Date: 14th February to 20th February
Total Expenditure: $340
I was there on a work trip, so some things like food and accommodation was covered. Here's just to give you a rough estimation of some of the expenses:
Air tickets: $196 for both ways (Singapore to Bali)
Bike Rental: $8 per day
Car Rental: $30 per day
Taxi from airport to Kuta: $7
Accommodation: Guest House Approx $18 per night
Some of you might already know that i'm currently in Japan, working for my Kagawa Wwoofing Host.
He started a new company called Meguru which aims to reconnect human with nature and community while leading the way towards a circular society. I'll be managing his Organic Farm, Eco Guest House, Zero Waste Cafe, as well as Music and Events. Our trip to Bali is mainly for research and to form a connection with the various like-minded organisations.
Did you know that Bali is gonna banned plastic bags by 2018? Watch this:
But the main reason we chose to go Bali was because of Green School Bali. Green school is a school built with bamboos, that focuses on sustainability education; hoping to inspire and empower students to be the future green leaders. We all know how important education is, that's why we were super interested to check out this amazing school.
While I was planning for our Bali trip, i came across so many more awesome Green Initiatives in Bali. Which got me really excited! Unfortunately we didnt manage to visit them all, obviously right? There's just too many. If you are interested to find out more about the various Green Initiatives, do check out the videos made by Make a Change World.
Green School, Bamboo Factory, Green Village Tour
We signed up for a morning tour with 3 destinations (Green School, Bamboo Factory, Green Village), which cost USD$40. The tour starts from 9am till 1.15pm.
First stop was Green School! There're so many things I like about the school, here are some:
Besides the well-known information that the school is made from mainly bamboos, i love seeing all the up-cycled furniture and equipment as we toured around. Above picture is some chairs made from waste tyres. They also used unwanted car window as white board by painting them white.
I love their sink! Located beside their dining area.
They have a recycling centre where waste are sorted into 20 different categories. Besides teaching their students about the importance of recycling, they are also trying to spread the idea of recycling centre to other schools in Indonesia.
What i like most is that they have an after-school programme specially for the locals, to teach them english as while as sustainability studies. There's no monetary transaction involved, the locals just have to bring 5kg of waste every month to the recycling centre. This is to encourage as well as educate them about recycling. They have about 327 students in this programme now.
I love their open concept classroom. The tour-guide explained that the whole idea about open concept classroom is to allow nature (or you can call it distraction) to enter. "Distraction is part of your life, accept it." It makes so much sense to me. Distraction is everywhere, we need to cope and adapt to it so that we can stay focus despite the distraction around.
I love that they have a class on Eco phobia. They make the students jump into the mud pit and teach them about things like identifying poisonous snakes, learning how to handle them etc. They even have their own snake catching team! Yes, they use real life snakes to teach the students! I think i need to attend classes like this. It's so true that if you understand how nature works, the role and benefits of each organism, and how to handle them, you wont be afraid of them.
I like how much freedom the students are given to propose projects they would like to take up. They learned about sustainability compass model which states the 4 metrics to define sustainability - Nature, well-being, economics, and social; and are open to initiate any projects that fits this model. Teachers are more like a facilitator. The students also work closely with social enterprises to assist them in various project. One very successful project is called Bio-bus, a school bus that is fueled by used cooking oil around the island. The project is run fully by students in collaboration with hotels and food vendors for the collection of oil, and another NPO that helps to transform the cooking oil into diesel. "What you can do now, do it now," is what the school emphasize.
The school doesnt emphasize on grades, but more of value added projects. Through projects, students will naturally be able to the learn about science, mathematics etc. All the students graduate with not just grades but also resume. The teachers there are also very helpful in writing recommendation.
Green School believe in the importance of engaging parents. They have a co-working space just for parents to hang around in the school and tons of projects that parents can be involved in. Parents can collaborate with teachers to conduct workshops such as photography, cooking etc.
They have a compost station where students learn how to make compost. They process food waste and even human waste and turn them into fertilizers. Students will then use the fertilizer to grow their own crops. Once their crops are ready for harvest, they can even bring them to the kitchen to cook meals for the other students and teachers
Students are taught about Aquaponics at the Aquaponic Station. They even get to make their own little aquaponic tank and bring it back home. It's such a great way to educate about circulation.
That's all i have for Green School. It was such a great trip! I love what they are doing and i hope that there will be more schools like this, especially government schools, where it's more affordable to a wide number of people.
Bamboo Factory Tour was pretty useful and interesting for us because there are so many bamboos in our area (Ayagawa) and we are thinking about how we can best make use of them. The tour guide shared with us the whole process of making bamboo into building materials. I wont be writing about it (it's too much and too technical), i'll just share some interesting facts that i've learned about Bamboos:
Welcome to the part on Green Village, but i'm sorry, i didn't like Green Village at all. Okay, i do think that they have managed to showcase the potential of bamboos very well, but the whole idea of building this resort-like accommodation that cost roughly USD$400 per night, having locals around to serve you, and the fact that i don't see anything like recycling centre etc, just make me wonder about the whole purpose of building a place like this and calling it Green Village. I was thinking more of a village where environmentally conscious locals and foreigners live together, maybe have a community garden together, recycle stuff, or even share their stuff with one another of sorts. Maybe i was expecting too much. Well, it's a beautiful place though, here's some pictures:
ROLE Foundation's Zero Waste to Ocean
I found out about Zero Waste to Ocean through Make a Change world's facebook page. You know, i'm i'm such a fan of Zero Waste efforts so I wrote to the founder, Mike O'Leary, and he replied almost immediately, welcoming us to visit his place. How nice! He's really a man full of passion, doing his best for the people in Bali. The video below will provide you with a good understanding about what they strive to achieve.
Zero Waste to Ocean is an Environmental Education and Research Center which Mike's organisation Role Foundation is currently building. The center will use machinery and systems to recycle or use 98% of all waste. Organic, non-recyclables, and recyclables will be separated and converted into materials beneficial for everyday life. The site will also promote sustainable business such as production of natural dyes, organic cotton weaving, and soap recycling.
ROLE Foundation collects soap from hotels and villa around Bali, sanitize and reprocess them into new soap. The soap will than be distributed to orphanages, disadvantaged and poor communities who lack access to basic hygiene products. Their program offers skills training and employment for disadvantaged local women.
We had a whole list of green cafes to visit, there's just so many nice cafes in Bali, especially Ubud. Here are some nice ones that we visited:
I found out about them through Make A Change World once again. We are starting a Zero Waste Cafe in Ayagawa, so it's important for us to visit other Zero Waste Cafes around the world.
Warung Gouthe was started by a couple who met whilst training in a 3 star michelin restaurant. The cafe is based on the concept of family where they serve simple but delicious "grandma recipes" meal. They cook daily in small amount to minimize food loss, use mainly glass jars to avoid plastics, and buy fruits and vegetables everyday from local market to ensure that it's package free.
The cafe is pretty cozy and their food is delicious! We manage to have a short conversation with the owners, who were extremly warm and kind. They shared with us about the challenges they faced trying to get packaging free stuff, and how they are trying their best everyday. Kudos to the both of them and their lovely team!
The Elephant is a quite a huge organic restaurant that has a variety of vegan and glutton-free food. The restaurant is very clean and comfortable, with a great nature view.
We were there just for tea, but i must say that their coffee and smoothie tasted really good! I love that they use bamboo straws.
This restaurant serve really tasty and healthy organic food. What i like most is their permaculture garden. They used coconut husk around their bedding, making the garden look organised and tidy.
Emas Hitam Permaculture Farm
Emas Hitam Indonesia (EHI) is a registered Indonesian NGO, working in sustainable development with a focus on agriculture. They provide comprehensive permaculture training to farmers in Bali as well as other parts of indonesia.
We randomly found out about them through our ubud's guest house owner. We visited their farm and volunteered for awhile to help them on preparation work for a ubud food festival, where they sold their freshly grown vegetables as well as home-made sauces and jams, while spreading the word about permaculture. The team is made up of very passionate bunch of people, doing their very best to improve agriculture in Indonesia. I love their positive vibe! It was really nice to know them.
We didn't have a lot of time to tour around, but i'm so glad that we made time to go to Amed for diving! We rented a car, because it takes 3hrs to get there from Ubud and we were pretty tired of riding.
We booked a morning dive to Liberty dive-site from Euro Dive Bali, which cost about $45. The dive was at 8am, so yes we departed from ubud at 5am in the morning. The facilities and equipment at Euro Dive were pretty well maintained and organised, and their staffs are very nice and friendly. I wrote to them so many times asking so many questions about the dive, and the staff patiently answered to all of my questions.
Liberty dive-site is so beauty! Filled with marine life. I think it's one of the best dive site i've been to. We were lucky too, that the weather was nice, sea was calm, visibility was clear, We had such an amazing time. Totally worth the long drive.
Other fun activities we had, which is kinda work-related (because my boss is also a musician), was hanging out with the local Djembefola, playing music together.
It was really nice watching them jam at Kuta beach, seeing people around dancing. I love how music brings people together.
Before i end, I have to talk a little about Food right? Food is such a big part to traveling. Well i only have one thing to recommend (sorry!), Warung Babi Guling, is a must try in Bali! Fried pork with rice, it's delicious! We went to the store near south kuta, called Warung Bai Guling Pak Dobiel Nusa Dua. You can find them on google maps.
Oh one last thing that i have to recommend is our ubud airbnb host. They are so awesome! Extremely nice and friendly! We spent so much time interacting with them, they are simply so nice to talk to. They provided us with so much information about the things that we were interested in, and always serve us tea and sweet snacks. The room is very nice and clean, surrounded by a pretty garden. I love the place so much! Do check them out!
Overall, our Bali trip was extremely fulfilling! It's really nice to check out the various green initiatives around the world. We hope that we can do more of such trip in future. Till then! :)