After selling his jewelry company in 2007, John Hardy and his wife, Cynthia, endowed a thrilling new project: the Green School in Bali. At the Green School, kids learn in open-air classrooms surrounded by acres of gardens that they tend; they learn to build with bamboo; and meanwhile they're being prepared for traditional British school exams. The school is international -- 20 percent of students are Bali locals, some on scholarship. The centerpiece of the campus is the spiraling Heart of School, which may be called Asia's largest bamboo building.
Hardy has long been an advocate of the use of bamboo as an alternative to timber for building and reforestation. When running his company, Hardy pioneered a program of sustainable advertising that offset the carbon emissions associated with the yearly corporate print advertising by planting bamboo on the island of Nusa Penida in a cooperative plantation.