Local Sustainability Projects in Bali
Bali has a vibrant community of sustainability advocates and practitioners, with a number of local sustainability projects that are worth highlighting. In reality, responsible tourism and sustainable tourism are two equivalent notions. Their goal is to participate in the development of the country while respecting the environment and the local culture. Local sustainability projects in Bali are initiatives that aim to promote environmental and social sustainability in the region, and encompass a wide range of efforts such as waste management, sustainable agriculture, animal conservation, and community development.
In this article, we will delve into the topic of local sustainability projects in Bali and explore some of the inspiring initiatives and practices that are promoting sustainability and eco-friendliness in this beautiful Indonesian island.
Here are a few examples for local sustainability projects in Bali:
Eco Bali Recycling
Eco Bali is a waste management and recycling company that helps businesses and households in Bali reduce their environmental impact. They collect and sort recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, and metal, and provide education and training on waste reduction and composting.
By actively participating in waste reduction and recycling efforts, individuals can contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable Bali. Their website is https://eco-bali.com
Kopernik is a Bali-based nonprofit organization that focuses on developing and distributing sustainable technologies to improve the lives of people living in poverty.
The organization was founded in 2010 with the mission to address social and environmental challenges by connecting simple, effective technologies with the people who can benefit from them the most.
They have a range of projects, including distributing solar lanterns, clean cookstoves, and water filters. They also work with local communities to develop sustainable livelihoods, such as producing and selling organic fertilizer.
By supporting Kopernik, you contribute to their efforts in driving positive change and creating a more equitable and sustainable world. Their website https://kopernik.info
BaliWISE is a non-profit organization that provides vocational training and job opportunities for marginalized women in Bali. They offer courses in hospitality, spa and beauty, and business skills, and they also promote environmental awareness and sustainable practices in their training programs.
To support Bye Bye Plastic Bags and contribute to their mission, you can participate in their events, volunteer your time, or make a donation to help fund their activities.
Their website is https://baliwise.org.
Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Bye Bye Plastic Bags is a youth-led movement to eliminate plastic bags from Bali. Founded by sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen when they were just 10 and 12 years old, the movement has grown to include thousands of volunteers and has successfully lobbied the Balinese government to ban single-use plastics. Theirwebsite https://byebyeplasticbags.org
Bumi Sehat is a Bali-based nonprofit that provides maternal and child health services to underserved communities. One of the core focuses of Bumi Sehat is providing comprehensive prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care to pregnant women and new mothers.
They focus on providing sustainable and holistic healthcare, including traditional Balinese healing practices and natural childbirth. They also have a program to promote sustainable agriculture and nutrition education.
To support Bumi Sehat’s mission and learn more about their initiatives, you can visit their official website or consider making a donation to help them continue their vital work in promoting maternal and child health in Bali.
Bali Green Surf
Bali Green Surf is a sustainable surf school in Seminyak that promotes eco-friendly surfing practices and ocean conservation. They’re actively advocates for the protection of Bali’s surf breaks and coastal areas.
They offer lessons on how to surf in a way that minimizes your impact on the environment, and they also organize beach cleanups and other environmental initiatives. Visit their official website or connect with them through their social media channels to learn more about Bali Green Surf’s initiatives, events, and how to get involved. Their website is https://www.baligreensurfschool.com
Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA)
BAWA is a non-profit organization that works to improve the welfare of animals in Bali. They provide free medical care, vaccination, sterilization, and education programs to local communities and animal owners.
They also organize rescue operations for injured and abused animals. To learn more about the Bali Animal Welfare Association, get involved, or make a donation, you can visit their official website or reach out to them directly. Their website is https://bawabali.com
Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF)
FNPF is a non-profit organization that works to protect and restore natural habitats and wildlife in Bali. They focus on protecting endangered species such as the Bali starling and the Javan leopard, and they also promote reforestation and sustainable farming practices. Their website is http://www.fnpf.org.
East Bali Poverty Project
The East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished communities in remote areas of East Bali. Founded in 1998, EBPP focuses on addressing poverty through holistic and sustainable approaches, with a particular emphasis on education, healthcare, and sustainable livelihoods.
Working to alleviate poverty in remote villages, this project focuses on education, healthcare, and sustainable livelihoods. They support local schools, provide healthcare services, and empower communities through various income-generating initiatives.
To support the East Bali Poverty Project or learn more about their initiatives, you can visit their official website or consider making a donation to contribute to their ongoing efforts. Their website is https://www.eastbalipovertyproject.org.
These are just a few examples of the many local sustainability projects in Bali. Bali’s sustainability community actively develops innovative solutions to address pressing environmental and social challenges, promoting a sustainable and equitable future for the island.
What are Balinese ancient system, tradition that providing a reliable and sustainable?
The Balinese people have a deep respect for the environment and a strong commitment to sustainable living.
The Balinese pass down their ancient systems and traditions through generations, effectively supporting their way of life and still practicing and celebrating them today, including:
Subak irrigation system, is an essential component of Bali’s agriculture and cultural heritage
Subak is a traditional Balinese irrigation system that has been in use for over a thousand years, providing a reliable and sustainable water supply to rice paddies and other crops.
This ingenious system is based on the principles of:
It is managed by local farmers through a complex network of canals, tunnels, and water temples. Subak not only supports Bali’s agriculture but also represents an essential part of the island’s cultural heritage and identity.
This traditional irrigation system is designed to manage water flow efficiently and sustainably, making it an excellent example of eco-friendly agricultural practices.
