I do not usually criticise TED talks but this time I am making an exception. In this talk John Hardy the founder of Green School spoke about how he founded and developed Green School. He said that he was living a happy life till he saw Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. It woke him up and made him realise that the Earth is fragile and that we must learn to take better care of it and reduce our carbon footprint.
In an attempt to educate he built the Green School, a place built completely out of bamboo. Kids are not only taught the usual subjects but also taught how to live 'whole lives'. The students learn to the traditional things of the Bali locality, plant rice, cut bamboo and build structures. They have made the whole place so green that there is almost no man-made synthetic material in the building. They have even designed toilets such that you don't have to flush. To know more you can watch the video at the end of this post. It's all a very fascinating idea and quite well done.
At one point he mentions that his school has a 160 students from 25 countries and because he wants the locals to be involved. There are scholarships for Bali students and also 2o% seats reserved for them. It all sounded a bit odd to me. So out of curiosity I visited their website and realised that of course Bali students need scholarships to attend this school considering how expensive it is.
Non-refundable fees for all students $2750, then annual fees for Nusery and Pre-K $5000, for Kindergarten $8000, for Grades 1-5 $9000, for Grades 6-9 $10000. It makes me think that these students who come from 25 countries, must have really rich parents to be able to support such an education. Which also means that they are probably not residents of Bali but really settled in those 25 different countries.
Now if they come visit their kid once a year for the annual gathering and the kid travels back to his home country every summer then per kid there are 6 plane travels per year (2 parents and 1 kid). Assuming 80% students (128) are from abroad it would mean 768 plane travels per year for the whole school. Assuming a mean distance of 9000 miles for each ride, it would mean a carbon footprint of 1,228,800 kg of carbon dioxide. Assuming a mean distance of 4500 miles would still mean a carbon footprint of 614,400 kg of carbon dioxide
Now how much did they reduce the world's carbon footprint by using bamboo to make that school again?