The world’s greenest school is green in name and deed. The Green School in Bali is an example for educational institutes in the world to follow. If not completely, at least to a great extent, their green method can be followed. The students are taught to live a sustainable life, and the natural environment of the school allows them to flourish. Children from 45 countries study there, gaining a non-traditional education. Dunbarton High School in Pickering too is considered to be the ‘greenest school on Earth’. The school has been chosen out of 40 eco friendly schools to achieve the honor.
Let’s take a closer look at the World’s greenest schools
Green School Bali – a brief history behind the founders
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Green School, founded by John Hardy and his wife Cynthia Hardy; is a private international school. The school has classrooms from pre-kindergarten up to high school. It is situated near the Ayung river, near the Ubud in Bali, Indonesia.
The couple conceptualized the world’s greenest schools school after they were inspired by the document ‘Three Springs’, written by Alan Wagstaff. The school can be reached via a bamboo bridge, 22 meters long across the river Ayung, in the midst of rice fields and jungles. The Green School Bali School opened from 2008 September, with just 90 students, but now they have 400 students.
A note on it’s building construction and materials
The Green School Bali has broken all ideas of a conventional school. No brick and mortar school building, instead the buildings are constructed from locally sourced thatch and bamboo. This is in accordance to the principles of the school, which is to source local, visualize how the future generation will be affected by present actions and take the cues from the environment, in fact, let the environment teach you.
The US Green Building Council Center for Green Schools, had named it the greenest school in 2012. The Green School has many visitors who come to see the way they have implemented eco friendliness in the building and teaching methods.
Green features of the Green School
- The school sources power from renewable energy sources, such as solar power, micro-hydro power etc. The school buildings are constructed from local materials and design ideas – they have mud walls, grass and bamboo. The Green School Bali architecture has actually been cited as a great example of bamboo architecture.
- The heart of the world’s greenest school, is a bamboo building which is 60 m long, and is a stilt-type structure, and made using 2,500 bamboos. Renewable materials are used in many places of the school, including educational needs, though the senior students do use modern technology such as laptops.
- The Green School Bali architecture has compost toilets, thus teaching their students water conservation. The senior students started Bio Bus, a bus which runs on biodiesel made from used up cooking oil. The teachers, students and Green School community now use these four Bio Buses, each of which have 18 seats.
The curriculum has been designed in a way to develop the sensibility of children towards the natural world, make them more empathetic towards the environment and learn to conserve resources. The school is also equipping them to adapt in a rapidly changing world, beset by environmental problems.
- The curriculum covers Engineering, Botany, Traditional Craftmanship, Biophilic Design and the basics of bamboo architecture.
- All the subjects are supported by theory and practical workshops. The students as well as the visitors to the school engage with innovators of bamboo architecture, designers and entrepreneurs. This is an initiative by the Green School to spread awareness of sustainable architecture to as many people as they can.
- The school’s, through its various initiatives, aims to develop the spiritual awareness as well as emotional intuition of children, encouraging them to be open to life’s possibilities.
- Every class has a rice paddy field, which the students look after, and nurture, and then harvest for consumption.
- Students have a lot of fun too, as they enter ‘Battle of bands’ competitions and designing roller coasters from bamboo.
The Green School is one of the best examples of world’s greenest schools, as it provides a holistic, sustainability based education. It also teaches students to learn each other’s cultures as they come from many different countries of the world. Responsibility, empathy, integrity, peace, sustainability, equality and trust are the values, which are inculcated in the children from childhood.
Dunbarton High School, Pickering, Ontario, Canada
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This high school is the first school in the entire Western Hemisphere to win the ‘Greenest School on Earth’ prize, by the US Green Building Council. The school beat 40 eco friendly schools from all over the world to become the world’s greenest schools. Here are a few things you need to know about this school.
- The students of this school got involved in eco friendly activities due to their concern about global warming. The children were thrilled as their environmental efforts were rewarded and recognized.
- Dunbarton High School has a plethora of green activities, that it is difficult to list them. The students have made ‘bee condos’ to house bees and save bee species.
- 70 native trees have been planted inside the school premises to help the environment. Nearby rivers too have been helped back to health.
- All the school students use refillable bottles, thus saving thousands of plastic bottles from polluting the environment.
- The teachers too have been instrumental in pushing the students towards eco friendly activities. The school has also begun a composting program too.
It’s not enough to talk
One of the teachers who have inspired the students, pointed out that it is not enough just to talk about protecting and conserving the environment. Talking will not bring about real difference, if action is not taken. The students learnt that as it is the environment they have to live in, it has to be taken care of – it’s time to give back to the environment.
According to the National Geographic, Canada features second last on its Greendex, and the US is last on the list! The new generation of Canadians such as these students would hopefully improve the eco friendly quotient of the country.
The greenest schools on the planet are doing a great job of bringing up a new generation of environment aware children, who will grow up empowered to lead green lifestyles. Other schools of the world should follow their example and help their students understand the importance of protecting the environment too.