Eleven undergraduate students from different majors and one staff of St. Thomas University, Minnesota, came to our Zero Waste to Oceans – Community Environment and Skills Center. They participated in our “Think Global, Act Local” program to learn about environmental issues as part of their trip in Bali.

They first gathered in our big bale to get introduced to R.O.L.E. Foundation and its missions. After that, the participants learned about the importance of forest. They also tried to compare the forest condition in their home to Indonesia’s forest. Also, they learned that the ocean situation, especially in Bali, is quite terrible because such a big amount of liquid waste ended up in our ocean. In Celukan Bawang, Buleleng, where there is a coal-powered powerplant, we can also see that now it is harder for the fishers to catch fishes.

The participants then excitedly learned to recycle papers. It was fun to know that we can make another paper out of the paper juice–pieces of paper blended with water. They also learned how to plant the flamboyant seeds, about the ecosystem by looking at our aquaponics, and tried to differentiate herbs by smelling them. In the middle of the tour, besides enjoyed traditional cakes, tropical fruits, and lemongrass tea, they also tried jamu kunyit asam. Even some of them took more than one shot!

The most exciting part of the tour was getting hands-on in soap upcycling, and tie-dyeing. They enjoyed chopping the soap, make three blocks of it, and also cut them into pieces with our simple machines. We also tie-dyed bandanas in yellow that we got from ketapang leaves and turmeric. The element of surprise of tie-dyeing was really something exciting for them.

At the end of the tour, they had Balinese traditional dishes for their lunch together in our big bale. All funds raised during this interactive training will go to the environmental education of women and local children of Bali.