We are tackling the environmental crisis innovatively at its roots by combining 3 pillars: developing eco-educational curriculums for school children, training local teachers, and rewarding schools with eco-friendly products.
1. ECO-EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUMS
We are developing curriculums that local teachers and educators implement in their schools and communities as part of formal or informal education.
In contrast with the still prevailing frontal style of teaching, our curriculums are based on experiential learning and a positive approach, containing interactive fun games and activities. The lesson plans follow a three-phased learning scheme: Evocation – Realization of meaning – Reflection.
The activities include: movement games, storytelling, up-cycling arts & crafts, puppet theatre, drama, songs, dances, quizzes, role plays, artworks, posters, documentary film watching, experiments, composting, gardening, tree planting, bird watching, field trips, school/beach/river clean-ups, etc.
The curriculums encompass many interesting and important eco-topics — from plastic pollution and climate change to biodiversity and conservation.
Single-Use Plastic Free School Program
In 2021, we have developed and implemented together with our partners from Making Oceans Plastic Free a pilot program – Single-Use Plastic Free School. We were working together with 3 local educational departments in Malang, Mataram and West Lombok regencies, reaching 9 elementary schools and their grade 4-6 students. In 2022, we updated the program (based on the teachers’ feedback) and implemented it in another 5 elementary schools in Mataram and West Lombok regencies.
Indonesia has seen a sharp increase in plastic pollution over the past years, exposing people to a large number of health and economic risks. There are risks resulting from ingesting microplastics with increasingly contaminated marine food, risks from negative effects on the fishery sector, and also the tourism industry. Being the fourth most populous country with 40% of plastic waste ending up in the ocean, the negative impact goes far beyond local risks: Indonesia is the world’s second-largest source of marine plastic pollution significantly contributing to the global marine litter crisis.
The Single-Use Plastic Free Schools Program is designed to change one of the most critical factors contributing to plastic pollution: plastic habits. Plastic habits describe the regular behavior of using single-use plastic products, like plastic shopping bags, plastic straws, plastic bottles and cups, and more. Plastic habits are one of the biggest sources contributing to the plastic pollution crisis on land and in our oceans.
We identified effective opportunities to change plastic habits based on environmental education activities for school children. We used the training of teachers to attain sustainable impact and multiplier effects. School children as a target group offered the opportunity for easier and more effective results due to early intervention principles. Furthermore, results from the interventions yield benefits for lifelong positive impacts.
In the Single-Use Plastic Free School program, we support schools and teachers in helping school children to change their plastic habits with easy, fun, and interactive eco-education activities spread into 12 lessons.
Based on the impact surveys, the school children increased awareness of plastic pollution risks, learned about alternative solutions, and were empowered to change their plastic habits effectively. Part of the program is eco-friendly rewards such as refillable water bottles, water filters, reusable Tasini keychain/tote bags, and educational comic books.
The Single-Use Plastic Free Schools pilot program (2021) was funded by the ‘Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ project of the European Union and the German Government.
Ocean Stewards Program
In 2022, we have developed together with our partners from Plastic Bank Indonesia a pilot program – Ocean Stewards. The program is designed for elementary school students in Bali, Lombok, Surabaya, and Jakarta. It consists of 12 lessons for grades 1-3 and 12 lessons for grades 4-6.
The purpose of this project is to educate future generations on how to reduce single-use plastic consumption and develop plastic recycling habits, starting from home, to protect the environment and our ocean.
The sustainability of the project is secured by providing access to recycling infrastructure in the schools for students, families, teachers, and surrounding communities. By donating their recyclable plastic waste they can contribute to increasing the plastic recycling rate, and stop ocean plastic.
The Ocean Stewards program is a pilot project for schools in Indonesia by Plastic Bank in partnership with Alliance to End Plastic Waste. It is planned to be adopted by Plastic Bank branches in the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, and Brazil.
