In the jungles of Bali, the ‘green school’ has buses powered by cooking oil

In the jungles of Bali, the 'green school' has buses powered by cooking oil

Bamboo in the middle of the forest. On the walls of the Green School, in Bali, an island in Indonesia, plants are the main raw material. From construction to teaching practices, respect for nature is what drives this school, which practices sustainability with its students in a very original way.

“The green school is made almost entirely of bamboo, a fast-growing tree native to Bali, and is designed to be placed in the heart of the forest without disturbing its ecosystem,” Teaching in an interview And learning leader Sal Gordon explains with echo,

The story begins in 2006, when its founders, the couple John and Cynthia Hardy, conceived the idea for the school. After years of adopting homeschooling, they wanted to provide their daughters with a school where they truly believed in the teaching model. “The initial inspiration came when John read ‘Three Springs’, the educational manifesto by theorist Alan Wagstaff, and was so impressed with the vision of a holistic learning community that he built it in Bali,” says Gordon.

Wagstaff, who inspired the line of pedagogical teaching adopted by the Green School, defended in his manifesto that teaching should be presented in four dimensions, namely: emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual.

Gordon recalls that the key point for the couple in getting the project off the ground was access to the American documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which aims to educate its audience on the effects of global warming.

“This forced them to accept their call to action and create a school that educates for sustainability. Therefore, in collaboration with artisans, architects, permaculturists, academics and philosophers, Green School Bali opened in September 2008” , the leader says. Organization teaching.

Stability in Behavior from Kindergarten

Far from the standardized tests offered in formal schools, Green School encourages students from kindergarten to high school to practice and act on what they are learning.

“Students are encouraged from an early age to develop a relationship with nature and to understand their responsibility in the conservation and regeneration of our environment”, explains the teacher leader.

“Parents of students agree with us when we say that standardized testing, machine learning, and information regurgitation are not a measure of a child’s true ability. And that is what they are looking for, a model of education that will help them Gives more importance to the child than his own.” memory capacity”, he continues.

For Gordon, learning at the Green School is about looking at everything through the lens of sustainability – and acting in practice helps find solutions to real problems, for example, how nature’s ecosystems work to produce food. Huh.

“Our learning environment is a wallless campus, made almost entirely of bamboo, and surrounded by permaculture gardens, where students grow and grow their own food. This allows them to connect with nature and its ecosystem. There are many opportunities for understanding.”, to be continued.

Students learn and practice sustainability at all school stages at Green School - Green School Bali / Disclosure - Green School Bali / Disclosure

Students learn and practice sustainability at all school stages at Green School

Image: Green School Bali / Disclosure

circular economy from energy to fuel

In addition to the food produced – and that comes on the plate – by the students themselves, the energy consumed by the school is also generated in a sustainable way, thanks to the “mighty river” that crosses the region, in Gordon’s words. Is.

“The mighty Ayung River flows through our campus and we use its power to generate our electricity through a hydro-vortex on the campus. We also have a solar panel farm,” he says.

The school also has a waste management system called ‘kembly’, operated by the community (students, teachers and staff), which brings in reusable waste.

“Students regularly go on garbage walks in Bali and engage with local communities to raise awareness about principles such as pollution, waste management, and waste reduction and reuse,” explains Gordon.

Participation in activities occurs at all stages of school life, from the first years of study to high school students. The bathroom also has a composting system. “It helps them understand the importance of not wasting water and conserving it,” says the teacher.

A fleet of buses operated by Green School runs around the island in Bali and unlike traditional combustion engines, these are powered by dirty cooking oil, which is collected directly from local people’s homes.

“We run a fleet of bio-buses running on biodiesel made from used cooking oil in our innovation hub. Students tour the island of Bali and collect used cooking oil, as well. raise awareness about the disadvantages of reusing oil. Kitchen equipment used by restaurant owners and employees”, he says.

Students travel around the island of Bali and collect the cooking oil used to make biodiesel - Green School Bali / Disclosure - Green School Bali / Disclosure

Students visit the island of Bali and collect used cooking oil for biodiesel production

Image: Green School Bali / Disclosure

For Gordon, the goal of Green School is to create an education that goes far beyond the bamboo walls and structures that run the entire length of the teaching campus, relying on alumni who carry the message of sustainability. increase.

“We believe in creating a community of changemakers that will help make our world sustainable. By taking this mission beyond our bamboo walls, our graduates are making a difference in the world.”