Today we visited a well-known school in the area…the Green School. The Green School is very focused on sustainability. They take kids from Pre-K to the end of high school.
One thing I found fascinating is that they have over 70 buildings and only three are not completely made out of bamboo! They have their own supply of bamboo to use. They use it over other materials for five main reasons. One, it grows very fast, 6-10 years to mature since planted, as opposed to most trees like pine, maple, and oak, in which it might take decades. It is also very flexible which makes it easy to work with. During the Lombok Earthquake on August 5th, 2018, many buildings got destroyed and broke down. A lot of cement and other material buildings got destroyed, but the bamboo buildings of the Green School just swayed back and forth. Another reason is that it is so inexpensive. Compared to cement and stuff it is so cheap. Then the two last are not as important but still fine reasons. One, it produces more oxygen, so the air is fresher, and two, Bamboo is just purely beautiful.
The second thing I loved was the bio-bus. The bio-bus is a bus that runs on used cooking oil. They reuse it and turn it into something called biodiesel. They get it from restaurants and in trade they give them soap made from used cooking oil. So they basically get used cooking oil and use some for soap to give back to them and some for the bio-buses.
Then we went to the yoga room. The yoga room is one of the three buildings in the school that are not completely made of bamboo. It is a large circle room hanging off a hillside with lots of nature, and the sound of the rushing river nearby, which helps with yoga. It was made out of pieces of wood that came from broken down ships. Though it was not only used for yoga. Of course, yoga is its main purpose, but it was once used for archery, and something related to smoothies.
Another thing I found neat is that they want you to find who you are. They do their best to let the students be very free. At the end of the middle school in the Green School, you do something called Quest. It is basically a big project you do to see who you are and what are your passions. During the tour they said: “The Green School has no walls literally and metaphorically.” When they say that, they mean there are no borders of what you can’t do and that the buildings do not have any walls (just railings).
Then we reached the kithcen. This is the second building not completely built out of bamboo. They supply lunch when you are at the school (if you are a student, not if you are doing the tour), and they don’t grow enough to feed 700 people (500 students, 200 staff). So they buy some from the Kul-Kul farm (read Julien’s blog: “Permaculture”). The Kul-Kul farm is also a very sustainable focused farm near the Green School.
Bamboo is actually a type of grass!