Zero Waste School Program
Since July 2019, the Zero Waste School Program has been adopted by individual educators and schools across Indonesia – from North Sumatra to Aceh, Jambi, South Sumatra, Central Sulawesi, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Maluku, Lombok, and Bali.
The topics of the program include problems posed by plastic waste and microplastic to the environment and marine life, taking action to reduce their use of single-use plastic by switching to reusable bags and water bottles, exploring waste separation and bio decomposition of organic waste versus inorganic waste, and linking to local waste banks.
Teachers indicated in the post-activity surveys that the Zero Waste School Program is easy to implement and the children are enthusiastic and inspired by the content and format. They also pointed out that the curriculum enhanced their own knowledge and supported them to become greener educators.
Easy-to-carry reusable Tasini bags have been distributed to the participants who have completed the first stage of the program enabling them to switch from single-use plastic bags. The other eco-friendly rewards include Zero Waste Lunch Kits and water filters.
Gung Asri - SD Saraswati Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali
Soleh Dhea - SDN Karangreja 1, Pebayuran, West Java
Gita - SD Saraswati Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali
Alfi - Penggage, Musi Banyuasin, South Sumatra
Ratih Nur Azizah - Komunitas Gerobak Pustaka Wilayut, East Java
Budi Permana - Cimamere, West Java
Fatma Dewi - Sungai Gelam, Jambi
Windarti Aprina - Kolono, Central Sulawesi
Single-Use Plastic Free Families Program
The pilot 2023 Single-Use Plastic Free Families Program aimed to transform plastic consumption habits at the family level, reaching 174 students and 162 parents.
First, we condensed our highly impactful Single-Use Plastic Free Schools program and trained 6 teachers from SDN 5 Peguyangan Denpasar. We added extra activities including parents, in the final stage students presented a puppet play and a song/choreography performance, and their parents were invited to attend. During the program, the students also socialize the topics of ocean plastic and reducing single-use plastics with their family members.
The pilot program has been implemented together with Making Oceans Plastic Free who specialize in behavior change and impact measurement.
Coral Reef Snorkeling Experience for Schoolchildren
Indonesia is home to one of the most extensive coral reef ecosystems in the world, spanning over 50,000 square kilometers. However, despite its size and importance, about 95 percent of Indonesia’s coral reefs are at risk, with overfishing, destructive fishing practices, and pollution among the leading threats. Furthermore, climate change has resulted in rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, which can cause coral bleaching and mass mortality events.
Unfortunately, around 95 percent of Indonesian schoolchildren cannot swim, which means they are unable to explore these unique marine habitats firsthand and may not fully appreciate their ecological value. This lack of access is a significant barrier to raising awareness about the importance of coral reefs and the threats they face.
To address this issue, the Coral Reef Snorkeling Experience for Schoolchildren program provides an opportunity for students to experience coral reefs firsthand, learn about their importance for biodiversity conservation, and understand the threats facing these fragile ecosystems.
The program includes transport from the school to Padang Bai, where students learn how to snorkel in a pool at the OK Divers Resort under the supervision of professional instructors. After the training, students take a short boat ride to the coral reef area, where they can explore the biodiversity of coral reefs under the supervision of professional instructors from OK Divers.
After the snorkeling session, the students return to the resort for a vegetarian single-use plastic-free lunch and reflect on the importance of coral reef ecosystems and coral restoration, which is introduced by experts from local NGO Livingseas. This reflection session helps students understand the critical role of coral reefs in sustaining marine life and the importance of protecting them from unsustainable human activities.
The baseline and endline impact evaluation of the program showed that the students experienced a deep connection with nature and understood the threats facing coral reefs. The most enthusiastic students have the chance to sign up for the follow-up coral reef restoration program organized by Livingseas, which involves actively participating in coral restoration efforts. By participating in these programs, students not only gain valuable knowledge but also become ambassadors for coral reef conservation, spreading awareness in their communities and beyond.
