Community: Environment and Education

Can you imagine a tourist paradise where the most friendly of people, always ready to greet you with a smile, who make you feel welcome and at home on their island and openly share their beautiful culture with you, are in fact often living on less than Eur2,- per day?! Home to the most luxurious resorts in the world, offering the best service levels, food and spa on a global scale, this does not seem right. Most who come and enjoy what Bali has to offer, have no clue of this. And they cannot be blamed for that because Balinese are not people who lament their plight, but rather accept it for what it is and live with it. But, this is in fact Bali! And where we live in particular, in Seraya-Barat / Karangasem, the average family income is indeed IDR600.000 (Eur50) per month.

Having resided here for two years, we have (slowly) come to realise how dire the situation is for some families. It was, and still is, at times incomprehensible how difficult it is for these families to survive the month. Barely having enough money to buy white rice and some sugar, things like healthy food, clothes, education and healthcare can often not be paid for.

Villa Flow takes this to heart, and as such is involved with numerous projects in the area, focusing on three pillars: healthcare, education and the environment.

We at Villa Flow have taken to heart the concept of “think globally, act locally.”

Through our efforts in developing our own chemical-free gardens and bio-diverse gardens, we lead the area in protection of the natural environment.   We make no pretence that we are focused on indigenous plantings.  As with most of Bali, the majority of our plantings are non-indigenous; from the ubiquitous frangipani and heliconias to the oleanders and gardenias and bottle brushes, we have plants from most parts of the world.  However, where possible, we have not settled there.  In creating the new orchard, we sourced sixteen varieties of local grass to ensure diversity and to encourage the presence of local insects and birds.

Ground cover plantings have been added extensively to reduce the parching effect of the sun’s rays on the soil and to reduce the need for irrigation.

We compost all of our kitchen waste and most of our garden cuttings and clippings.

We have installed (and continue to expand) rainwater collection and distribution systems to minimize run-off from our built-up areas.

We have reduced – to a bare minimum – the use of plastic within Villa Flow.   Plastic straws, plastic bags, and single use plastic utensils have all been banished: without the need for government mandate and its lax enforcement.

We continue to press local government for a more effective recycling system.  Even in its absence, we separate and recycle as much as we are able.

We have become more energy-efficient: all halogen and incandescent bulbs have been replaced with LED bulbs; ceiling fans have been updated to encourage less use of air-conditioning and shades have been installed to reduce daytime heat build-up.  Ventilation, both passive and active has been added to the buildings to  take advantage of natural breezes.


We recently have a established a program to fund local children through training colleges for the tourist industry.   Often the only means of escaping a cycle of poverty, these local training colleges offer young people the chance to learn the language and skills they need to participate in the world-wide tourist industry.   Graduates can choose to work locally in Karangasem, more broadly in Bali, on cruise ships around the world or, in limited cases, in foreign countries.

By providing an annual scholarship to a child who could otherwise not afford to attend these colleges, Villa Flow believes that it is offering an opportunity that will change the lives of each student and his or her family.