget, you can afford the one-off taxi ride with the electric tuk-tuk if your accommodation is a bit out of the way. If you go with Mr. Chat, please give him my best regards. And if you're already there, it's worth visiting the temple for free and talking to monks. 

But back to the kayak: when we arrived at the pier, we were allowed to choose a life jacket, packed the rubbish bag between us on the boat and then we were off. As is the way with kayaking, we went round in circles at the beginning. But after a while we got the hang of it. "Why didn't I do that before? I live just around the corner," Graham wondered as we relaxed and floated down the Mae Nam Ping River - one of the four largest rivers in northern Thailand. I agreed with him: "We should do sustainable travel things like that more often." Less than a minute later, we spotted a floating bottle and caught the first plastic catch of the day. By then Graham was already alerting me to the next piece of rubbish: "On one o'clock." "Ai, ai, Captain," I joked, grabbing the floating plastic bag. 

Speaking of plastic. In the region, unfortunately, there are almost no bins in the cities, which is why so much waste ends up in the waterways. That's why there are organisations like River Cleanup, which advocate for joint cleanups, workshops and information sessions, as well as long-term change. Since there are no River Cleanups in Chiang Mai yet and I found out about them too late, I unfortunately didn't manage to organise one myself. If you are a real organiser, why don't you get your people together at home? Or just check here if there is one near you or at your next destination. 

We were really surprised how much rubbish we were able to catch in just two hours: From plastic bottles, bags, a complete shopping bag with a houseplant and even a fishing hook, there was everything. Because in the evening, as a kayaker:in real life, you have to watch out that you don't get into the fishing rods of the fisher:ins. They sit like frogs along both banks and you have to manoeuvre your way between them. Sounds more dramatic than it is. But that's probably why we discovered this fishing hook. 

During our tour we also had a very special encounter. While I was freeing a plastic cup from a bank scrub, local residents were watching us. We quickly got into conversation with them and were spontaneously invited for tea by the elderly, quiet Thai Tor Thitichai. Mr. Thitichai - the gentleman in the blue T-shirt - thought our plastic waste collection campaign was very cool and wanted to know more about it. "Just come up", Mr. Thitichai encouraged us when we hesitated a bit. So we hoisted our kayak up the next embankment and climbed over the fence into his garden. There we were greeted joyfully by the puppy named Lucky. It turned out that the garden with coffee belonged to Mr. Thitichai's handicraft shop called Fai Sor Kam. Unfortunately, all the furniture had been swept away in the recent flood, so there was only a coffee cart and a few seats and tables outside. This did not bother us at all. We were in good company. 

After chatting a bit and drinking some oolong tea, Mr. Thitichai showed me around his shop. There is everything from handmade carpets, clothes to ceramics. "I design the product that my concept is zero waste products," he tells me and goes on to say that he works with local suppliers and pays attention to organic quality. In addition, he collaborates with Thai artists like Bill, who made our tea, and lets them hang their artwork in his shop. He also emphasises that the issue of sustainability is very close to his heart and that he picks up rubbish himself from time to time. "You do a great job," he emphasised, and I remembered how he had given us a laughing thumbs-up earlier when we told him about our action from the kayak. As the sun set, it was time to leave. After Graham and I thanked him again for his hospitality, we kayaked back towards the sunset. 

This day showed us that sustainable travel is always good for a surprise. So if you also want to meet local people, try things like collecting rubbish while kayaking. The locals will find you and you will naturally start talking. You can also enjoy the beauty of nature and see the city from a different perspective. It's a great way to practice plastic-free travel and have an IMPACT on your holiday at the same time. So, get out of the house, grab a kayak and go! 

So, when you're planning your next trip or weekend getaway to the local recreation area in the great outdoors, feel free to take old plastic bags in your IMPACKT suitcase for the trash. Who knows what little treasures you might find in the river. 

Best regards, 
Yours, Franzi

Collecting rubbish on a romantic kayak tour: A special kind of green action

Would you like to change your perspective and explore the surroundings by kayak? Then put a paddle tour with IMPACKT on your bucket list. Because boating is not only green and saves CO2. You can also give something back to nature by collecting floating rubbish. 

While researching a sustainable leisure activity in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I came across the Kayaking Facebook group. In this, weekly kayaking trips are organised. When I told my Scottish friend Graham about it, I had the idea of fishing rubbish out of the river during the kayak trip. No sooner said than done. We met one afternoon at the Kayaking Centre at Fah Ham Temple's Pier, where the boats were available for hire. Since the rental is on temple grounds, it is organised by Buddhist monks. That's why the cost is only €1.40 per person. So even if you're on a budget, you can afford the one-off taxi ride with the electric tuk-tuk if your accommodation is a bit out of the way. If you go with Mr. Chat, please give him my best regards. And if you're already there, it's worth visiting the temple for free and talking to monks. 

