During a time when consumption and waste are so prevalent, ASRI continuously implements a range of initiatives to actively create a more sustainable and eco friendly environment.
One of their biggest projects is their Organic Garden - located behind the medical clinic, that grows bananas, pineapples, aubergines and chilli peppers, as well as much more. The garden is supported by chemical free fertiliser and pesticide treatment made from manure, egg shells and rice husk; often donated to ASRI by patients through their non cash payment system. In an effort to expand this program the farmers and ASRI team train members of the community in organic farming and nutrition. As a result, families can reduce their dependence on imported foods from Java and commercial goods and in this way, not only does ASRI promote eco friendly livelihoods, but also promotes the availability of organic, healthy food.
Another environmental challenge faced by ASRI is centred around air conditioning. Some of the medical facilities, such as the radiology room and laboratory must be air conditioned to keep equipment and medical samples cool. Unfortunately, many air conditioning systems in Indonesia still use an ozone depleting substance called R12. R12 has huge global warming potential, and for this reason, apart from in rooms where air conditioning is vital, ASRI solely uses electric fans in all other areas of the clinic. This promotes ASRI’s eco friendly incentive and proves their dedication in working towards a more sustainable environment.
Furthermore, ASRI focuses on eliminating plastic use and making a conscious effort to use eco-friendly transportation. All staff members, visitors and volunteers to ASRI are encouraged to use bicycles as their main transport method, and cars are only used for bigger, long distance trips. Local shops and Warungs (food stalls) are familiar with ASRI’s disencouragement towards single use plastic and are happy to see ASRI staff with their own water bottles and shopping bags. Twice a month, the ASRI team travel to one of the surrounding villages to educate communities on the importance of reducing plastic use as well as the negative effects plastic has on health, along with many other topics.
ASRI’s dedication and involvement towards becoming an eco friendly organisation plays an extremely important role, especially for the wider community. By educating local communities and setting an example on how to live a sustainable lifestyle, ASRI is able to have a significant impact on Indonesia's environmental health.
Article by Amaala Malik - ASRI Visitor (2020)