We have a line in our Green School song – “Everyday is Earth Day.” We sing it all the time. But when April 22nd comes around each year, our school community does everything possible to demonstrate our values as we educate for a sustainable future. At Green School Bali, we have celebrated Earth Day every day this week – with ‘planting’ days, trash walks, low tech days, ride to school events, free Bio Bus rides, and a massive global celebration at the end of the week.
Schools should be places where we learn, share and celebrate – and there’s probably nothing more important to celebrate than our little blue and green rock in space. At Green School Bali, celebrating our connection to Earth is important across the school year; from Green Studies programs, growing and cooking food from our gardens, Environmental Science units, thematics classes based on SDGs, student and class projects that have a positive impact on the environment, the animals that we care for on campus, our commitments to using less energy and generating less waste, the Bio Bus program (school buses that run on used cooking oils), our oceans programs, the High School service trips (all around Indonesia) … the list goes on and on.
Our Early Years students leading a trash walk out the front of campus, showing us the way in keeping our neighbourhood clean and green
Whole school curricula could be designed based on our connection with nature.
This connection isn’t something we should need to focus on – humans ARE nature. Unfortunately, in the concrete cities and in the cyber-worlds we have created, there is a need to reconnect with our natural environments. And, that’s our responsibility as educators.
Days, like Earth Day, are important to bring the spotlight on what is important to us. We do a Peace Walk on International Day of Peace. We hold an ‘Oceans Festival’ at the beach on World Oceans Day. On International Women’s Day, our High School students (alongside teachers and parents) create and perform a production called ‘Voices’. Just as everyday is Earth Day, every day should also be Peace day, Oceans day, Social Justice day, Diversity and Inclusion day.
Our High School student, Fynn and Green School parent, Wayan, took the initiative of leading a “Bike Bus” cycling group to school, for two locations here in Bali: Canggu & Ubud
A big component of our new model of education is the concept to educate for more than just ‘about’ Earth – we aren’t just educating about sustainability, we need to educate for sustainability, And the same goes for our learning and celebrations (across this awesome week at GSB) for Earth Day. Yes – it’s important to learn about Earth. But it is more important to educate for the Earth and be active global citizens who want to make the world better.
How does your school educate for the Earth?
How is your own personal life impacting Earth?
I believe schools should be places where people make the world a better place. And, although April 22 Earth Day is an important day to celebrate this beautiful planet, I know that (just like our song says) “everyday is Earth day – we are going to make a difference – that’s why we came here”.
Why did you go to school today? Footnote: As I woke up this morning, I saw Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeting a line from our Green School song. To be fair, more than a song’s lyrics, it’s a message to the whole world to celebrate each and every day as Earth Day and not just reduce it to one day of the year.
Yes, we agree with you Neil!