Bali Eco Deli, Nusa Lembongan

Does this look like an idyllic coastline to you? It certainly did when our boat docked at Jungut Batu on Nusa Lembongan, a small island about an hour by boat from Sanur in Bali. 

One of the island’s main sources of income apart from tourism is seaweed, which locals grow on stakes just off the shore, and which you can see drying in the picture above.

Other than that though, it’s fairly quiet. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a really back-to-nature kind of place where everything is in harmony with the environment. Unfortunately, though, there is actually quite a significant rubbish problem on the island. I’ll spare you the pictures, but there are piles of trash in people’s yards, food wrappers and other detritus washed up on the beach and pieces of litter on any given (much pot-holed!) road or trail you choose to wander on.
So when we heard about the Bali Eco Deli, we were interested to visit and find out how they’re trying to remedy this situation.

Alright, I admit I also just wanted to sit around and enjoy some ice tea and cake, and my dining partner was jittery from a lack of good coffee, so there were other motives too. But the cafe is definitely a place that is doing something positive – offering yummy food and drinks and information about how visitors can reduce their impact on the island and the environment in general.

Rather than buy water in yet another bottle that needs to be disposed of later, customers at the cafe can fill up their existing bottle – either for a small charge if it’s a PET bottle, or for free if it’s a non-disposable one.

The cafe also encourages tourists to be active in keeping the island – and ocean – clean.

Lots of great messages, and all actions that are easy for anyone to do, don’t you agree? For this reason we were slightly surprised that there was a portable airconditioner going at full bore next to our table (we switched it off of course!) – hopefully the cafe will get rid of it soon as it’s ineffective outdoors and would be wasting a lot of electricity.

The cafe collects plastic and recyclables and takes them to the mainland for recycling (this collection is all funded by the cafe).

The furniture and fittings are all recycled too – I loved the layers of paint decorating them. How colourful these must have looked bobbing around on the sea when they were still boats!

Needless to say, I loved the food too – a very simple salad with home made bread really hits the spot in the heat!

We did try some of the sweets too but hmm, somehow forgot to take photos…

I’m sure a certain person would blame the sugar rush for this behaviour, which followed our visit to the cafe… 

Don’t worry, this beautiful starfish was carefully returned to the water after we used it as a hat admired it and expressed wonder over the limpet-ty things clinging to it which seemed to have turned themselves blue to match their host.

Hopefully the efforts of the cafe will not go unnoticed by the rest of the businesses and locals on the island – it would be such a pity if the rubbish ruined the starfishes’ home and there were no more scenery like this.