Make a positive change to the earth, and support these sustainable heroes and environmental charities in Bali who work tirelessly to keep the island green.
If you love travelling to Bali, you’ll know that this Indonesian island is blessed with picturesque beaches, waterfalls and flowing rivers – stunning natural landscapes for as far as the eye can see. But with growing environmental issues as a result of climate change, over-tourism, and a lack of knowledge and resources to manage waste (especially plastic), it’s becoming an uphill battle to keep this island paradise beautiful. And that doesn’t stop there. The negative impact on the environment leads to other problems, such as depleting sources of freshwater, health and agricultural issues, and many more.
Lucky for us, there are heroes on the ground who fight for a greener Bali (and Indonesia) each day. These environmental organisations and charities in Bali are making a change for a more sustainable future – from plastic-free initiatives, arranging beach cleanups and providing waste management solutions, to sharing knowledge that promotes behavioural change within the community. So, why not learn more about what they do and thank them by helping in whatever way you can? Reduce, reuse, recycle, and more!
Environmental organisations & eco charities in Bali
1. Sungai Watch
Founded in 2020, Sungai Watch is on a mission to protect and restore Indonesia’s rivers, starting in Bali. With over 80% of plastic pollution in the ocean originating from rivers, Sungai Watch’s team of river warriors believe that tackling clogged waterways is the most effective solution to protecting the sea. The team creates and installs simple barriers across rivers, thereby stopping plastic waste from going into the sea. Since the first barrier was installed, the Sungai Watch team has collected over a million kilograms of plastic waste, which were sorted and put through a scalable up-cycling system. On top of that, the team regularly organises community outreach and educational programmes, as well as weekly cleanups. Three thumbs up from us!
How you can help: You can support the team financially by making a donation, or sponsoring a barrier, a cleanup or a trash dropbox. You can also join the community cleanup days, and call the team if you come across a polluted river.
2. Plastic Exchange
If we’re talking about charities in Bali that deserve your help, here’s one that supports not just one, but two worthy causes at once. Plastic Exchange is a sustainability movement that cares for not only the planet, but also the local community. The initiative came about during the pandemic, when the island was struggling from the lack of tourism. That’s when a Tabanan-native, Made Janur Yasa, saw an opportunity to uplift the community whilst taking care of the environment. The “Plastic for Rice”, AKA Plastic Exchange was finally born. The concept is simple yet super helpful – local villagers who struggle to sustain themselves are encouraged to collect waste and exchange it with rice (a staple in any Indonesian household). By giving value to collecting trash, those in need will feel empowered and motivated to keep the environment clean. Plastic Exchange has positively impacted over 200 Balinese villages, from which they collected over 900,000kg of plastic waste and exchanged over 200,000kg of rice!
How you can help: Make a donation to help Plastic Exchange continue their awesome work of changing the mindset of local villagers to keep a clean environment, whilst providing sustenance to those in need.
3. Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Born in 2013, Bye Bye Plastic Bags is a youth driven initiative that aims to stop the use of plastic bags. This now global movement (reaching as far as America) brings this issue to light by raising awareness within local communities and giving education about the negative impact of plastic waste. In fact, the team has shared their knowledge with over one million youngsters in elementary schools in Indonesia!
How you can help: As Bye Bye Plastic Bags operates on donation, you can support the team financially or shop the merch that’s handmade using recycled and donated materials. You can also help spread the word by starting a Bye Bye Plastic Bags team in your local community, and encourage governments to say goodbye to single-use plastic bags.
4. Trash Hero Indonesia
Save the earth with Trash Hero, a globally renowned movement aiming to rid the world of plastic pollution. Operating in 17 countries (including Indonesia) from which over two million kilograms of trash have been collected, this non-profit organisation has been fighting for its cause by organising local cleanups, educating children and adults alike through activities and workshops, encouraging businesses to take part in refill and reuse programme, and carrying out long-term sustainable projects within local communities to reduce and manage waste. All of these are small yet impactful, achievable steps that work towards Trash Hero’s vision of a zero-waste world.
