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Sunday, 21 August 2016 00:00

Parent-child Learning Recycling Together

Written by  Koh Poo Leng, KL & Selangor / Translated by Lee Ren Hui

With help from Tzu Chi volunteers, Sungai Besar Kindergarten children were taught the right way to classify resources, learning about recycling and environmental protection in a fun way while gaining knowledge. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]

August 21, 2016 was not just another Tzu Chi’s Recycling Day at Sungai Besar community, but an important day for the Sungai Besar Recycling Point. Under the active promotion of local volunteers, pre-schoolers learnt about environmental protection. Through videos and actual practising, parents and children learnt more about recycling and were more prepared for the waste classification measure to be implemented by local government starting September.


Sungai Besar is a simple town shortly after Sekinchan. On that particular Sunday, cars and pedestrians filled the streets of the town, while inside the Sungai Besar Kindergarten, volunteers warmly greeted parents and students, “Welcome! Welcome!”

At eight o’clock in the morning, about 30 kindergarten students, parents and committee members gathered at the kindergarten for a talk on environmental protection. The event officially kicked off with the performance of the song, “Everyone Recycles” by students of SJK(C) Sin Min Sg Besar.

Parents and children jointly care for Mother Earth

Since June, the government has implemented waste classification in six states and two federal territories; every household is required to classify their waste by paper, plastic and other resources.

Although this measure has yet to be enforced countrywide, Sungai Besar Kindergarten has started to make preparations to that effect; and to this end, the Kindergarten Principal Kee Chui Lew invited Tzu Chi volunteers to explain and walk through waste classification to the parents and children, so that environmental protection could be practised in school and every household.

Chui Lew shared that the kindergarten has organized various parent-child activities, but it was the first time ever for a talk on recycling. The children are familiar with recycling because the teachers have always guided them to recycle waste paper from their art classes. She said, “Besides responding to the local government’s call for waste classification starting September, we hope to get parents into recycling and caring for our Earth.”

As we all know, global warming is happening and natural disasters have become more frequent. The Earth is sick and waste management is such a major concern now, hence it is important to start educating at an early age.

On that day, Tzu Chi volunteer Tee Aik Heng explained the concepts behind why and how to do recycling. He guided everyone and taught them how to save the Earth, hoping that the children could follow their parents for recycling and play their part in protecting the Earth towards a sustainable future.

He also showed a video about environmental crises the Earth is facing, such as the accelerating rate of melting ice caps, the frequent occurrence of natural disasters and the increasing damage to the planet by human beings. To this, Aik Heng urged all participants to take environmental protection seriously. He also taught them the Recycling Formula*. Every one learnt it earnestly, taking their first step to protect the environment.

Chok Lay Mun, who is in charge of general affairs at the kindergarten, took photos of the activities. She said, “I hope that through this parent-child activity, the children can learn more about what is and how to do environmental protection at home, and then do it together with their parents.”

Creativity extends lifespan of goods

In conjunction with Tzu Chi’s Recycling Day, volunteers specially organized an outdoor resource classification activity, so that parents and children could gain a more in-depth understanding on recycling. Participants were driven to the Sungai Besar Recycling Point one km away to participate in Tzu-Chi’s recycling efforts and take practical action towards protecting the Mother Earth!

Under the red tent, volunteer Kok Tow Hoe explained about how Tzu Chi converts recyclables into new products such as the eco-blanket which was made from 78 PET bottles and the dri-fit shirt (made out of 12 PET bottles), not to mention the decorative items and handicrafts. Participants were impressed by the resourcefulness of the creations. Many discarded items were in fact “gold” in the eyes of volunteers, as long as they could be recycled. Giving “waste” a new lease of life would extend their lifespan indeed.

“Children, do you see the baskets outside?” asked Tow Hoe. “We shall begin to do sorting according to the signs on each basket, like papers, cans, plastic bottles and so on, okay? If you do not understand, please ask the brothers and sisters,” added Aik Heng. Apparently, a pile of “recyclable resources” was already prepared for sorting by the participants.

