Updated: Apr 13
Whilst in Bali, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Petr Hindrich, the founder of an incredible project in Indonesia, Green Books.
Image: from the Green Books Instagram!
I was shown around their eco-villa in the uber chic Canngu. They run as eco as possible- using vinegar and soda for cleaning, they have an amazing gravity fed water filter- removing the need for gallon water bottles (I am very jealous- as living in the tropics and having safe drinking water can be hard!) and they also have a garden brimming with vegetables.
I got to talking to Petr about their project. It’s clear he’s very passionate and driven for change. And how they are going about this is very unique.
They have created a system in which any adult with access to children- schools, mosques, churches, community centres, orphanages can apply to be part of their programme of environmental education and rewards. The adults have to prove they are real and are dedicated through doing some environmental activities already. They get to access a forum, to talk to each other and as they progress and conduct more workshops, they are rewarded with environmental books and other environmental rewards for the children. These community change makers bring the environmental education to the children, to learn about the basic biology and science behind where they live. To inspire and empower them to preserve it and prevent damage.
They teach about plastics, palm oil and over fishing as just a few topics covered. By empowering and educating the educators on these important topics, the reach is far larger and more consistent. This issues often relate to health too, with one of the posters in the Green Books office showing that deep fried food isn't very good, promoting healthier food likes bananas.
The incredible thing about this project, is that it is remotely run. They operate out of their Canggu office. No long, expensive and time consuming school visits, that teach a group for 1 hour (of questionable concentration). It is also proven that single school visits often don’t really “work”. This system allows for the adults that are already excited about the environment, about education and with access to children, the support to create a long term, sustainable education and awareness.
Groups that perform well are given rewards. Toys that double as reusable shopping bags (a very smart way to get children carrying them!) and books.
This is an incredible project that, I am really excited to follow. This is empowering LOCAL people. This is getting communities to reach forward to be the change. A true grass roots eco initiative harnessing the power of social media and the internet.. And it has a very far reaching scope, sometimes painfully practical in a conservation world with low funding. It allows for Green Books to support and help many more projects, than is possible through time consuming, expensive and tiring individual school visits. By being remotely operated, they can expand quickly with their support. It’s a great system, one that I see being very popular across many regions in Asia, especially relevant in the field of plastics in the Philippines. With most of the population using Facebook, this is really utilising social media in a wonderful way.
If you want to support this incredible project, and help empower local communities to take the lead in environmental awareness, you can donate to allow them to buy books and keep up this truly unique and amazing project. You can also apply for their internships, both of which can be found here:
This is an incredible project and your donations will do SO much!
Thank you to Petr for showing me around, and to the team for their incredibly impactive work!