Additionally, Subak is a community-based organization that promotes collaboration and cultural values, which are integral parts of Bali’s identity.
Its historical significance and importance have been recognized by UNESCO, which designated Subak as a World Heritage Site in 2012. Thus, Subak represents the rich cultural and agricultural heritage of Bali and demonstrates the importance of sustainable water management in maintaining the island’s ecology and economy.
Tri Hita Karana
This is a philosophical concept that emphasizes the importance of harmony between humans, nature, and the spirit world.
This concept applies the belief that interconnectedness and balance among all 3 elements are necessary for achieving peace and prosperity, influencing all aspects of Balinese life, including agriculture, architecture, and social relationships.
Illustration of the Tri Hita Karana using the Sustainable Development Goals. Furyanto, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Balinese farmers practice a form of agroforestry that combines the cultivation of rice with the planting of fruit and nut trees. This helps to diversify their income and reduces their dependence on a single crop. It also helps to preserve the local ecosystem by promoting biodiversity and reducing soil erosion.
For example, Balinese farmers practice agroforestry by growing rice paddies alongside fruit and nut trees such as coconut, mango, banana, jackfruit, and rambutan.
Balinese architects design the architecture to be in harmony with nature and promote sustainable living. They construct houses using locally sourced materials such as bamboo, wood, and stone. Additionally, they design the houses to be open and airy, allowing natural ventilation and cooling.
An example of this is the “Joglo” house, which features an open-air design with high-pitched roofs and intricate carvings that reflect the island’s cultural heritage.
This is a traditional living compound for a well-off family. The photo was taken from inside the grounds; it shows the entrance to the shrine area of the compound, which is approached by a split gate, just as in a Balinese temple. Michael Gunther, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
A very fashionable notion at the moment, which should not be taken lightly
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO | World Tourism Organization a UN Specialized Agency); thus proposes a global code of ethics for tourism in 10 points, the 3rd concerning the importance of the involvement of tourism in sustainable development.
To sum up, responsible tourism must be sustainable over the long term and have a positive impact on the economy and local populations, while avoiding repercussions on the environment.
Respect is one of the essential values of responsible tourism: respect for nature, people and customs. The exchange and meetings with the locals are the common thread.
How we can do responsible and sustainable tourism in Bali?
Most of these tips apply to all countries, but let’s see how we can do responsible and sustainable tourism in Bali:
Importance of the local economy
In recent years, Bali has experienced an economic boom due to tourism. Unfortunately, more than the local population, it is often the large hotel groups and tour operators, already extremely wealthy, who benefit from it. This is why it is important to support activities that benefit the local economy.
To support Bali and its population, it is important to see beyond its small comfort or its desire to infuriate its family and friends who have remained in France, with photos of beautiful villas or beautiful restaurants.
For tourist activities
Try to explore the enchanting villages of Bali and lose yourself in their beauty. You will always find a local who will be happy to show you around their region and its traditions.
Some travel agencies (easy to find on the net) are now focusing their communication on responsible tourism, or eco-tourism, thus helping local populations.
For the same reasons, it is preferable to favor Homestays run by locals, rather than large hotels. Or you can try private villas run by locals too.
Yes we know, it’s tempting to afford luxury at a low price in Bali, but when you pay for a luxurious villa with house staff, or a 4-5 star hotels for a handful of Dollars, ask yourself who really gets it? money you spend. It’s a matter of perspective, we agree, I’m not judging anyone! We are the first to have fun from time to time.
If you are interested in local life, you can go to the Keliki Painting School. A group of Bales (traditional local houses) where you can live with families, share their daily life, discover the surroundings, have a few massages and even take painting lessons. The little extra, most locals speak French there!
For the food
In Bali there are a thousand different restaurants all as good as each other. On the other hand, if you want to support the local economy, try to favor warungs, local restaurants. You will always eat very well and cheaply while supporting local families. Read also: Discover the Exotic Flavors of Bali: Authentic Balinese Recipes to Try at Home
As with accommodation or tourist activities, transport suffers from the monopoly of large groups. For responsible tourism, we normally advise to favor public transport, but unfortunately they are almost non-existent in Bali.
If you want to try the experience, you can try the bemos, a kind of local minibus where you pay a minimum of IDR 4,000 per trip (well, that’s the local price, expect to pay double).
Unfortunately we have already heard stories of tourists being thrown out of a bemo by taxi drivers, because there, the taxi mafia rules the roost. To combat this, you can only take the taxis recommended by your homestay, private villa, or book an Gocar (like Uber) car or scooter.
The simplest and cheapest -only if you feel confident enough- is to rent a scooter. But here again, it is better to go through your homestay or ask a local, rather than going through a professional rental company.
In commerce / tips
If you are wondering about tips, know that it is more and more widespread and expected by locals, without there being any specific rules. Most of the time it is sufficient to just round the note. On the other hand, restaurants increasingly include the service charge along with the tax at the end of the bill, and in such cases, we do not give a tip.
On the other hand, it is not because a local works for a large group where the prices are high that he will be paid accordingly, a small gesture is always welcome, of course always accompanied by a smile 😊
Everything is negotiated in Bali. The negotiation is cultural, it will therefore be expected by the locals. On the other hand, if for you it is a game, know that it is not for the Balinese. There is no rule, often you just have to divide the price in half and slowly go up to the price you have decided from the start. Once the negotiation has been validated at the price decided at the start, you must not backtrack or renegotiate, it will be seen as an offense.
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