Celebrating International Environmental Education Day: Green School Bali
January 26 is International Environmental Education Day, a day to identify the environmental issues that arise on both a global and local scale and raise awareness about the need for participation in order to protect the environment and mitigate the various levels of impact caused by climate change.
Driven by increased awareness of environmental issues and the growing importance of sustainability, there has been a growing interest in environmental programs at universities. Many schools have expanded their environmental science, environmental studies, and related programs to meet this demand.
One school in particular takes the role of environmental education very seriously. Green School Bali is a sustainable and innovative educational institution located in Sibang Kaja, Bali, Indonesia, opened in 2008. The school is known around the world for its commitment to sustainability, from its design to the topics taught. The programs offered are for toddlers right up to high schoolers.
One of the distinctive features of the Green School Bali is its extensive use of bamboo in construction. The entire campus is designed to have a minimal environmental impact. All of their buildings are constructed using bamboo and have a 22m bridge. Moreover, the school uses compost toilets, serves meals with ingredients from the school gardens, processes more than one tonne of garbage per month at its Kembali recycling center, and runs on solar power.
The curriculum is designed to give students hands-on experiences with the environment. It incorporates outdoor learning, focuses on environmental stewardship, and encourages students to engage with the local community and contribute to the surrounding areas.
Their REAL learning follows the principles of :
- Relationship-centered, which encouraged relationships between learners, their environment and their community
- Experiential, whereby students can experiment and reflect on their successes and failures.
- Authentic: The programs at Green School Bali prioritize the interconnected experiences driven by real-world needs and the prospect of a sustainable future.
- Local: The Green School Bali encourages their students to act locally first; once that is established, they can begin to think globally.
Green School Bali has many environmental projects that they are continuously working on to achieve total sustainability. Students run their Bio Bus project and strive to provide students and community members with sustainable transportation services. The Bio Bus vehicles are run on cooking oil that is collected from the local community and processed to create biofuel. They’ve also used the by-product of cooking oil, glycerine, to make sustainable soap products. The Bio Bus was launched in 2015 and became Indonesia’s first 100% biofueled power transportation system.
Green School Bali has become a global movement in education, which has led to schools opening in New Zealand, South Africa, and Tulum, all of which have the same mission of inspiring students to learn, find purpose, and take action.
On International Environmental Education Day, we celebrate institutions like Green School Bali, which puts the environment first and encourages students to be involved with the environment at a young age. There are many other ways to celebrate International Environmental Education Day which include:
- Joining events that promote the environment.
- Organize workshops and seminars in your school or work and involve experts to speak on issues like climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable practices.
- Celebrate International Environmental Education Day.
- Screening documentaries that focus on environmental issues and solutions.
- Involve your community in environmental projects such as community gardens or recycling.
Every environmental action we take is one step towards protecting our planet, not only today but every day, and the more we learn about the problems and solutions, the more we can do to protect our planet for generations to come.