If any of you have ever been to Bali, you have probably heard of the Green School. I was lucky enough to organise a Yoga for Kids teachers training at the Green School not too long ago and would like to write about my experience of the area (yeah this post is way overdue!).
It’s like a little piece of heaven for conscious individuals and their children, but even if you don’t have a child, go for a guided tour of the campus anyway, I promise that you will enjoy it as there’s nothing else like it in the world!
Getting to Green School, Bali
I came from Ubud and it took about 25 minutes from Coco supermarket. It’s not particularly hard to find, but it really helps if you have someone who could take you there as there are no signs until you actually reach the turn for Green School. The road was mostly decent, apart from a small bit at the end that was a little bumpy.
Step-by-step directions to Green School from Ubud by moped
- Go down Hanoman road (the main road going South from Jalan Ubud Raya).
- Just before the petrol station, turn right onto Nuyh Kuning road (heading West) and drive for a while.
- After 2.5km you will see another petrol station – turn left there.
- After 3km, you will reach traffic lights – turn right there.
- After 3.5km (yes I actually calculated them) you will see a street market – turn left there (if you’re driving by car, I believe you should go right here and go round the other side, but I don’t know that way off by heart, sorry!)
- After about 2km you will reach a petrol station to your right, the turn for Green School will be the THIRD turn right after the station.
- The turn will be very hard to see, though it will have a bamboo sign. Once you find it, keep going straight (you will cross 2 roads), the road will get narrow (cars won’t be able to go here) and very bumpy.
- You will pass a bridge, then go uphill to find 2 half-columns either side of you, take an immediate left.
- Keep going until you see the parking lot – there will be people there to direct you.
- The geographic coordinates for Green School are: -8.56643,115.213894 – if you just put that into Google Maps, that should show you the exact location so you can drive there easier if you have a car.
Getting around Green School:
The school is quite big, and one thing I would REALLY recommend…DON’T bring suitcases on wheels. The roads inside are made up of large rocks (about the size of your foot) and smaller pebbles, so wheeling anything in is quite problematic. Even walking in flip flops is a little challenging, and mine actually broke the moment I got there, so halfway in I limped barefoot until one of the students gave me his shoes haha!
Just how “green” is Green School?
Well let me put it this way, when we asked for a rubbish bin for the yoga studio, they brought us 2 recycling bins.
As far as I’ve seen, everything here, the classrooms, the walls, the yurts where people sleep at the Green Camp (which is where we stayed) is made up of natural materials, mostly wood and bamboo. Even the way they build things is green, i.e. they use minimal metal nails and many connections are done using wood.
They have their own well with fresh water and they show children how it’s made (there are signs all over the school with facts and explaining how things work). They also use as many renewable resources as possible – they have a large area covered in solar panels.
Most toilets are also green here, inside every cubicle they have a “wet” toilet (for peeing – no paper allowed) and a “dry” toilet (for pooing – you can throw paper in and that gets covered by dry leaves). I was pleased to learn that it wasn’t just a hole in the ground, it was quite decent actually and not too smelly.
What else does Green School have?
Gosh, what don’t they have? I wish I could be a kid again just so I can go to this school!
The Ayung river flows on school grounds so you can go swimming in clean and chlorine-free water. For those who don’t want to jump into the river, they actually built a natural swimming pool just above the river, so the smaller children can swim without fear. A life-jacket must always be worn when inside the water.
They have a huge variety of different plants all over the place, from lemongrass to leaves that make funny noises if you play with them. This is also the first place I saw how sugar cane grows, and got to try some too! Besides that, there is a garden area where children learn about permaculture and get to plant and try their own vegetables! We got a lesson on permaculture during our training and this was one of the things I found most fascinating.
They have a Green Camp – like usual summer camp for kids who don’t necessarily go to the school. They get to play, swim, do yoga, learn about permaculture and lots of other cool things.
Of course there is also a kindergarden area where they have swings and all sorts of fun things for kids to do. There are animals wandering around, like goats and cows, and there is a large area where they protect native birds, such as the Balinese starling.
But I’m leaving the best till last…they have a MUD PIT! It’s literally a large bit of mud right in the middle of the school where kids can get in touch with nature and completely grounded in the most natural and fun way possible!! Did I get in? Do you really need to ask?
Guided tours of the Green School
If you want to visit Green School, there are tours everyday that start around 14:00. You can book them online here. Someone will show you all around the campus and explain all about the different plants, structures and renewable energy sources that they use in the school. Tours can last from one hour to 2.5 hours (we got unlucky last time, had to wait for a lot of people). There’s a fee of 120,000 rupiah for the tour that gets donated to the local Balinese students scholarship fund.
There’s just so much about this place that I love, from their ethics to their classroom designs, but I think I will let you go see it for yourself.
I have a friend who teaches at Green School and he says that what he sees there everyday is amazing. Kids are surrounded by beauty and mindful teachers, who not only teach them the basics, but also the things that don’t get taught in “normal” schools – things like yoga, compassion, friendship, ecology, renewable energy sources, how to grow your own food and how to co-exist with nature. All this on the beautiful island of Bali – what more could you want?
Oh I forgot to mention that there is a place for parents to stay in on the other side of the river, I didn’t go inside any of the housing but from the outside they look awesome. Also, there is an area where they occasionally hold retreats or workshops, but if you stay in the yurts of the Green Camp, they aren’t particularly cosy – they’re meant for kids and have bunk beds. If you do come, make sure to bring mosquito repellent, as there are no nets and the bathroom is outside.
Enjoy your visit!
P.S. Since you’re all the way in Bali, you should definitely check out the Gili islands – beautiful beaches, diving with turtles and no motorised transport! If you’re into raw food, I also wrote a guide to eating raw at Gili Air.