By Elle Randolph – 4 weeks intern
It had always been a dream of mine to come to Thailand and work with elephants. I knew I wanted to do it in a sustainable and ethical way, and do it for a lengthy bit of time too. It was these desires that led me to researching, finding and eventually going to go experience Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary.
I arrived at the sanctuary as their Social Media and Photography intern for a four week period. Immediately upon arriving, I felt welcomed and very immersed in the community and village. It was obvious from the start that K.S.E.S and the village have a very positive relationship with one another, and the sanctuary thinks and works very holistically with the elephants, land, and people they interact with and impact.
One of my favorite activities while I was at the sanctuary (apart from observing the elephants of course) was making Eco Bricks with the team. Eco Bricks are an inventive solution for re-using single use plastic and packing it inside bottles to create “bricks” that can be used just like regular building bricks to make structures like buildings, walls, etc.. Eco bricks are an incredible solution for trash and are a wonderful resource when building and growing the village.
When making eco bricks, it really helped me realize how much single use plastic I, myself was consuming and bringing into the village. It helped make me aware of my own actions, and scale how big of an impact my own purchases and doings have on the community and planet.
I left K.S.E.S. feeling inspired to continue some of the sanctuary’s habits in my daily life – daily litter pick-ups, being aware of how much single use plastic I’m consuming, and thinking more about solutions for what do with trash that is accumulated.
When I think of my time at Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, two words come to mind: Community and Conservation. Eco bricks are the perfect example of both of those. Being able to take trash, and as a community work on a solution for it together.
I am forever grateful for my time spent at Kindred Spirit and in the village. I feel like I really gained a community, and learned so much about myself, others, elephants, sustainability, and our environment.