Updated: Aug 8, 2022
How COVID-19 motivated 3 friends to turn compost into a community. A story about the impacts of the global pandemic on Bali, how you should never underestimate the potential of random encounters, and how 'apparent waste' can turn into much more.
There is so much to take care of right in front of our doorstep. Let's take on everything, from small to big, together.
COVID-19 and waste in Bali
When COVID-19 hit Bali in 2020, Krishna saw his family business’ (Serenity Eco Guesthouse & Yoga) sales drop by 90% overnight. So much work falling away and frustrated by helplessness, Krishna focused on a problem that remains, even when mass tourism disappears in Bali: Waste. Overflowing landfills, dirty beaches, and burning plastic smells all over the island are only a few of the devastating consequences of insufficient waste management. Between 60-80% of waste that goes to landfills that create toxic gases and runoffs, is actually organic! Krishna set out on a mission to reduce organic waste going to landfill and turn it into compost instead.
Compost is natural fertilizer filled with nutrients, minerals and fungi that feed the soil that we grow food in. Starting to collect organic waste from households, restaurants and cafes in the area, Krishna piled it up in the back of Serenity’s facilities. It very soon became obvious: He required more space, and needed more knowledge, as the waste started to smell and attract all kinds of wildlife.
Collaboration is the solution
Family friends offered some land that had been unused for almost 20 years and slowly turned into an illegal landfill. Krishna called up his childhood friend Djuca, who has been involved in Bali’s regenerative agriculture movement for almost 10 years. Most recently, Djuca had supported two young Balinese in moving back to their villages to turn family heritage land into a farm after losing their jobs to the pandemic. Djuca had also continuously bumped into Lenny at their favorite Nasi Campur Warung, chatting about community gardens, public greenspaces and other farming projects in Bali. It all came together as if it was meant to be. Together, the trio founded Jiwa Garden in November 2020.
Watch a 7 minute interview about the story here.