Month: July 2015

Coconut sugar from Green Camp

Coconut tales

Coconut trees are famous for making coconuts. I was once hit by a coconut, almost died. Around Bali, in all of the hotels and all the public spaces, they cut the flowers off, which means the coconuts never get born. You get the best oil in the world from coconuts. We have an amazing gardener at Green School and he did two things. If you look up and around at coconut trees around you, you’ll see a lot of damage. This is because of the rhinoceros beetle. It goes into the coconut and eats down into the heart of the leaf. The coconut trees die when their leaves are gone. At Green Camp, the gardeners put together a bio-agent to fight it. In the test trees, they’ve sprayed it twice and the trees are starting to come back. The other thing happening at Green Camp is the coconut sugar. It’s amazing- you’ve got to try it. -John A few words from Johannes, a member of the Green Camp and Green School landscape team: We had …

New buildings at Green School

A praying mantis, a grasshopper and an ant walk into a school

Today I walked through the primary school and went to every place I could. It’s just insane- it’s a new dimension in school, it’s a new dimension in classrooms, it’s beyond beautiful. We’re going to make bridges between them and slides. Orin is making an amazing garden, floating down the hill. Such fun to have at school, usually fun is not allowed at school. On the ridge of each classroom will be a wayang kulit (Indonesian shadow puppet) figure made out of bamboo and every year it will be changed by the new class that moves into the building. –John We asked the architects at Ibuku to tell us a little bit more about the design they chose: The inspiration of the building shape for the new Green School Elementary Classrooms came from a leaf shape found on the site; it’s a simple shape,  yet functional when it implemented as a building roof. The project consists of 3 buildings each with classrooms on two levels and designed to fit onto a sloping site. The classrooms have been configured …

Spearing Garbage and Trash Walks

Spearing garbage, talking trash

A parent, Peter Barge, walking from his bamboo house in Green Village to Green School, became frustrated at the amount of garbage on the path. He had PT Bamboo Pure make him the first trash spear. He is the founder of the Trash Walk. We found as we walked we were having a meeting, so we developed this Spearing Garbage and Talking Trash; although we met about many things, we were spending a lot of time meeting about finding scalable solutions to the trash problem. It’s a very beautiful experience to walk with someone and meet with them on any subject. The walking meeting is exceptional. The rule of the trash walk is simple, you have to keep walking, keep spearing and keep talking. [FAG id=1851]   Have a look at this video of the Trash Walkers that Dave Cornthwaite made of his walk. If you’d like to join John one morning, send us an email. Spearing garbage and talking trash.

Vortex at Green School Bali

Never give up: the 7 year vortex saga

At Green School we believed that micro hydro was off the table because we didn’t have more than a two meter drop in the river which runs through the school grounds. Then we read about the miraculous achievements of Franz Zotlöterer, a mad Austrian who made a vortex in a swimming pool. We saw that we could get hydro in the two meter drop we had, so we proceeded. And things were looking good until we had a little problem. Village politics played up and the dam we had built to send water through our vortex ended up with a two meter hole in it. So we then ended up spending about two years rebuilding relationships as well as the dam. Just when we thought we were back in the game and well on the road to having the vortex become a reality we got side-tracked with some unorthodox engineering ideas and this ate up a good part of another year. Finally, we went back to Mr. Zotlöterer who was, needless to say, not very …

Bamboo pole at Green School

Pole by pole

Pak Yok has been working at Green School since 2009. Pak Yok is a carver; he’s been carving since he was in primary school and he learnt the skills from his father. If you go to Heart of School you will see poles carved with the names of all the people who have donated to the school. Pak Yok has carved over 2000 poles since he started, in tens of languages and scripts, including Russian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and Korean. “People donate, I carve. They are happy and that makes me happy,” he said. If you want to keep Pak Yok busy, let us know.

Enviropallet Bali

MEET: Enviropallets cleaning up Bali

“A huge number of trees are cut down to make these stupid things, these pallets. And all they are for is so that the forklift can pick up the goods. Enviropallets cost the same amount, you can use them up to seven times each, and the great thing is that they are sucking up 4 tons of plastic bags a week in Bali and we need to get rid of those bags. The next step is to convince the Balinese that this stuff is valuable; right now plastic sells for Rp 1,500 a kilo.” Enviropallets Bali recycles the plastic waste in Bali to make low cost, high quality nestable export pallets.