“The film the inconvenient truth has ruined my life after the day I’ve watched it.” Said John Hardy, the co-founder of the Green School at the TED talk. Don’t get him wrong readers! He didn’t mean this in a bad way, but the opposite. That day was actually the turning point of his life and that’s how he got the idea of building the Green School. “Even if what part of it Mr. Gore’s said is true, my children are not going to live the life that I had. I’ve decided at that moment, I would spend the rest of my life, doing whatever I could to increase their possibilities.” By having such thoughts, he then started building the Green School in Bali.
The Green School is not just another ordinary school that aims at promoting ideas such as recycling and energy saving. It aims at “empowering global citizens and green innovators who are inspired to take responsibility for the world”. The Green School sits in south-central, Bali, on 20 acres of gardens. Instead of the usual image of what a school should be with bricks and concrete walls, the school is built primarily from bamboo which is a natural and renewable resource. The co-founder John Hardy made it very clear that the aim of the Green School is to promote valuable and useful skills to create a new generation of global, green leaders. Instead of having class in classrooms with walls and blackboard, students here at Green School gain their knowledge by connecting with the nature because the building itself and the surroundings are powerful tools. It allows students opportunities to learn about science, math social studies, economics and language arts thorough hands-on real world experience. It is the kind of experience that they will still use after they have left school and in their daily life. For example, instead of learning energy from textbook, they can use energy meters and mathematics to calculate the energy consumption and cost. I really wish I had that kind of science class too!!! I’m sure I would like science a lot more!!!
Every aspect of the site and buildings are living examples of sustainability. Micro-hydro power, solar power and bio-diesel are used. Green School standard is to use 99% natural materials in their construction projects, to recycle as many materials as possible, and to manage waste responsibly.
The “greenness” of the school can be easily seen around campus. The school cow is used to replace the lawnmower on the playing field. Instead of writing on blackboards or whiteboards, they write on bamboo blackboards. Instead of use lights and air-conditioning, they use natural lights and natural breeze. “The school’s magnificent bamboo architecture is an outstanding example of the ecological, spiritual and aesthetic benefits of working with nature rather than against her.” Said Helena Norberg-Hodge, the Founder and Director of International Society of Ecology and Culture in London.
The world is not indestructible; one day energy and resources will all be used up. In the sense of learning how to live a sustainable future, the Green School sets a really good example to the world and has done a fantastic job. The idea of Green School is one of the first but certainly not the last, seeing the success I’m sure more yet to come. If each place in every country can have a school like this to instill the idea of sustainable living, our future generations can still have a chance to enjoy the life that we had. They can still have a chance to experience blue skies and cool breeze. Just remember, “Let the nature take the lead”, because nature is where all possibilities begin! Each of us make a difference, and it is ultimately our collective activities that make the world what it is.
Click to see a report on the Green school by BBC News: