ENV. PROTECTION BRIEF
- Wednesday, 11 August 2010 15:29
- Published Date
Tzu Chi’s Environmental Protection Mission
Many of today’s consumer products (e.g., assorted plastic products) are made from petroleum. Master Cheng Yen is worried that the disposal of these products, which take thousands or millions of years to disintegrate in landfill sites, will cause havoc to the environment.
Hence, the only way is for all to treasure resources and practise recycling at source.
The Origin – Turned Clapping into Recycling
In August 1990, at the end of her talk, Master Cheng Yen urged everyone to use their clapping hands to put environmental protection into action and to appeal to their neighbours to join in. The proceeds from recycling would go toward good causes, actualizing the conception of turning trash into gold and gold into love. Today, after 25 years of relentless efforts, there are more than 6,000 recycling centres and more than 80,000 certified Tzu Chi recycling volunteers in Taiwan. With the same mission to conserve the environment, volunteers have implemented recycling in their respective communities and encouraged everyone in their neighbourhoods to play his/her part in environmental protection.
Environmental Protection Initiatives in Malaysia
In Malaysia, Tzu Chi started its environmental protection initiatives in 1995. With volunteers’ persistent efforts, community recycling centres/points have been set up all around KL and Selangor. Be it monthly Recycling Day or regular recycling activities, Tzu Chi volunteers from all walks of life are braving the grime and clutter to collect and sort out recyclables, tirelessly promoting recycling by example.
A Recycling Centre in Each Community
In 2010, Echo Chien, CEO of TzuChi KL & Selangor,made a vow to set up a recycling centre in each community. As of September 2014, 73 recycling centres and 239 recycling points have been set up in Klang Valley. Recycling centres are also cultivation centres, which purify minds.
Many elderly, who used to stay at home and idle away their time, have found a new lease of life after becoming recycling volunteers. Master Cheng Yen mentioned that Tzu Chi recycling centres are likened to 'elderly day care', where the elderly have their body and mind reconciled through sorting out recyclables.
Good to recycle; better still, stop using them altogether!
Light weight, durable, waterproof and relatively cheaper in cost, plastic products are some of the inventions of the 20th century that have the greatest impact on human life. They take thousands or millions of years to disintegrate in a landfill, and improper disposal will clog the drainage system and cause flooding. Also, improper handling by burning will cause toxic dioxin emissions. Hence, instead of recycling, the best approach is to refrain from using them.
Bring your own set of utensils for meals to reduce the use of plastic bags and disposable containers, such as, styrofoam. This will reduce carbon footprint and waste.
Separate waste from recyclables
Educate the public to clean and pre-sort recyclables to achieve effective environmental protection.
Tzu Chi’s recycling efforts are aimed at protecting the Earth. In the past, Tzu Chi volunteers collected recyclables diligently in order to “turn trash into gold”. Today, they are going a step further to enhance the quality of recycling by educating the public to clean and pre-sort recyclables before sending them to the recycling centres. This mindful action is a gesture of respect and also serves to safeguard the health of recycling volunteers, besides enhancing the cleanliness of the recycling centres.
Join us now!
Master Cheng Yen hopes that everyone can promote environmental protection and put it into practice.
Recycling involves picking up recyclables and extending their lifespan. It is also a gesture to show our love for Mother Earth. By picking up recyclables, we are also accumulating blessings, and leaving a beautiful and green living environment for our future generations. Please contact Tzu Chi Chapters nearest to you, and let us do recycling now before it is too late!