“Teacher, where do I put this?”
“Brother, is this a tin or aluminium can?”
“Mum, black and white paper should be segregated according to the brother, so shall I put this here?”

The children started to ask questions whilst separating the waste. Some were confused as to what went where, whilst others had less difficulty in correctly separating the waste. Both parents and children could be seen actively involved in learning about environmental protection, which many had never done it before.

Both the lecture and practical experience proved inspirational for the parents and children. Five-year-old Tan Jian Wen happily shared, “I’m very happy to be able to participate! I will do more recycling to protect the Earth.”

At home, Jian Wen would usually place the empty cans into a separate wastebasket prepared by her mum. After the hands-on activity, he became interested in environmental protection.

Parent Chia Shio Hong seized the opportunity to participate in the activity at the kindergarten’s invitation. She had already taught her children about recyclables and non-recyclables at home, and often reminded her family about the importance of environmental protection. She expressed, “I’m quite happy to be involved in the parent-child activity, because it had taught me more about resource classification in addition to teaching the children more about environmental protection.”



“Dear all, you are welcome to join us and do recycling!” Volunteers extended invitations to the local residents, hoping that more could learn about recycling from the classroom and practical learning.

Flowers and trees need daily irrigation to grow, so too do children who need to be instilled with the concept of environmental protection at a young age. It is hoped that the residents of Sungai Besar would continue their recycling efforts to protect the environment, thereby reducing the burden to nature.

*    Recycling Formula – bottle (glass bottles), bottle (plastic bottles), can (iron cans), can (aluminium cans), paper, electrical, 1 (clothing), 3 (3C products), 5 (hardware), 7 (others)

 

Kindergarten teachers and volunteers clapped warmly to welcome on parents and children walking up the stairs. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]   The event officially started with the “Everyone Recycles” performance by SRJK (C) Sin Min students. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]

Kindergarten teachers and volunteers clapped warmly to welcome on parents and children walking up the stairs. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
The event officially started with the “Everyone Recycles” performance by SRJK (C) Sin Min students. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
Tzu Chi volunteer Tee Aik Heng (right) shared with the participants about the concepts behind why and how to do recycling, hoping that children could follow their parents in recycling resources and play their part in protecting the earth for a sustainable future. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]   Volunteer Kok Tow Hoe (middle) and Tee Aik Heng explained to teachers and parents about how to make goods using recycled PET bottles. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]

Tzu Chi volunteer Tee Aik Heng (right) shared with the participants about the concepts behind why and how to do recycling, hoping that children could follow their parents in recycling resources and play their part in protecting the earth for a sustainable future. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
 
Volunteer Kok Tow Hoe (middle) and Tee Aik Heng explained to teachers and parents about how to make goods using recycled PET bottles. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
Kindergarten Principal Kee Chui Lew actively promoted waste classification and resources recycling, hoping that through the event environmental protection could extend beyond the school into every household. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]   Parent Chia Shio Hong shared that this activity had taught her more about resources classification in addition to teaching children more about environmental protection. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Kindergarten Principal Kee Chui Lew actively promoted waste classification and resources recycling, hoping that through the event environmental protection could extend beyond the school into every household. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
 
Parent Chia Shio Hong shared that this activity had taught her more about resources classification in addition to teaching children more about environmental protection. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
Kindergarten teachers, parents and children took a group photo with Tzu Chi volunteers after the environmental protection experience event. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]   Kindergarten Head Chok Lay Mun hopes that through this parent-child activity, parents and children could do recycling together at home. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Kindergarten teachers, parents and children took a group photo with Tzu Chi volunteers after the environmental protection experience event. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
 
Kindergarten Head Chok Lay Mun hopes that through this parent-child activity, parents and children could do recycling together at home. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]