Last semester, in Grade 10 Biology 1 class, an idea bubbled up.  After working with Mr. Tebo on the Conservation Action Project, students were inspired and wanted to take action. They learned about the importance of sustainability and the need for action regarding conservation.  Right around the same time, students heard about The Green School in Bali.  After further inquiry, the students learned that The Green School was an exemplar school for sustainable action, and their ideas and planning began…

A small group of the Biology students wrote a letter to the Office of Learning to propose their own ELO (Experiential Learning Opportunity) for their Junior year.  They wanted to visit The Green School to learn more about what they were doing and to make plans to bring ideas and action back to Beijing and ISB.  After communicating with a Science teacher at The Green School, and further assistance from our Director of Learning, a new ELO trip was born.

Since The Green School is a fully functioning school, they couldn’t host us all week, so the Office of Learning hired Buffalo Tours to help fill in our week with other conservation and sustainability projects in Bali.  Our week was fufilling and our students gained so much from the experience.

On Tuesday, our first full day in Bali, we visited The Green School.  We were lucky to be hosted by teachers, Pak Dan and Ibu Jackie.  They were gracious, engaging and knowledgeable hosts and we took a tour of their school and participated in one of their high school science electives: Chickens and Permaculture.  Other highlights included their composting toilets, working with their students, learning about BioFuel and the BioSoap workshop.

Working with Green School students to prepare signage for food waste to be used for chicken feed

Making BioSoap from used cooking oil

On Wednesday, we went to IDEP and learned more about permaculture and Bali Water Protection Program.

Learning about community wells giving back to the aquafers

On Thursday, we went to the Coral Triangle Center to learn more about conservation of coral reefs and mangroves while reflecting on our own tourism practices.

Planting mangroves

Learning about data collection from the CTC

Students collected their trash for the week to reflect on their practices

On our last day, we visited Zero Waste to Oceans which was a great mix of an Eco-park and hands-on learning center where the students participated in different activities (composting, creating seed balls, natural dyeing, learning about different plants) to get their Eco-passport stamped.   Later in the afternoon, we visited the ROLE Foundation to learn more about how the program works and students participated in a soap making workshop and an educational exchange with the girls in training there.

Students making seed balls

Giving new life to leftover hotel soap – Pressing the soap to make new soap

English language & cultural exchange at the ROLE Foundation

We arrived back in Beijing with our hearts and our minds full.  We were all sad that the week had ended and created a special bond over our experiences.

Now, we wait and see what great ideas spawn from this trip and how our students (along with their equally inspired chaperones) take action and weave more sustainable practices into our ISB community.