Green School Bali: teaching children about sustainable living

Kids at Green School: 1st graders' self-portraits

One of the very interesting things Barry and I got to do while we were in Bali was visit Green School.  We had heard about this innovative school that aspires to teach children to live in ways that are sustainable.   When we learned that Dewa’s brother-in-law, Jerry, teaches there, we asked for a tour.  On a Friday after school  Jerry showed us all around.

Jerry, 1st grade teacher and Barry in front of the Green School

Wildlife recently spotted at Green School

Classrooms without walls (white board made from a recycled windshield with paper behind it)

Bamboo with strings=musical instruments in the heart of the school

A ceiling in one classroom

Bamboo and thatch construction: some bamboo is as strong as teak

Each class has a garden


The school is super green: compost toilets (They don't smell)

Skylights are of recycled windows

Each class has two teachers and an area that can be covered in case of rain

Beautiful ceilings

Natural light

Various bamboo used to build the school.

Beautiful furniture

Swinging basket chairs--my favorite

Creative entrance to the learning center

Lunch leftovers go to the resident pig

This cow is the lawnmower

Local kids

Soccer boys

There's even a mud pit for occasional wrestling sessions

The vortex: Green School is using solar and water as energy sources

“Green School in Bali, Indonesia, is giving its students a relevant, holistic and green education in one of the most amazing environments on the planet,” notes the homepage.

Go to to learn more about this fantastic school.

Go to

to hear Green School founder John Hardy speak about the school.

If you are thinking of building, you could grow enough bamboo in five years for a building the size of the plot where the bamboo is growing; in six years, you can double the size of the building; in seven years, triple the size.   Bamboo is a beautiful, strong, sustainable building material as the school and its flooring and furniture all show.

Although I don’t know if the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, Bali, was involved in this Green School project, it has built five all-bamboo homes on Maui.  So for those of you there, check them out and let us know what you think.  Linda Garland and her Bamboo Foundation are responsible for saving and propagating many types of bamboo.  I’ve gotten to see her spectacular home made of bamboo here in Bali.   See more information at

Linda Garland is connected to the work of David Sands and Dr.  Jules Janssen with ABC (Association for Bamboo in Construction).  The International Bamboo Foundation has its office in Paia (on Maui–it’s a small world).  Call 808 572-8129 for more information.

If you are thinking about building, consider bamboo.  If you are in Bali and want a innovative school, see Green School.



About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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