Thailand – Recycling and Sustainability Workshop

Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Asia or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.

 

Join a diverse, multidimensional and constantly developing volunteer program that focuses on recycling and sustainability in Thailand! The goal of this program is to clean up Sing Buri, repurpose plastic, increase awareness surrounding plastic pollution and work with machines that will make upcycling a simpler process.

 

Program Highlights:

  • Gain hands-on experience working to reduce and prevent plastic pollution
  • Learn about recycling, the current challenges and how you can improve its effectiveness
  • Help create awareness in the local community about the importance of reusable products and the harmful effects to our bodies and environment caused by plastic pollution
  • Help develop or produce new items from recycled plastic with a recycling machine
  • Enjoy various, evening activities throughout the week
  • You can enhance your Thai experience by adding our Thai “Culture Week in Sing Buri” for an additional cost. If you book together with this program, you will receive a 50% discount off the culture week’s full price! *Discount will be applied to your final balance.

 

Itinerary (Minimum one-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK). Participants will be picked up from the airport and taken to their accommodation. Settle into your new home for the week and get to know your fellow participants.

Day 1, Monday: Volunteers will receive an introduction to the program following breakfast. Participants will then walk around Tha Kham village and head to Sing Buri for essential shopping. Following lunch, volunteers will visit Wat Phikun Thong for an introduction to Buddhism. Upon return to the accommodations, volunteers will receive a Thai language and cultural lessons before attending a welcome party with dancing.

Days 2-5, Tuesday-Friday: Volunteers will work eight hours per day during the week. Tasks will vary, as the program is consistently improving and developing further. Volunteers should expect to be involved in cleaning roads and canals, sorting used plastic and creating awareness campaigns. Depending on the level of recycling knowledge, experience and/or duration of stay, volunteers may have the opportunity to get more involved in research and machine building projects. On Tuesday evening, volunteers will have the opportunity to visit the night market in Tha Kham. On Wednesday afternoon, participants can join a trip to the downtown area of Sing Buri. Wednesday evening brings the opportunity to enjoy a self-service, Thai-style barbecue. Thursday evening’s activity includes a trip to the local shopping mall.

Days 6-7, Saturday-Sunday: Volunteers can choose to work on their weekends, or can have these days free to relax or travel.

 

Program Accomplishments: This program has successfully engineered a recycling machine that melts and molds plastic into new products! This program is currently turning old plastic bottles into hair combs. Roughly 100 combs have been made so far from recycled plastic that was collected locally.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Sing Buri, Thailand

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 8 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Recycling, upcycling

Age Age: Minimum age of 18. Age exceptions: Volunteers aged 16-17 may apply with parental consent.

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 20 international volunteers

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared, single-gender rooms

Food Food: Three meals during the week, two meals on weekends

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport pickup is provided upon arrival.

Orientation Orientation: A full introduction will be provided upon arrival.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, lunches on weekends, airport drop off, personal expenses.

Sing Buri is a beautiful, Thai town located 142 kilometers north of Bangkok. It was founded during the reign of King Rama V through consolidation of three small towns located on the bank of The Chao Phraya River, north of Ang Thong. The town boasts an impressive collection of temples and colorful architecture that create the perfect backdrop for the numerous festivals held during the year.

 

It is estimated that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. In addition to plastic dirtying our oceans, it is killing already endangered marine species such as sea turtles, when they mistake plastic for jellyfish and eat it. More than 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into the ocean every day, killing more than 100,000 marine mammals and more than 1 million birds every year.

Plastic is also a toxic substance. The leaching of these toxins prevents Prochlorococcus, the species of bacteria that produces 10% of the oxygen that we breathe, from producing as much oxygen. This furthers the rising of CO² levels, worsening the climate change crisis.

The goal of this recycling workshop program is to create awareness, teach about global waste management systems and their challenges, create a sense of worth of plastic in local communities and conduct research on small-scale, low-cost recycling.

Volunteers should expect to be involved in collecting plastic before it gets to the ocean, sorting used plastic and creating awareness campaigns.

Current and future project goals include:

  • Plastic cleanups
  • Creating awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution
  • Repurposing plastic to create various things (examples include hair combs)
  • Creating low-cost ruler molds so that local children will have more school supplies, made from repurposed plastic
  • Repurposing plastic so it can be used in 3D printing
  • Creating alternative recycling methods, for example turning styrofoam into activated carbon and then using microorganisms to decompose plastic
  • Making solar collectors

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available in public areas.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry can be done by hand, or for an additional fee, volunteers may use a nearby laundry facility.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in shared, riverside “Eco Houses” in single-gender rooms. Each “Eco House” has a communal lounge area and is located near the Tha Kham village on the outskirts of Sing Buri. Each room has a fan, western toilet and cold-water showers. You may be able to upgrade to a private room for an additional fee, depending on availability.

Food icon Food: Three meals per weekday are provided, and two on weekends. Most meals at the accommodations are vegetarian friendly, consisting mostly of rice dishes and fresh fruit. Water, coffee, and tea are available all day.

 

Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18 (16-17 with parental consent)
  • Good level of English
  • Police clearance

Thailand’s central province of Sing Buri is home to a handful of temples and historical sites; and of course there is a nearby market waiting to be discovered! A few places for volunteers to explore on weekends include:

Wat Pikun Thong
Wait Pikun Thong is an ancient temple that is home to one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. This large golden figure is a famous symbol and a commonly sought-after destination for tourists.
Pak Bang Market
Over 150 years old, the Pak Bang Market is an essential go-to for those who wish to have a taste of Thai market food and desserts.
Mae La Maharacha Nusorn Park
This national park is an excellent option for volunteers who are looking to relax in nature by the Mae La River. There is a fish breeding and conservation project that is located in the park as well.
In Buri National Museum
The In Buri National Museum is located near to the Wat Bot Temple, and contains ancient artifacts from various historical areas of Thailand as well as Chinese ceramics.

Travel Extras (Not Included):
You can extend your stay with one or more great program add-ons for an additional fee. Here are the opportunities we recommend:

  • Culture Week (highly recommended): This seven-day jam-packed week is a great opportunity to learn about Thailand and meet other international volunteers. It offers tours around historical areas (Ayutthaya historical park), Thai language lessons, cooking lessons, taste-testing (Thai BBQ), school visits, sightseeing (Wat Phra Phutthabat Temple – Buddha’s footprint) and so much more! This week will ease you into your volunteering experience by providing you with a better understanding of the history, culture and customs. Please note that the schedule can change at any time based on the weather conditions.
  • Thai Boxing: Sign up for authentic and traditional Thai boxing classes under the instruction of Sing Buri’s provincial champion. Learn the basic principles and foundations of the exquisite art form, Muay Thai.
  • Hua Hin Beach & Volunteer Week: This busy week will help you make the most of your experience in Thailand. You will have the chance to go on cultural excursions to learn about Thai Buddhism and assist monks with daily chores. You will also have the opportunity to teach local children with some time dedicated to beach conservation. In a few afternoons, you will have free time to relax at the beaches of Hua Hin!
  • Jungle Trek: Get ready for adventure as you trek through the tropical forests west of Sing Buri. You’ll have the opportunity to sleep under the stars, trek to spectacular waterfalls and caves hidden in the jungle and more!
  • Thai Buddhism Immersion in Wang Nam Khiao: During this week-long program you will be introduced to Buddhism. You will have the chance to discuss Buddhism with a local monk and enjoy a two-day stay at the Wat Suptawee Temple to learn walking and sitting meditation forms as well as experience the daily life of monks.

Volunteer Experiences

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