Monday, 18 October 2010

Eco Friendly Nami Island (Naminara)

-Harshika Jain. All rights reserved.

Nami Island is a place which nurtures creativity. Most of the structures on Nami such as statues, décor and installments have been made from recycled material. The three ‘R’s are followed here namely- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Everything ranging from water to scrap metal to glass bottles is reused and recycled here. This is what which makes the island unique. Now let me site some examples.

I will start by telling you about the cycles. On the island, I could see many people riding the cycles. The cycles were of different sizes- some were single seater, some were double seater, some were like cycle rickshaws and there were cycles for small children as well. There was some battery operated cycles too. As we all know, cycles do not require fossil fuels to operate so Nami is largely a pollution free island. If people want to travel around the island, they either walk or travel by cycle. One can even cover the island by walking because the circumference is quite less. One or two cars are there but they are used for visitors only.

Fallen wood, twigs and branches are also reused. In the workshop organized by Mr. Kang for illustrators there were many pieces of wood of different shapes and sizes which could be used for drawing, painting etc. All the illustrators and other people who wanted to attend the workshop wrote and drew on them and left their signs behind. In another workshop held at the spot of the fairytale dinner, small twigs, acorns, pine cones, nuts etc. were used by us to decorate photo frames and take back with us as mementos. In another workshop i.e. the paper making workshop, wood pulp and the pulp of rice stalk were utilized in making paper. The papers had a natural yellowish brown colour. Rotting trees also are decorated. The best thong I liked about the island was that you could write, draw or do anything to express yourself. At the reception there was a wooden table on which people had written. In our rooms, there were bowls in which round, flat pieces of wood were there on which you could write, draw or do whatever. In one of the workshops for tie and dye scarf making, natural dyes were used to dye fabrics. Instead of using plastics and metals for signboards, wooden signboards are made. As we all know, wood is obviously eco friendly.

Now coming to sewage water. Water from sewage is purified by wild flowers and is used for organic rice cultivation on the island. Although it attracted a lot of insects, it also attracted a lot of birds due to the insects.

The island has also found a way to reuse and recycle empty aluminium cans which were thrown away by the visitors who came to Nami when it was not so developed. I saw benches made out of compressed coke cans in front of the Eco- School, a place where activities are conducted for children. The benches were cubical in shape and looked colourful.

Old glass bottles are not left to rot either. Many flattened out glass bottles were used as tiles. I saw a bridge on whose either side there were sheets of glass and flattened out glass bottles were stuck on them. It looked very beautiful and stylish. On the reception, a whole pillar was made out of flattened out glass bottles. Old glass bottles are used for decoration as lights. Broken glass is used to decorate walls. At one place, a wall is made out of glass bottles i.e. instead of bricks, glass bottles are used. Glass is also recycled here. In the Arts and Crafts studio, I saw a glass blowing procession. Old glass bottles are melted at high temperatures and are then remodeled to make new glass articles. The coasters on our tables on which wet napkins were kept were also made in the studio at Nami.

Nighttime is beautiful at Nami. All the lights are shut off at Nami after 10 pm except in the rooms so that people can connect and bond with nature. This way, the island can cut down on the consumption of power.

There are separate sections in the dustbin for different types of waste. They are divided into three parts. This way automatic segregation of waste takes place and thus specific people are not required to do the segregation manually. Potted plants are also kept on the top of the dustbins.

I also visited a recycling centre and an Eco School. The recycling centre is a place where all the reusable and recyclable waste is sent. Things ranging from old boards to metallic wastes to old mannequins can be spotted there. Units and workshops are there were workers and craftsmen remodel or create something new out of waste. I also saw a statue of some fierce bird like creature with flags all around. It was made of old scraps of metal and other reusable waste materials.

On the whole, Nami is truly like heaven. Trees are everywhere. In winters the island may appear like a sheet of snow but in the rest of the seasons it is sea of green. The innovative ideas of various people have transformed the island completely. It is a place where culture, art , nature blend together.

Location: Nami Island, Chuncheon, Republic of South Korea, situated in Han River


The Bridge


A kiosk made of flattened glass bottles

Fun Facts about Nami Island:
  • Circumference of the Island is 5km 
  • Winter Sonata, a popular korean drama was shot here
  • Is the site of Song Museum which displays musical instruments from around the world 
  • It has invented it own passport, currency, stamp and telephone card 
  • A perfect destination for a honeymoon or weekend getaway