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Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

A Move towards a Green City

Written by  KEAH HWEI HAR, TIWA AN YONG & LOW SIEW CHIEN, MELAKA

Representative of the organizer presented a token of appreciation to Tzu Chi representative Ng Kim Poh. [Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]

PET bottles can be made into clothes? What other water-saving tips? Doing charity through recycling? These were the questions raised when Tzu Chi volunteers promoted environmental protection in conjunction with the Melaka State Government among the Malay community, in a move towards achieving a green city.


On June 14 & 15, 2014, Tzu Chi Melaka participated in the Melaka Green Technology Carnival at Taman Rempah. Organized by the State Government, this event saw the participation of more than 20 governmental and non-governmental agencies.

YB Datuk Wira Hj. Md Yunos bin Husin, Executive Councilor of State Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology, Green Technology and Innovation, informed that the purpose of organizing a green charity carnival is to introduce green technology to the public, while increasing public awareness on environmental protection.

Towards the goal of achieving a green city in 2020, the State Government has promoted a number of programmes to introduce the development of green technology, namely the Hang Tuah Jaya Green City project, Melaka World Solar Valley, recycling cooking oil into biodiesel programme, electric-powered public buses and so on. In the future, more relevant programmes will be introduced.

With natural disasters occurring one after another as a result of global warming, the public needs to be vigilant. According to the United Nations’ data, a person only needs to use 165 litres of water a day on average, but Malaysians have broken the record with 300 litres. At the opening ceremony, Datuk Yunos called on the public to practise water conservation in their daily life.

Walk into the community and lead by example

At Tzu Chi’s booth, posters and handicrafts made from recycled materials were displayed, clearly indicating how Tzu Chi volunteers cherish the resources around them. There were also a few recycling bins at the scene to guide the public in resource   classification and recycling.

Tzu Chi volunteers also explained to the public on how to start recycling resources from home. For example, the increased use of paper means many trees would have to be fell faster than they would be planted, thereby affecting the climate. Therefore, protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility.

Volunteer Yo Bee Kiow advocated “zero littering” through this activity, as well as, educated the public on how to be environmentally-friendly. She believes that we can only convince others to jointly protect the environment by educating them and leading by example.

Through a questionnaire prepared by volunteers to gauge the public’s knowledge on environmental protection, it was discovered that most of them only know the basic concept of recycling. Tzu Chi Melaka’s 79 recycling points and 13 recycling stations were also listed to enable the public to locate the one in their neighborhood where they can send their recyclables to, and to join the ranks of charity and environmental protection.

New environmental protection knowledge opens up the public’s horizons

Kamarudin Md Sha, Chief Executive Officer of Melaka Green Technology Corporation said the State Government is actively promoting green technology in the hope of establishing a clean advanced state.

He believes that there must be ongoing education on raising public awareness on environmental protection. Although the effectiveness cannot be seen in the short term, the Government is calling on all sectors and groups to work together to this end. Kamaruddin also commended Tzu Chi’s efforts in environmental protection. With Tzu Chi and the State Government sharing the same goal in environmental conservation, he is looking forward to further exchanges and cooperation between the two organizations.

Rodly Fadly from Kuala Lumpur, who was visiting Melaka, was at the carnival. When he stopped by Tzu Chi’s booth, the explanations given by Tzu Chi volunteers were a great eye-opener for him. He was astonished to learn that PET bottles can be made into clothes.

Rodly also found the idea of placing a fully filled bottle into the toilet tank a simple yet practical step in saving water. Recently, when Malaysia encountered water shortages that resulted in water rationing in the Klang Valley, people panicked and realized that their lives would be very inconvenient without water. He added, “Sometimes, we would leave the tap water running while brushing our teeth; but when there is no water supply, we will think of ways to save water.”

At home, Rodly would usually collect old newspapers and bottles for recycling. He said, “A lot of old newspapers can only be sold for a few Ringgits. If I send them to Tzu Chi’s recycling station, I would be able to help others. This is something I didn’t know before.” Rodly has decided that upon his return to Kuala Lumpur, he would start sending his collected recyclables to Tzu Chi recycling point in his neighbourhood.

“In fact, I know the concept of environmental protection, but I was not really concerned and did not take practical actions. After this trip here, I have learnt a lot,” said Rodly contentedly.

Suganthi a/p Ganesan, who usually practises environmental protection at home, has learnt about the classification of resources and that PET bottles can be spun into yarn, after visiting Tzu Chi’s booth. She said that although she would occasionally invite friends to do recycling, only a few of them have been influenced, hence more efforts are needed. Volunteers also explained to her that global warming is worsening, and only by starting with environmental protection can we save the Earth.

Maznah bte Baba would often discard unwanted stuff, but after understanding about resource classification from Tzu Chi volunteers, she has learnt that many resources can be recycled and reused.

Tzu Chi volunteer, Ng Kim Poh actively exchanged ideas with other participating organizations, and offered to arrange for a sharing on environmental protection if needed by them. With his love for Mother Earth and his desire to further promote the concept of environmental protection, Tan Oon Han, who assumed the coordination responsibility for the first time, was dedicated in giving explanations to the public.

This exhibition was a very good opportunity for volunteers to walk into the masses of different races, to exchange information on environmental protection with other organizations and to learn from one another.

 

Chief Executive Officer of Melaka Green Technology Corporation, Kamarudin Md Sha (centre), visited Tzu Chi’s booth and commended their efforts in environmental protection. He is looking forward to further exchanging and cooperating with Tzu Chi in the future. [Photograph by Tiwa An Yong]   Volunteer Tan Oon Han sharing water-saving tips with Suganthi.[Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]

Chief Executive Officer of Melaka Green Technology Corporation, Kamarudin Md Sha (centre), visited Tzu Chi’s booth and commended their efforts in environmental protection. He is looking forward to further exchanging and cooperating with Tzu Chi in the future. [Photograph by Tiwa An Yong]
 
Volunteer Tan Oon Han sharing water-saving tips with Suganthi.[Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]
 
Tzu Chi volunteers distributed questionnaires to understand the public’s awareness on environmental protection. [Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]   The public is surprised that plastic bottles can be turned into yarn to make clothes. [Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]

Tzu Chi volunteers distributed questionnaires to understand the public’s awareness on environmental protection. [Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]
 
 
The public is surprised that plastic bottles can be turned into yarn to make clothes. [Photograph by Alex Tan Ah Lek]