Experiments In Truth and Recycling

With apologies to Gandhi for stealing his book title (Experiments In Truth) sometimes launching a recycling program in Bali seems harder than achieving independence from England.

But then I spend time with Balinese young people.   The enthusiasm, energy and commitment they bring to the goal of cleaning up their school and village just makes my heart feel lighter and the hurdles seem less daunting.

SMA1, Semarapura is our fourth school partner.  We’ve learned we need three key ingredients to be successful:  1) A willing principal.  2) One or two student leaders and 3) The ability on our ashram’s part to build the facilities (recycling stations and storage sheds) on time and deliver reliable weekly trash pickup service.

Two of our three Co-Presidents of Eco Club SMA1

Two of our three Co-Presidents of Eco Club SMA1

Principal Pak Putu, and his successor, have been willing partners in establishing the recycling program at their school.  Our ashram coordinator Wayan Wysasa identified three student leaders to create Eco-Club, our Ashram Manager, Kadek Donal, managed the building of the bamboo recycling stations and we finally have found a village man with a pickup to be our trash collection man.

We launched the recycling program at SMA1, Semarapura with a kick-off meeting with the principal Pak Putu, our Ashram founder Indra Udayana and the school’s young leaders.  Here’s a video that shows excerpts from the launch.

As you saw, we built a lot of enthusiasm, and ultimately recruited 60 Eco Club members.  These students will manage the recycling program at the school.  Most importantly they will educate their peers about the value of recycling.  Our goal is not just to clean up the school, but to build a cadre of young leaders who will change the environmental ethic in Bali.

Our new Eco Club logo

Our new Eco Club logo

The recycling stations are built and will be delivered next week.  Eco Club is scheduling a Field Trip to see where the plastic, paper and glass is taken after they recycle it, and most importantly the Eco Club tee shirts have been ordered.  Rule Number One:  You can’t Keep Bali Beautiful unless you have a club t-shirt.

Can you help?  This campaign takes some cash to keep it rolling…Not a lot, but we need to pay for the recycling stations, the pickup driver and of course the t-shirts.  If you have a few extra rupiahs, please click here.

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