How you can help: Join the heroes clad in yellow armour during the weekly cleanup events, or donate to support the cause. Business owners can look into joining the refill and reuse programme that has reduced tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
5. Scholars of Sustenance
Let’s face it, when we think about waste, we think of plastic. We often forget about the food we left on our plates that most likely ended up in landfills. Yep, food waste is a serious environmental issue, and it’s one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases (even surpassing flying, plastic production and oil extraction!). Lucky for us, Scholars of Sustenance has been working tirelessly to address this issue. One of the “multi-cause” charities in Bali, this non-profit organisation rescues surplus food from the hospitality industry and redistributes it to the local communities. The team has distributed over 18 million meals, while at the same time, diverted over four million kilograms of food waste from landfills – in fact, the team has reduced over 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions!
How you can help: You can save the earth and feed those in need by making a donation. You can also take part in the NGOs charity events, or become a sponsor or a food donor.
6. R.O.L.E Foundation
The Rivers, Oceans, Lands, Ecology Foundation AKA R.O.L.E Foundation runs two skills centres to help create a better future for Bali. One of the centres is the ZeroWaste Center, an environmental skills-sharing centre and one of the charities in Bali that focuses on improving waste management through education. The team runs training for companies to encourage recycling and up-cycling. They go out to local villages and schools to raise awareness on the growing environmental issue from daily waste, and organise up-cycling workshops using waste from the hospitality industry. And if that’s not enough, the team also runs monthly cleanups to keep the island beautiful!
How you can help: Make a donation or sponsor a beach cleanup. Keep an eye on the foundation’s calendar for special charity events that you can take part in.
7. Green School Foundation
As a non-profit organisation associated with one of the best international schools in Bali, Green School Foundation focuses on building a sustainable future through education. The foundation helps raise climate crisis awareness in local communities, giving people the knowledge and tools they need to become change-makers. Green School Foundation runs two projects, one of them being the Environmental School Project. Through this project, the team works directly with local public schools and provides them with education on climate change, mentorship and professional development. The second project is the Agricultural University Scholarship, through which the foundation offers a full ride or a final year research scholarship to attract younger generations towards a career in sustainable agriculture.
How you can help: You can make a donation to the project you are interested in, or become the foundation’s partner.
8. Merah Putih Hijau
Merah Putih Hijau is one of the organisations and charities in Bali that strives to solve the waste crisis on the island. They do this by working with villages across the island and running programmes to encourage waste sorting and recycling. The team builds waste management systems to separate organic and inorganic waste, as well as provides education to villagers. In addition to caring for the environment, Merah Putih Hijau has been working with 17 Balinese villages, and has helped reduce over 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
How you can help: You can support the villages by making a donation, or join the fundraising events held from time to time.
9. IDEP Foundation
Through the Bali Water Protection Program, IDEP Foundation is addressing the freshwater crisis faced by the smaller villages in Bali. Hit by climate change (resulting in wells and lakes drying up), water pollution and rapid tourism, the rural areas across the island are struggling to access freshwater with high enough quality for consumption. So, the Bali Water Protection Program partnered up with a local university (Universitas Politeknik Negeri Bali) to create a solution, which comes in three sub-programmes aimed at building functional wells in areas in need, educating the communities, and raising public awareness through media campaigns.
How you can help: You can make a donation to the foundation, or take part in the sub-programmes, “Adopt a Well”, “Adopt a River”, or “Adopt Water”.
10. Biosphere Foundation
An environmental organisation that’s all about conservation, education and community, Biosphere is on a mission to restore nature which has been negatively affected by climate change. Focusing on saving the environment by changing behaviours, the team of Biospherians runs a variety of programmes – from forest restoration, permaculture workshops and coral reef conservation, to kids and family educational activities and community outreach programmes.
How you can help: Become a Biospherian yourself and donate to support the cause.
Looking for more charities in Bali that deserve your help? Check out these animal charities helping the island’s much loved dogs and cats!