River Barrier Clean-Up
A pilot project in which 85 students from SND 9 Pedungan in Denpasar gained hands-on experience in collecting plastic waste from a nearby river barrier installed by Sungai Watch. Students witnessed that, on a daily basis, approximately 15 kilograms of plastic waste accumulated in the small river, which then flows into mangrove forest.
The Sungai Watch river barrier clean-up is a valuable experiential learning activity that complements the Single-Use Plastic Free Schools Program. It follows the Plastic Cycle Poster activity, where students learn how, from the initial purchase of products wrapped in single-use plastic, plastic travels through waterways to the ocean, polluting the marine ecosystem and ultimately affecting human health.
Biodiversity Conservation Programs
Since 2017, we have started to release individual eco-activities focused on biodiversity conservation, ecosystems and endangered species. The eco-activities included: interactive games, quizzes, storytelling, up-cycling arts & crafts, and Green Desert documentary film watching (watch the video below).
In 2018, we implemented the Free as a Bird Program, supported by the World Association of Zoo and Aquariums and Zoo Ostrava. Indonesia has one of the highest numbers of bird species assessed as threatened, nevertheless, thousands of such endangered species are still being sold in the local markets. Mostly because of the high demand for birds as pets, every fifth household keeps caged birds as pets in Indonesia.
The goal of the Free as a Bird Program was to inspire and facilitate a mind shift in the local community about the wild bird’s values, from belonging to an important part of the world ecosystem. This was achieved through the series of birdwatching and educational activities, which would encourage local children and their parents to long-lasting devotion to nature and the environment, and inspire them through education about how to care for and conserve the limited and unique natural sources. With a deep connection with local nature, they would adopt new behaviors to understand and protect nature.
Climate Fresk Workshop
In 2023, we became official facilitators of the Clima Fresk Workshop and started organizing public workshops.
Climate Fresk is a playful & collaborative workshop based on the data from IPCC reports. Participants learn the causes and consequences of climate change, connect with like-minded people, and are inspired to take action. The content is suitable for beginners as well as experts. More than 1,000,000 people have attended it worldwide.
Adult Participants Reached
Climate Change Education Program
In 2020, we have developed a Climate Change Education Program designed for Junior and Senior High School students. This comprehensive curriculum makes students understand:
- The important role that carbon plays on the Earth and understanding the need to keep the carbon cycle in balance.
- That human actions have led to a substantial increase in the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and understanding of what the impacts are on the planet.
- The importance of restoring the balance and the range of actions that can be taken, at the individual level and at the community level for real impact.
- That most of the CO2 emitting actions are linked to our lifestyle and everyday consumption choices and we can limit our personal CO2 footprint by consuming less and saving more energy.
Throughout the program, students will also develop an appreciation for and a respectful relationship with nature, and they are encouraged to develop a mini-action project. The program is waiting for implementation.
This program has been developed in 2020 as a response to the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the time of social distancing parents were taking on the role of educators, and it was a great opportunity to bring education for sustainability from school to home. This inspired us to support Indonesian teachers to involve parents with eco-activity resources on topics of biodiversity conservation, waste management, and climate change.
Green Kids Global Connect
Aim of the Green Kids Global Connect program is to connect students from different cultural backgrounds and exchange ideas to tackle environmental issues on an individual and school level.
The 2023 pilot program connected 40 students from Elementary Schools SD Saraswati Sukawati in Bali, Indonesia, and Labyrinth School in Brno, Czech Republic.
In the first stage, the students created video postcards introducing their team members, school, and surroundings. In the second stage, students prepared interactive presentations introducing various green solutions in their schools and communities. In the third stage, students introduced their solutions during a video meeting and discussed them with their cross-border peers.
2. TRAINING OF TEACHERS
Teachers are at the heart of our quest to inspire the children and communities to live more sustainably. We believe that training local teachers is the most effective way to scale up awareness of environmental topics and achieve behavioral change in the schoolchildren and the wider population. We use the training of teachers to attain sustainable impact and multiplier effects.
