Ibu Manis

Ibu Manis inspects her students Ecobricks.

Tremendous news from SMPN 3 Abiensmal Public School here in Bali. This is science teacher Ibu Manis– a modern day environmental hero!  She has mobilized her entire school of 1600 students to go dramatically zero waste– and folks, this is in Bali, Indonesia, where there is so much consumption that you would think it couldn’t be done.

I met Ibu Manis back in May in a room full of sceptical and busy teachers.  Somehow we connected immediately.  She wanted to hear everything about Ecobricks: “Why didn’t we think of this before!”  Her class was fascinated by what Filipino students have been doing with Ecobricks.   Together, the class and I made 30 ecobricks on Earth Day.  I was able to inspect each one and give them detailed feedback. They promised to continue… and well… WOW.


Abiensmal students making their frist Ecobricks back in May.  According to one student: “I make an ecobrick every week.  I get my family to save plastic from the house.  I pick up loose plastic when I see it on the road.”

The school has 900 large 1.5 L Aqua bottles complete and 1400 small 600ml Aqua bottles complete.  The quality also happens to be superb– with colors on the bottoms of all the bricks.

The fun part begins now– making something awesome with them to show case just what can be done.  Already, I have a visionary local architect and a bold building manager who have committed to using Ecobricks in pilot constructions.  The key now is to show Bali how these ecobricks can be used locally.  But in addition, the school is excited to move forward with their own construction:  furniture and Food Forest Play Park.

Ibu Manis and Paq Joest

Ibu Manis and fellow teach Joest Adie stand with their schools thousands of ecobricks.

Most exciting of all is what this represents.  This isn’t just two thousand ecobricks.  This is two thousand ecobricks made in an average Indonesian Public School. This means: Imminent replicability.

If one teacher at one Balinese public school can mobilize the entire student body to go zero waste in one month, then other teachers, other schools, can follow suit.

Our small team has worked super hard the last few months to lay the ground work for just this.  Our Vision Ecobrick Guide is ready in Bahasa Indonesia. This is how Ecobrocks spread in the Philippines to thousands of schools– with the lead of one of two passionate teachers like Ibu Manis sparking the fire.   The hardest part is always getting started when no one else is doing it!

Onwards with the trash transformation.  If you happen to be in Bali, we are looking for help with logistics, fundraising, permaculture to craft the first pilot constructions and food forest play parks.  Builders interested in using ecobricks in their green constructions can contact us too.