“A green vortex creating green leaders”—One school’s vision to educate the decision makers of the future in global citizenship.
Green School Bali — where kids get a holistic and eco-conscious education
What do you want in a school? When you step onto a school campus, what do you want to see, hear, experience and feel? Imagine this, a school without walls, a campus which ignites the senses and the natural curiosity of children, a place where innovation, creativity and learning flourish, a community which has come together from all corners of the globe to share new experiences, a place of joy—Seeing children learning by doing, hearing deep and meaningful student discussions, experiencing daily growth as a whole person and feeling the joy of being part of a vibrant community of learners is the Green School experience.
Green School: a community of learners making our world sustainable
Creativity often springs from the confluence of disparate ideas and events, and such was the case with Green School Bali.
Green School was conceived by its founders, John & Cynthia Hardy in 2006, following their exit from their jewelry business. After years of homeschooling, the Hardys wanted their daughters to attend a ‘real’ school.
John wanted the girls to attend a school that he believed in, a school that he would want to attend, and he wanted to stay in Bali. When he read Alan Wagstaff’s “Three Springs” concept, he was so inspired by the dream that he wanted to build it in Bali.
Then one day in 2006, John and Cynthia saw Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ and it changed their life. They were compelled to take up his call to action.
These events gave the Green School plan its reason and purpose, and in August 2006 John and Cynthia decided to build the school.
The School’s bamboo bridge, spanning 22 meters (72ft) across the Ayung River, was completed in November 2006, creating a beautiful, strong symbol of the transition from the realm of idea to reality.
Green School opened in September 2008 with 90 students and a tailor-made campus that emerged from the jungle and rice fields. Since then it has grown to 400 students from all over the world, aged from 3 to 16 years old, and has become an inspiring example of education for sustainability.
Green School are pioneers in combining sustainability within education
The school prepares students to be stewards of the environment, teaching them to be critical and creative thinkers, who champion the sustainability of the world and the environment. It strives to inspire their thirst to know more, equip them with appropriate and relevant knowledge, and nurture their passion to influence change in the way this planet is managed.
Concerned about the depletion of the world’s resources, the Hardys became advocates for the use of bamboo and wanted to create a project that offered a strong alternative to rain forest timber as a building material, while participating in the fight against climate change and poverty.
They decided to build a school to demonstrate how to build with sustainable materials, inspire and educate children to live sustainably and motivate communities to fight climate change and poverty.
To build such a project, three entities were created: Green School (the architectural project), PT Bamboo (bamboo factory) and the Bamboo Community Project that work hand in hand.
- Structures are built from renewably, locally sourced bamboo, from the roof and walls to the blackboards and chairs. Roofs are made of ylang-ylang thatch.
- Working towards using 100% renewable energy, using photovoltaic panels, a micro-hydro-powered vortex generator, and bio-gas (methane extracted from animal manure) instead of bio-diesel.
- Bamboo sawdust is used to power the water heating and cooking systems.
- Walking paths are constructed with stones, rather than materials with a higher ecological impact on the site, such as cement or asphalt surfaces. The roads are volcanic rock and walkways are gravel.
Bio Bus: in 2015, Green School high school students launched the Bio Bus, a student-led social enterprise to provide sustainable transport services to Green School students, teachers and community—
This initiative looked at solving the transportation system to the rural setting of Green School, which mainly consisted of private cars, carpooling and motorbikes. The Bio Bus now has four 18-seater buses that run purely on biodiesel (B100) made from used cooking oil collected from other islanders.
Green School also has summer and holiday camps on its schedule, with groups coming from all over the world.
The Environment and Kids: Teaching Children to Care for the Planet
Children love nature. They jump at the chance to go to the park or beach in the summer and build a snowman in winter. So how can we as parents translate that seemingly innate love of the outdoors into a life-long commitment to caring for the planet? Creating a meaningful connection between the environment and kids isn’t as hard as it may seem. Here’s how...