“Every day here is Earth day … and we’re going to make a difference” go the lyrics of the Green School Bali school song. You don’t have to change the world to be a changemaker, you just have to take the next best step! That is the message we hope to nurture in our students and across our entire community of learners.
This year’s theme for Earth Day was Investing in the Planet, and we demonstrated the many ways – big and small – in which we want to leave this world a better place. Whether that’s planting trees to invest in a future of forests, biking to work or school to invest in a future of carbon free transportation (not to mention, investing in our own physical wellbeing!), or enjoying food from local farms to invest in more sustainable and community-oriented agriculture – every small step we take can add up to real change, a healthier planet and a better future for our children.
Green School Middle Students planting rice on our campus rice fields
Earth Week started with a community planting day. Students from every Learning Neighborhood put seeds into the soil, which will one day become machines for soaking CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in the Earth to regenerate the land. High School students planted 18 seedlings – one for each graduating student! Parents, faculty and staff got in on the action, too, taking plants home to keep into their gardens.
On Wednesday, we observed a power down day, where the community was encouraged to put away technology, and build human connection. Students instead took notes by hand, engaged in face-to-face communication and reduced their overall screen-time. We all reflected on the ubiquity of devices in our daily lives and the power-consumption those devices demand.
Students, staff and parents participate in a community bike-to-school ride on Thursday during Earth Week
Thursday was a day to focus on transportation. A few weeks ago, our Middle School students conducted a vehicle audit of all the vehicles that showed up at Green School Bali. The result? They estimated our community’s total carbon footprint for one day of travel to be about 1000kg! To counter this, students and faculty were encouraged to carpool to school, or hop on our school’s Bio Buses, which are powered by used cooking oil collected from restaurants across the island. Our High School student, Fynn, and Green School parent, Wayan, also led a “Bike Bus” cycling group from Canggu and Ubud all the way to the school, with 36 people – including students, faculty, parents & staff – joining from both locations.
“It’s lovely seeing Green School’s unmatched liveliness and vibrancy back during Earth Week,” says Grade 10 student, Dipta. “We’ve learned many things throughout the past two years and witnessing our values and resilience strengthen, it was very fitting especially during our Spirit Friday reunion.”
The week culminated with an extra special, Earth Day rendition of our Green School Bali Spirit Friday, a day full of food, music, games, and markets here on our bamboo campus. That morning, our Early Years students joined their parents on a trash walk in our campus neighborhood, while later in the day, several of our Local Scholar parents helped initiate an incredible art installation, which our entire community collaborated on.
Green School Early Years Students and parents cleaning up waste on a morning trash walk
“My Earth week experience was very exciting and meaningful!” shares Grade 8 student, Lalita. “I enjoyed planting paddy rice and getting the chance to connect with nature. I enjoyed No Screen Day because I had time to connect with my friends and teachers by walking around our beautiful campus with them. And Spirit Friday was really fun! It was the first time that the whole school came together in so long.”
The final work was a giant globe, displayed during Spirit Friday, made entirely of compostable materials, representing both our global community and our love for this incredible planet.
We all, as a community of learners making our world sustainable, have a responsibility to always be aware of our impact on the environment, and continue to take meaningful action to regenerate our ecosystems. What action will you take today for our planet?
Green school parents performed Balinese dance accompanied by a traditional instrument, Gamelan, during our Spirit Friday event.