THERE have been some promising environmental ideas deserving of mention lately. Making Phuket's Nai Yang beach a candidate for National Surfing Reserve status boosts the fight to save all of Phuket's beaches from commercial encroachment.
And the campaign to wean Phuket off the plastic bag should reach a tipping point in December, January and February when thousands of reusable cotton bags will be distributed at supermarkets and stores.
Enviromentalist Nick Anthony won the inaugural Phuketwan/Phuket Post Phuket Environmental Excellence Award in 2010 for pioneering that project.
So, being adventurous and bold, the judges have selected the old Sarasin Bridge as this year's winner of the PhuketwanPhuket Post Phuket Environmental Excellence Award of the Year 2011.
Why? Because the bridge is Phuket's best and most obvious example so far of that green maxim: Reuse, Recycle, Reduce.
The old Phuket bridge could have been left to decay when the new Sarasin 2 Bridge was erected to cater for motorists streaming off Phuket to the mainland. Instead, some brilliant designer opted to remake it as a pedestrian sunset lookout, lifting it up so yachts could sail beneath.
So instead of being a conduit for gas-guzzlers, the old Phuket bridge is now a place where people exercise by walking, where they shake off stress, and where the natural beauty of each day's sunset can be appreciated.
People leaving Phuket by road even stop on the new Sarasin bridge to take photographs of tourists on the old Sarasin bridge, virtually all day every day, and even more often at weekends.
As well as now being beautiful where once it was strictly practical, the old bridge is a metaphor for Phuket.
The island can be reinvented, the good bits can be enhanced and lifted up, and a balance with nature can be preserved in the face of progress.
Sarasin Bridge, we salute you. You've won the Phuket Environmental Excellence Award of the Year 2011.