But back to the kayak: when we arrived at the pier, we were allowed to choose a life jacket, packed the rubbish bag between us on the boat and then we were off. As is the way with kayaking, we went round in circles at the beginning. But after a while we got the hang of it. "Why didn't I do that before? I live just around the corner," Graham wondered as we relaxed and floated down the Mae Nam Ping River - one of the four largest rivers in northern Thailand. I agreed with him: "We should do sustainable travel things like that more often." Less than a minute later, we spotted a floating bottle and caught the first plastic catch of the day. By then Graham was already alerting me to the next piece of rubbish: "On one o'clock." "Ai, ai, Captain," I joked, grabbing the floating plastic bag. 

Speaking of plastic. In the region, unfortunately, there are almost no bins in the cities, which is why so much waste ends up in the waterways. That's why there are organisations like River Cleanup, which advocate for joint cleanups, workshops and information sessions, as well as long-term change. Since there are no River Cleanups in Chiang Mai yet and I found out about them too late, I unfortunately didn't manage to organise one myself. If you are a real organiser, why don't you get your people together at home? Or just check here if there is one near you or at your next destination. 

We were really surprised how much rubbish we were able to catch in just two hours: From plastic bottles, bags, a complete shopping bag with a houseplant and even a fishing hook, there was everything. Because in the evening, as a kayaker:in real life, you have to watch out that you don't get into the fishing rods of the fisher:ins. They sit like frogs along both banks and you have to manoeuvre your way between them. Sounds more dramatic than it is. But that's probably why we discovered this fishing hook. 

During our tour we also had a very special encounter. While I was freeing a plastic cup from a bank scrub, local residents were watching us. We quickly got into conversation with them and were spontaneously invited for tea by the elderly, quiet Thai Tor Thitichai. Mr. Thitichai - the gentleman in the blue T-shirt - thought our plastic waste collection campaign was very cool and wanted to know more about it. "Just come up", Mr. Thitichai encouraged us when we hesitated a bit. So we hoisted our kayak up the next embankment and climbed over the fence into his garden. There we were greeted joyfully by the puppy named Lucky. It turned out that the garden with coffee belonged to Mr. Thitichai's handicraft shop called Fai Sor Kam. Unfortunately, all the furniture had been swept away in the recent flood, so there was only a coffee cart and a few seats and tables outside. This did not bother us at all. We were in good company. 

After chatting a bit and drinking some oolong tea, Mr. Thitichai showed me around his shop. There is everything from handmade carpets, clothes to ceramics. "I design the product that my concept is zero waste products," he tells me and goes on to say that he works with local suppliers and pays attention to organic quality. In addition, he collaborates with Thai artists like Bill, who made our tea, and lets them hang their artwork in his shop. He also emphasises that the issue of sustainability is very close to his heart and that he picks up rubbish himself from time to time. "You do a great job," he emphasised, and I remembered how he had given us a laughing thumbs-up earlier when we told him about our action from the kayak. As the sun set, it was time to leave. After Graham and I thanked him again for his hospitality, we kayaked back towards the sunset. 

This day showed us that sustainable travel is always good for a surprise. So if you also want to meet local people, try things like collecting rubbish while kayaking. The locals will find you and you will naturally start talking. You can also enjoy the beauty of nature and see the city from a different perspective. It's a great way to practice plastic-free travel and have an IMPACT on your holiday at the same time. So, get out of the house, grab a kayak and go! 

So, when you're planning your next trip or weekend getaway to the local recreation area in the great outdoors, feel free to take old plastic bags in your IMPACKT suitcase for the trash. Who knows what little treasures you might find in the river. 

Best regards, 
Yours, Franzi

Discover IMPACKT IP1

Discover IMPACKT IP1

IP1 Beautycase

Colour: flora pink

€69.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: iron grey

Size: M

€149.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: lava black

€69.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: Garden Apricot

€69.95*
Wheel set

Colour: polar white

€19.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: iron grey

Size: L

€159.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Sunset Yellow LTD

Size: S

€139.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: polar white

€39.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Garden Apricot

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: sunset yellow

Size: M

€149.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: flora pink

€39.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: iron grey

€39.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Spring Green

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: polar white

Size: M

€149.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Lava Black LTD

Size: S

€139.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Spring Green

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: polar white

€69.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: deep sea green

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: Garden Apricot

€39.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: glacier blue

€39.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: iron grey

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: deep sea green

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: glacier blue

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: iron grey

€69.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: deep sea green

€69.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: lava black

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: lava black

€39.95*
Wheel set

Colour: flora pink

€19.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: Spring Green

€39.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: sunset yellow

Size: S

€129.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: lava black

Size: L

€159.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: polar white

Size: L

€159.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: flora pink

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase S

Colour: polar white

Size: S

€129.95*
IP1 Crossbody Bag

Colour: deep sea green

€39.95*
Suitcase L

Colour: flora pink

Size: L

€159.95*
Wheel set

Colour: glacier blue

€19.95*
IP1 Beautycase

Colour: Spring Green

€69.95*
IP1 Suitcase

Colour: Garden Apricot

Size: M

€149.95*
Suitcase M

Colour: glacier blue

Size: M

€149.95*