Thursday, Sep 21st

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 08 October 2016 00:00

Promoting Recycling at Taoist Street Procession

Written by  Tan Su Mei & Kang Miew Tiang, Muar / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Volunteers were seen picking up trash or holding up posters among the masses. [Photograph by Low Chung Chin]

This Earth is the planet we all live in. Only when nursing the Earth back to health can humans live in peace. During the street procession in celebration of the Nine Emperor Gods’ Festival, Tzu Chi volunteers promoted environmental protection to the public.


From 1st to 15th of the 9th Lunar month, Muar Tao Boo Keng Temple would hold various celebrations in conjunction of the Nine Emperor Gods’ Festival. During this period, vegetarian feast would also be prepared for devotees so that they could thank the gods with a cleansed body and mind.

In an effort to reduce the garbage volume, the temple committee encouraged the public to use recycled utensils and do away with styrofoam containers last year. This year, the committee promoted food conservation hoping that public members would treasure their food.

Hong Kai Yuan, a committee member printed and fastened a banner with Jing Si Aphorism, “Know your blessings, cherish them and cultivate more” at the cafeteria, to remind everyone to cherish their food. To prevent food wastage, the kitchen would only cook to replenish food.

During meal times, programmes on food conservation produced by Da Ai TV were also screened to awaken the public to the food crisis. This served as a timely reminder to be vigilant at all times and appreciate our resources.

Ng Yan Lai, Chairman of the committee, shared that savings from the event would be donated for charity to create a bigger impact and to make the event more meaningful. This year, the temple continued to encourage the devotees to substitute joss sticks for lamps, so as not to pollute the air.

Seeing positive results in recycling campaign

The street procession on October 8, 2016, attracted tens of thousands to watch by the roadside. This year, Tzu Chi had set up 29 recycling points along the route and mobilized 164 volunteers from Muar, Tangkak, Segamat, Bekok and Chaah to promote recycling among the masses. Some volunteers appealed to the public to put recyclables into bins while some held high recycling banners with no littering message.

Soh Che Den, who coordinated the campaign, felt it was a perfect time to promote recycling as there were tourists from outstation apart from Muar residents. He said, “This kind of education must go on and we must invite public members to join in the ranks.”

Goh Hong Leng, Recycling Group Leader, noticed the reduction in garbage volume year on year. It used to be a sight to behold in the past at the end of procession but after three years of education and advocacy, the public began to appreciate recycling and would send sorted resources to the designated recycling points.

He expressed happily, “Besides promoting environmental protection, we also propagated the teachings. We will try to work with the committee every year to educate the public on nature conservation and use our hands to safeguard our planet.”

A cleaner environment via a small act

With posters in their hands, volunteers began to address the multitude on environmental protection. When seeing trash on the ground, they would pick it up; when seeing public members bringing recyclables to designated points, they would show their gratitude joyfully.

Goh Yi En, a public member, brought with him a few plastic bags with styrofoam containers, straws and so on, to the recycling points and started to place the trash into the right garbage bags. He said, “If we simply litter, the streets would be full of rubbish. Maintaining a clean environment is everyone’s duty.”

Another youngster felt that if he joined others in littering, it would burden the volunteers even more. Hence, one must not neglect their small act.

Lau Hui Ling, another public member, kept staring at the recycling points set up by Tzu Chi. She could not help but walk over and throw the trash in hand into the garbage bins. She was dumbfounded by the filthy scene after the procession each year. Thus, she felt Tzu Chi’s recycling points is a brilliant idea to take heed of environmental protection.



Along the procession, there were recycling points set up by volunteers. Some volunteers even bent down and picked up trash on the road. Through action, they hope to raise public awareness on environmental protection. Only when everyone starts making changes can we have a clean planet again.

 

During the celebration of the Nine Emperor Gods’ Festival at Muar Tao Boo Keng Temple, programmes from Da Ai TV were aired to promote usage of recycled utensils. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]   To encourage more into environmental protection, Soh Che Den felt that educating the public must continue. [Photograph by Ng Pei Sze]

During the celebration of the Nine Emperor Gods’ Festival at Muar Tao Boo Keng Temple, programmes from Da Ai TV were aired to promote usage of recycled utensils. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]
 
To encourage more into environmental protection, Soh Che Den felt that educating the public must continue. [Photograph by Ng Pei Sze]
 
The yearly procession, which was held on October 8 this year, attracted a crowd of 10,000-plus onlookers by the roadside. [Photograph by Huang Mei Zhen]   Volunteers explained to public members on the importance of resource classification. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]  

The yearly procession, which was held on October 8 this year, attracted a crowd of 10,000-plus onlookers by the roadside. [Photograph by Huang Mei Zhen]
 
 
Volunteers explained to public members on the importance of resource classification. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]
 
Photo shows volunteers bending down to collect trash on the road. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]

Photo shows volunteers bending down to collect trash on the road. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]