Friday, Sep 20th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 20 April 2014 00:00

The Green Fashion – Young Generation’s Environmental Protection

Written by  BY HUANG KUN LI & YONG SIEW LEE, MELAKA / TRANSLATED BY TAN KANG MIN

Approximately 102 Tzu Ching members gathered in front of the A’Famosa to propagate the concept of “Five Savings”. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]

“Approximately 102 Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association (Tzu Ching) members gathered in front of the A’Famosa to propagate the concept of “Five Savings” to protect the environment. Through games, students were given the opportunity to exchange the concepts and ideas of environmental protection with local and foreign tourists. The participants are hoping for the awakening of public concern for the environment in order to make the Earth a better place.”


For the young generation, the purpose of environmental protection is to turn waste into something useful. Environmental protection actions can be part of the daily routine of the young generation. On April 20, 2014 at around seven o’clock in the morning, 102 Tzu Ching and their peers studying in the Multimedia University (MMU) and the University of Technical of Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) gathered at the plaza in front of the historical A’Famosa fortress to promote the five different ways of environmental protection. The purpose of the event is to encourage the new generation to ‘go green’, to be grateful and to appreciate the natural resources on Earth.

Before commencing the event, Tzu Ching committee members explained the concept of “Five Savings” to the participants by using their handmade signage. The “Five Savings” includes water saving, fuel saving, power saving, time saving, and money saving in our daily life. In furtherance of the last event in 2013 by Tzu Ching with the theme of “Give Me Five – Seize the Day and Save the Earth”, Tzu Ching committee have continued their efforts in propagating environmental protection through their new theme of “Five Savings” to motivate the participants to lead a simple life which is advantageous to themselves, others and the Earth.

In order to deepen the students’ understanding in relation to the “Five Savings” concept, they were assigned into few groups, and a competition was held between two groups of students in which they were asked to describe different ways of saving the environment according to the theme assigned alternately.

The young participants were creative in their suggestions. In relation to water saving, some students proposed that people should “drink urine to save water”. For fuel saving, some students thought that “people should stop eating fried food”. One of the students suggested that people should join Tzu Chi activities because they will “get the opportunity to be educated effectively about various time-saving methods”. Also, there are some engineering students who suggested that “the used water in the swimming pool should be pumped to the apartments for the usage of toilet flushing”.

The students are grateful for what they have apprehended and the best way to show their gratitude is always through action. After understanding the concept of “Five Savings”, they began to draft their own signage to promote the idea and application of “Five Savings” in day to day living. This facilitates a more simple and frugal life which could also reduce carbon emissions.

International exchange of environmental protection tips

The students were nervous when they first approached the tourists. For them, talking to the tourist was actually a test of their language skills and abilities, especially since the tourists consist of visitors from different oversea countries, as well as the three different races of local visitors from Malaysia. With strong adaptability, vigour and enthusiasm, the young people managed to spread their positive energy and kindness to the public.

“It is a contribution to the planet by realizing the ‘Five Savings’ in our daily life. Our planet Earth is now growing sick and apart from exercising the ‘Five Savings’, we could further protect the earth by going vegetarian. To grasp a better understanding in relation to this, please visit and ‘like’ our Tzu Ching Facebook event page.” Tzu Ching members had also explained the actual implementation of the environmental protection to the visitors and obtained the community’s support. Some of them reflected their instant support by clicking ‘like’ at the Tzu Ching’s Facebook event page immediately with their smartphones.  

The highlight of the event this year is that a Facebook page in relation to the environmental protection was specifically set up by the committee. This is to accommodate the young generation’s technology trends, and to reflect the slogan of “The Green Fashion – Go Go Go, Young Generation’s Five Savings Environmental Protection”, in hope that those who care could continuously be furnished with information in relation to environmental protection.

“This event is very good, I like the enthusiasm of the young people in Malaysia, and hope that China could also encourage environmental protection. The concept of ‘Five Savings’ is very good, the implementation of fuel, water, power, and time saving could definitely save money. However, some people do think that they can do whatever they want with their money, and to them, the five savings would have no direct impact at all to their lives. This idea is erroneous and selfish. There is a very close nexus between humans and the planet, our actions and behaviours no doubt would affect the well-being of the planet, and we should not underestimate how much we could do!” stated Xiao Yi from Shenyang, China and hopes that he can contribute in saving the planet.

An Indian tourist Rao (Rao A/L Subramamian) was impressed while feeling regretful that in contrast with the Chinese society, the concept of environmental protection back in his country is not as good. “We are equally born on this earth; we are the family of the planet, protecting the environment should not be the sole duty and practice of Chinese.” He is hoping for the awakening of his fellow friends from India, to realize the importance of environmental protection and could quickly begin their actions of saving the planet.

One of the tourists Mr. Neil Moe is a technical expert from the United States employed by a multinational company in Singapore. He is currently conducting a water conservation test in Malaysia. He shared his experience in avoiding water wastage during a country’s new development, using his expertise and professional knowledge. He claimed that he shared the skills and technology also with other countries.

