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Attending Sustainable Solutions 2019 by Green School Bali

On May 3rd 2019, the Biliq Team was cordially invited to attend a festival that is entirely aimed at making the world a better place. Sustainable Solutions is an eco-festival by Green School Bali. This year, the festival returns for its fifth edition and took place on May 2-4 at Green School Bali Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja Abiansemal, Badung 80352 Bali – Indonesia.


About Green School

Surrounded by a wall-less learning environment, Green School was established in 2009 by John Hardy and Cynthia Hardy. It offers classes from pre-kindergarten to 12 grade school committed to creating a holistic school experience designed to engage and inspire the students to be imaginative, inventive, critical, sustainable, and optimistic while enjoying their education in a natural environment. Sitting on top of a 20-acre land in the middle of a jungle along Ayung River (Bali’s longest river), the campus area is a collection of buildings constructed from natural resources such as bamboo, traditional mud walls, and grass. The Heart of School, for instance, is a massive, towering three-storey bamboo pole building where learning-teaching activities happen.



The Heart of School is an architectural feat

The school grows their own vegetable in an organic garden where they make their own fertilizer produced in the compost station nearby. They have their own water filtration station, solar panels, an aviary for the Starlings, an endangered species of bird in Bali and a food generating aquaponics facility, a café, a bakery run by a Finnish school parent, and Warung where you can find local food and snacks that are all packaged in natural ingredients. Sawdust fuel from a local bamboo farm is used to cook school lunch served with an ingka (a plate made off pieces of bamboo) and compostable banana leaves as the ingka’s lining. Green School really does practice what they preach and a quick tour to the school absolutely proves the point.


Organic and locally sourced produce sold at the Warung

Sustainable Solution 2019

Arriving at the gate to the school, we were warmly greeted by the volunteers. After getting our forearm stamped with reused carrot for identification, we walked into the school complex and quickly found ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the festival. Organized by Green School, this year’s Sustainable Solution focused on integrating indigenous wisdom and knowledge to face the destructive changes our era has brought to the extinction of our mother earth by adopting the theme Connect, Respect, Protect. The School believes that as human civilization becomes the sole root of pollution and climate change, we are also the ultimate solution. What I found unique about this event was the presence of various indigenous people from all over the world. Isn’t it true that our ancestors have long learnt how to preserve earth by the subtlest approaches?


One of the talks given at Sustainable Solutions 2019

The School also invited NGOs, local schools and communities, social businesses and green startups to help us connect to our root, to educate, inspire, empower and share wisdoms. The second day of the festival which we attended also happened to be the most fully packed day. We got the choice to attend series of talks, panel discussions, eco-based workshops, documentary screenings and many more. A fairly interesting talk that I attended spoke about if we want big changes to happen now, we can make them happen if we join ourselves together to create a big movement. “If you don’t want junk food to exist, then don’t buy it. Imagine if everyone has this mindset then how many chain restaurants we can take down for good in an instance?”, said the former headmaster of Green School where she moderated a session titled “What the (bleep) Does It Mean to Connect, Respect and Protect?”


The workshops were also really informative and surprisingly practical. We were taught several ways to utilize natural resources in coconut creation, medicinal herb making, mushroom material making, natural body cream making, chocolate making, beading workshop, and even learned how to create new papers from used papers in paper cycling workshop. Eco vendors lined up in the soccer field where the stage for workshops and live music and dance performances took place.


Closing

In all honesty, before attending this event, I was slightly skeptical and half-expecting this festival to be just another avenue for vendors to sell their products as seen at some other festivals. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I can confidently say that I did pick up new information, learned new ways of doing things and never looked at waste the same way anymore. It may sound overdramatic, but after the festival, I felt slightly relieved and hopeful of our future; knowing that a group of amazing people are, at this very moment, working on solutions to make our world a better place.


For more information about Sustainable Solutions, an eco-festival by Green School, visit https://sustainablesolutions.greenschool.org

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