New Eco Club Joins Campaign to Keep Bali Beautiful

Wearing our new Eco Club SMAN1 Banjarankan t-shirts

Wearing our new Eco Club SMAN1 Banjarankan t-shirts

Thirty high school students from SMAN1 Banjarankan, Bali took a field trip on Monday to inspire them to become eco-educators at their school.  As the SMAN1 Eco Club, it will be their job to operate the school’s recycling program and to educate their fellow students about the value of recycling.

Sorting plastic at Bali Recycling

Sorting plastic at Bali Recycling

Olivier explaining how Bali Recycling converts plastic to products.

Olivier explaining how Bali Recycling converts plastic to products.

Kadek Donal makes Bali Recycling's Managers honorary Eco Clubbers.

Kadek Donal makes Bali Recycling’s Managers honorary Eco Clubbers.

These very motivated and smart kids first received a tour of Bali Recycling in Mas where Olivier Pouillon showed them how the plastic, paper and glass they recycle at their school is converted into valued products.  “Throwing that plastic away is like throwing money away,” said Olivier.  “We will pay you for that plastic, and make upcycled plastic products that we can sell,” he said.

Even old gum boots are recycled for planters at RumahKompos

Even old gum boots are recycled for planters at RumahKompos

Su.pardi of Rumah Kompos PadangTegal showing us how they make compost

Su.pardi of Rumah Kompos PadangTegal showing us how they make compost

Our next stop was to see Supardi at the Padang Tegal Rumah Kompos.  He showed us around this very efficient recycling and composting center across from Ubud’s Monkey Forest.  He also explained to us how plastic pollution poisons our air, water, animals and ultimately ourselves. IMG_3445

Finally it was lunch time where the great cooks and wonderful chefs served a delicious meal, and then treated us to a Yoga Class led by Andrea and Levi. IMG_3455

SMAN1 teachers getting into the yoga.

SMAN1 teachers getting into the yoga.

Made Max, Iloh Averi and Made Junie deep into meditation.

Made Max, Iloh Averi and Made Junie deep into meditation.

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Thank you Andrea, Levi and Yoga Barn for a great finish to the day.

 

Then back on the bus and homeward bound after enjoying a great day learning a lot and having fun!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIaZtepeC7g

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Bye Bye Plastic Bag Movement Grows

Isabel and Melati from Bye Bye Plastic Bag with Klungkung Eco Clubbers, Komank from Udayana University , Puji from Keep Bali Beautiful and Lucas from DASH

Isabel and Melati from Bye Bye Plastic Bag with Klungkung Eco Club Leaders Gita and Reny, Komank from Udayana University , Puji from Keep Bali Beautiful and Lucas from DASH

Bye Bye Plastic Bag (BBPB) the kid-run organization with the big mission of banning plastic bags in Bali organized a coalition of more than 100 organizations (including Keep Bali Beautiful) and individuals to assist their effort at a meeting last week.

bye bye

 The BBPB Coalition will be focused on educating schools, businesses and villages throughout the island about the problems that plastic bags and other pollution causes for the people of Bali, and what they can do to solve it.

A the BBPB Coalition Meeting

At the BBPB Coalition Meeting

They will be organizing marches, awarding businesses that take the pledge to be plastic-free, delivering their message to the news media and continuing their campaign to obtain one million signatures to ban plastic bags.

If you would like to sign the petition to make Bali plastic bag free, click here. Or if you would like to volunteer to be part of the campaign to Keep Bali Beautiful click here.

Keep Bali Beautiful preview

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.