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Getting Kids In On a Sustainable Future

 Green School kids 
A sustainable future means teaching kids about climate change and living in balance with the earth. Green School's "Greenest Student on Earth" contest will reward three environmentally conscious students with a year-long scholarship.  

When it comes to saving the planet, there’s plenty of urgent action to take right now. But as we struggle to slow the environmental destruction that’s led to a changing climate, we must also plant the seeds of permanent and profound sustainability. It makes sense to start with children, for whom a small shift in direction now can lead to an entirely different path later. An international school in Bali, Indonesia, aims to do just that.

Aptly titled Green School, the organization teaches sustainable thinking and practical skills to students from pre-kindergarten through high school, including kids in their own sustainable future. “We have to teach the kids that the world is not indestructible,” says Green School co-founder John Hardy in a 2010 TED Talk. No one knows exactly what the future holds, and kids need to be prepared to live on a planet that could be very different than the one we inhabit. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are still important, Hardy muses, but the adults of the future are going to need a broader skill set—from building with bamboo to planting medicinal gardens.

In 2012, Green School was recognized by the U.S. Building Council as the “Greenest School on Earth.” The campus itself is solar-powered and self-sustaining, a product of Hardy’s three-tiered philosophy, “be local, let the environment lead, and think about how your grandchildren might build.”

This year, Green School is looking for environmentally conscious, action-oriented students to attend classes at the Bali campus. The school’s “Greenest Student on Earth” competition starts March 5 and ends on April 22, Earth Day. At the close of the competition, three students—one each from elementary, middle, and high school—will win a one-year scholarship to Green School.

To enter, the school asks that students submit a 2-3 minute video answering the question, “Why are you the greenest student on earth?” The video should highlight environmental achievements, hopes and goals, as well as how the student would benefit from a year at Green School.

Winners will be announced June 5, World Environment Day. For more information watch the video below and visit the Green School website.