Australian surfers love Bali but do we care about it? Can we make an impact on its escalating garbage problem? Can two girls, aged 11 and 13, get Bali’s Governor to ban plastic bags via an online petition?

These questions are hovering around cyberspace right now. They will be answered in the coming months by a number. If one million people sign up to the Avaaz community petition (see below) Bali’s Governor, Made Mangku Pastika, has said he will ban plastic bags across the island. It won’t come close to ending Bali’s garbage problem but it will be a significant step. In addition it will be an encouraging sign about the ability to harness people power in the information age (hey, even 11 year olds can do it).

If the number falls short, however, than Governor Pastika will have an excuse to do nothing. And if it falls way short than he might he even figure that locals and tourists alike aren’t that concerned by Bali’s many environmental problems. There is the potential for backfire. In a way it’s a referendum on what we value about Bali.

The petition was started by local girls Melati, 13, and Isabel, 11. They’ve already had a win by getting the governor to back their proposal. He’s set them the figure of one million petitioners before he’ll ban plastic bags. It sounds a lot until you consider that seven million people soak up the good times on Bali every year. Surfers, of course, where among the first to really embrace the island in the modern age and world class surf continues to be a major drawcard.

So far the petition is chugging along but it’s short by about 945,000 signatures.

You can hurry it along by signing here: Sign The Petition