After listening to Tzu Ching’s “Five Savings” speech, Neil felt chagrin and unease that he had not unplugged the charger for his computer in the hotel. Furthermore, he raised his concerns that Malaysians are neither alert nor cautious in the usage of water resources, especially where bottled waters are always available everywhere. He is hoping that everyone would hold their own reusable water bottle. As Neil was very willing to share his own “Five Savings” methods and his engineering expertise, the students found that the conversation with him was rewarding, as if they had attended an impromptu lesson of environmental protection.

One of the students from the engineering faculty, Liu Xian Min, stated that he is hoping to be successful academically so that he would be able to deploy his expertise to protect the environment 10 years from now.

Through the exchanges with visitors from different countries, students found that Australia adopted the water-saving showerheads while Norway adopted a comprehensive hydropower to supply electricity which could prevent environmental pollution. Through the exchanges, students were given the opportunities to get to know the world even though they are physically in Malaysia.

Germination of the seeds of kindness

Tzu Ching member Dai Yi Cong had participated in the “Five Savings” event last year and realized that caring for the Earth is everyone’s responsibility. After the event, he decided that he must exercise his duty in daily life. He asserted that he would always try to recycle used water as much as he could, for example, he would reuse rice cleaning water to wash the vegetables, and subsequently use the water for floor cleaning.

In continuation of the inspiration he attained from the last event, Dai Yi Cong joined the team as a committee member this year, with the hope to encourage more to actualize the idea of “Five Savings” in their daily life. After the event, he hopes that he could circulate the concept of environmental protection in his hostel.

Another student Yang Wen Kang has joined the environmental protection event for the first time. As a newbie, he felt that he got to learn a lot about the efficient ways of conducting fuel and power saving. Yang has been strongly conscious about environmental protection since young. “I usually practise environmental protection at home, my family do make enzymes and plant vegetables. The present crisis of air pollution and excessive tree cutting are hazardous to our health and animals on Earth. We are the destroyers, we are the one who should oblige to exercise environmental protection and save the planet. I hope my tiny efforts and actions can influence my friends,” Yang stated.

In the course of the event, Tzu Ching members also encountered disagreements and discouragement from some of the tourists. Some felt that “as long as I have the money, I should enjoy the facilities; environmental protection is not my thing.” Although feeling disappointed, Tzu Ching members have always strived to remain positive. For Yang, he believes that rebutting their point of view is pointless, it is always more efficient to influence than to rebut.

“In the past, teachers used to promote environmental protection, but I took no heed of it. Starting from today, I would really want to do something for the environment. I never shut off the fan when I left the house in the past, I always kept the computer power on or switched it into only sleep mode, but never switched off the electricity. I would correct all my bad habits. I used to shop without thinking whether it is to satisfy my desire or it is actually a necessity,” Ma Xuan Er shared her personal thriftless experiences in the past. She is working hard to redress and improve, through self-awareness, she wishes that she could influence and change others.

The coordinator of the event, Qiu Bing Jian, stated that this is not a one-off event, but a continuous and never ending commitment. Looking back at our parents’ old good days, the climate on Earth was more tolerable whereas now the weather has become extremely hot and unbearable.

“Although one’s effort might seem insignificant, we are also not the noble fighters, but, I believe that as long as everyone is willing to put in some efforts and stay united, there is always hope to save our planet. Do not be bothered by difficulties, do not try to avoid the hurdles, trouble saving should not be part of the ‘Five Savings’. We are all looking upon the simplest dream – to preserve the environment, our beautiful planet.”

 

Sharing and exchange of ideas to save the environment according to the five different themes. Students’ creative rhetoric triggered laughter from the audience. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]   Yang Wen Kang (the student in black), who has extensive apprehension in relation to environmental protection, has benefitted from exchanges with foreign visitors. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]

Sharing and exchange of ideas to save the environment according to the five different themes. Students’ creative rhetoric triggered laughter from the audience. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]
 
Yang Wen Kang (the student in black), who has extensive apprehension in relation to environmental protection, has benefitted from exchanges with foreign visitors. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]
 
Tzu Ching committee members created a Facebook page especially to share information in relation to the actualization of environment protection in daily life.  [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]   Neil from the US shared his experience in water saving with his expertise. He was also inspired to further his effort in power and water saving. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]

Tzu Ching committee members created a Facebook page especially to share information in relation to the actualization of environment protection in daily life. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]
 
 
Neil from the US shared his experience in water saving with his expertise. He was also inspired to further his effort in power and water saving. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]
The coordinator of the event, Qiu Bing Jian, encouraged everyone to contribute their efforts and stay united to save our environment. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]  

The coordinator of the event, Qiu Bing Jian, encouraged everyone to contribute their efforts and stay united to save our environment. [Photograph by Huang Fu Tai]