Single-Use Plastic Free School Teachers Training
A substantial part of the Single-Use Plastic Free School Program is to engage with local school departments to recruit schools, and further develop and implement training for teachers, principals, and education department administrators.
The training consists of online resources and a 2-day offline workshop. The aim is for the educators to:
- Understand some pedagogical techniques that enhance learners’ experience
- Gain knowledge on single-use plastics, pollution and solutions
- Understand the concept of the Big 5 solutions for reducing single-use plastics
- Understand the structure of the lesson plan
- Understand the content of each of the 12 lessons
- Get hands-on experience with some pedagogical techniques
- Prepare some props for students’ activities implementation
Ocean Stewards Teachers Training
The training linked to the Ocean Stewards Program consists of a 2-day offline workshop or alternatively 15 online learning modules. The aim is for the elementary school teachers to:
- Understand the overall goal of the program
- Understand some pedagogical techniques that enhance learners’ experience
- Gain knowledge on single-use plastics, pollution, and solutions
- Understand the structure of the lesson plan
- Understand the content of each of the 12 lessons
- Get hands-on experience with effective pedagogical techniques
- Prepare necessary props for students’ activities implementation
PELITA Online Course
The goal of this online training program for teachers is to introduce the foundational concepts of education for sustainability that will enable students to adapt to new challenges in the 21st century and inspire them to live in harmony with their natural environment. Also, the program inspires the local teachers to initiate school/community-based eco-projects.
The trainees learn about:
- Transformative learning – modern teaching techniques that support students to develop creativity as well as communication and collaborative skills necessary to cope with an uncertain future in a fast-changing world
- Environmental issues, the climate crisis, and the importance of living in harmony with nature
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and global citizenship
- Sustainable solutions applicable in their communities
3. ECO-FRIENDLY REWARDS
We motivate the schools, teachers, and students who engage in our eco-educational programs by providing rewards – eco-friendly products and educational materials.
Since 2015, we have delivered thousands of current, colorful, and engaging kids’ books in the Indonesian language on topics like fauna, flora, ecosystems, and the environment to numerous schools across Indonesia. Explore their stories.
Tasini reusable keychain/eco-bags
Provided as a motivational reward for the participants of the Single-Use Plastic Free School Program, the Zero Waste School Program, and the Ocean Stewards Program. Tasini is an easy-to-carry reusable bag made from 2 recycled PET bottles, the bag folds into a keychain representing one of 5 marine species.
Nazava XL Water Filters
Provided as a motivational reward for the schools implementing the Single-Use Plastic Free School Program and the Zero Waste School Program. Children have no access to drinkable water in school. Water filters enable them to refill their reusable bottles instead of buying drinks in single-use plastic.
Water Filters Provided
Stainless-Steel Zero Waste Lunch Kits
Provided as a motivational reward for the teachers implementing the Zero Waste School Program.
Zero Waste Lunch Kits Provided
Reusable Water Bottles Tasini
Provided as a motivational reward for the participants of the Single-Use Plastic Free School Program.
Reusable Bottles Provided
Eco-Friendly Food Aid
The Balinese economy heavily relies on tourism, accounting for 80% of its income. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has severely impacted the island’s economy, leaving thousands of locals without work or financial support.
In response to this crisis, Green-Books.org (Yayasan Green Books Indonesia), a non-profit organization focused on environmental education, initiated a food aid project called “Czechs for Bali” under the patronage of the Embassy of the Czech Republic, in coordination with the honorary consul of the Czech Republic in Bali – native Balinese Mr. Gusde, and long-term Czech residents, including OK Divers Resort.
To ensure effective aid for those in need, we carefully selected locations and methods for delivering 3,500 food packages. We made every effort to ensure that the aid was as eco-friendly as possible by avoiding single-use plastics and palm oil, and providing vegetarian meals.