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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Thursday, 01 October 2015 11:46

Love the Environment and Cherish Resources on Earth

Written by  Yaw Ah Moi, KL & Selangor / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

The children separating the recyclables from non-recyclables attentively. They also asked questions when in doubt.  [Photograph by Ong See Lim]

Teacher Cheok Hui Lee from the Da Ai kindergarten (Pandan Indah) instilled in her four-year-old students the importance of loving Mother Nature through the formation of a rubbish dump. This is in line with the teaching of the Jing Si Aphorism, “Love the mountains and the oceans, and cherish resources on Earth.”


 
On the morning of October 1, 2015, 30 four-year-old students from the Da Ai kindergarten in Pandan Indah, Kuala Lumpur, brought bags of rubbish to the kindergarten.
 
After breakfast, the children gathered around and emptied the rubbish they brought into a pile. While doing so, they described briefly what were in the trash bags, such as, paper, plastics, aluminium cans, milk powder tins, polystyrene, disposable chopsticks, nappies, and so on, under the guidance of their teacher.
 
“Oh teacher, it stinks!” The children remarked as soon as they squatted down near the small heap of rubbish.
 
Teacher Cheok then told them that many things that are discarded can actually be reused, recycled or made into other useful articles. If everyone does recycling, there would not be garbage dumps anymore.
 
The children were excited when the teacher offered to teach them to make toys out of the recyclables. 
 
Under the teacher’s instructions, the children picked up the recyclable resources from the rubbish heap and placed them in a big basin. When asked whether there were more rubbish or recyclables after sorting out, all the children agreed that the amount of rubbish had reduced greatly.
 
“You are right! If dads and mums could practise recycling, then there would not be much rubbish.”
 
I want to save our Mother Earth
 
Using the book, “Grandpa Has a Way”, Teacher Cheok conveyed to the children the idea of extending the lifespan of resources. Instead of throwing away unwanted toys when they get new ones, they should give them away; and to turn clothes that no longer fit into something useful, or send them to the recycling centre so that they can be worn by others.
 
When the teacher mentioned about the nappies that they came across while sorting out the resources, the innocent children responded, “The one I brought was used by my younger brother. My mum asked me to bring it!”, “I wear nappy when I sleep at night!” and “My grandpa wears nappies too!”
 
Teacher Cheok then encouraged them to avoid using nappies as they will not degrade even after a very long time. She also told them to buy only what is needed, in the simplest way they could understand. 
 
“What will happen to our Mother Earth if we buy a lot of things?” asked Teacher Cheok.
 
The children responded, “She will fall sick.”
 
“So, remember that if we want to save our Mother Earth, we cannot just buy the toys as we like but buy only what we need because if our Mother Earth is sick, we will also fall sick!” concluded Teacher Cheok.
 
 
This lesson allowed the children to realize that all beings depend on the Earth to continue living, so we have to protect Mother Earth in our daily life. The teacher believes that it helps to educate the children at a young age, when their memories are good; and with concerted effort, we could eventually slow down the rate of global warming.
 
“I’ll tell my father to stop using polystyrene and disposable chopsticks. If he doesn’t listen, I’ll remind him until he does.” From these words of student Wang Kai Hao, there is hope.

  

Under the guidance of their teacher, the students named the resources while emptying them from the rubbish bags. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]   The children complained that it was smelly as they squatted near the heap of rubbish. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]

Under the guidance of their teacher, the students named the resources while emptying them from the rubbish bags. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]
 
The children complained that it was smelly as they squatted near the heap of rubbish. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]
 
The children were playing their self-made toys from recyclables happily. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]   Wang Kai Hao is determined to stop his father from using polystyrene and disposable chopsticks. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]

The children were playing their self-made toys from recyclables happily. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]
 
Wang Kai Hao is determined to stop his father from using polystyrene and disposable chopsticks. [Photograph by Ong See Lim]