A Pioneer in Padangtegal – Ubud is Going Green!

UBUD is GOING GREEN! This post by my friend, Amit, is a wonderful commentary on the effort to clean up Ubud. The ‘recycling engineers’ shall we call them, LOVE their bright blue uniforms and yellow accessories!

Healing Pilgrim

I recently met the chief of Padangtegal village in Ubud who is trying to make a big difference in his community; and, if all goes well (and according to plan), change will come to the rest of Ubud and beyond:

The ballooning dilemma of trash and pollution has become a scourge on this island, once deemed a natural paradise. The accumulation of garbage on roads, in rivers and on the coastlines is not only an eyesore, but an escalating environmental and health hazard.  Plastic bags, foil wrappers, batteries, styrofoam and rubber tires are swept into piles, and then burned in close proximity to homes and schools, or dumped into streams or crevices that line sidewalks.

Unfortunately, the city of Ubud, one of the main hubs of Bali’s tourism industry, is a microcosm of this growing environmental menace. One has only to peek behind restaurants, hotels and businesses, to witness how…

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Fifty Shades of Grey

That’s the Minnesota landscape in December. Fifty shades of grey. Bleak.

Sunshine produces warm greys. Clouds make cold, hard, dreary greys. But grey is grey and there is nothing sexy or erotic about Minnesota’s Fifty Shades!

I’m lucky. For the last week before I left Ubud for the holidays in Minnesota, my Balinese friends would find me staring off over the coconut palms and frangipani trees. “What’s wrong?” they were concerned. Usually I’m doing…something! Shaken from my reverie I explained that I was capturing mental pictures of the kaleidoscope of color, the five million shades of green, that I would need to sustain me through 50 days of Minnesota grey. They laughed. You see, they don’t get it. They don’t get grey, they don’t get cold, and they definitely don’t get snow! It isn’t their reality. Ever. But it was mine for many years. I knew what to expect.


Photo from Bing.com/images

I remembered a children’s story, Frederick by Leo Lionni, that I read to my girls years ago. While the other field mice worked to gather grain and nuts for winter, Frederick sat on a sunny rock by himself. “I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days,” he told them. Another day he gathered “colors,” and then “words.” And when the food ran out, it was Frederick, the dreamer and poet, whose endless store of supplies warmed the hearts of his fellow mice, and fed their spirits during the darkest winter days.

So that’s what I did. I gathered the suns rays. I memorized the colors. I stored up all the brightest, happiest words to cheer me. I soaked up paradise…Bali-rice terraces (1)

And it almost worked…almost.

The Green School


Today I am sending you to a link for the Green School here in Bali. There are conscious efforts in many U.S. cities to teach children to be more self-sufficient and ecology minded. In Bali they have taken it to another level. Please check out the website and see a school that was built ‘green’ and teaches ‘green.’

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