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Saturday, 06 October 2018 00:00

I Am a Little Eco-Warrior

Written by  Kang Miew Tiang, Muar / Translated by Kithanjeele

Volunteer explained to the children about the ocean garbage patch. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

On October 6, 2018 morning, six teachers from the Era Naluri Kindergarten Batu Pahat brought 20 children to visit Tzu Chi’s recycling centre in Taman Mas Jaya, Muar. Normally, most of the volunteers working at the recycling centre are elderly. The participation of this group of children brought great joy and happiness to the recycling centre.


Let’s leave for our children, a planet clean and pure,
Let’s leave for our children, a meadow lush with life…

When the children visited Tzu Chi’s recycling centre in Taman Mas Jaya, Muar, the volunteers explained to them using a video to show that the Earth is sick and disasters are constantly happening. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to do recycling. The footage, “Together We Save the Earth” showed the many disasters caused by the imbalance of the Four Elements, reminding everyone to do recycling before it is too late.

“Boys and girls, do you love Mother Earth?” A volunteer asked the children.

The children responded aloud, “Yes, we do!” The volunteer then showed a video of how garbage carelessly thrown by people go into the ocean and cause the death of marine animals that mistook the garbage as their food. The purpose was to remind the children not to litter.

Then, through a video from the “Safeguarding Lives with Love” series produced by Da Ai TV, the children learnt about the health hazards of using disposable food containers. Volunteers also introduced recycling concepts by sharing with them the “135, Simple Steps to Love the Earth” (see Note 1) and the “10-Finger Formula” (see Note 2). The children were also shown models of garbage patch and landfill, and the products of DA.Ai Technology.

In addition, the children had a 40-minute hands-on session on recyclable sorting. Bottles, cans, plastics, paper, and other recyclables are the items we use in our daily life and which are familiar even to the children. Volunteers made it clear to the children that a recycling centre is a place to collect and sort out recyclables, and not a place for garbage disposal.

Nurturing good habits from young

Teacher Siow Siew Ping from the kindergarten is also a Tzu Chi volunteer. She said the kindergarten has also implemented environmental education and she found that the children are open to the knowledge and are fast learners. They would share their knowledge with their parents, and some parents told the teachers that they were surprised by how much their kids knew about environmental protection. They also concurred with the kindergarten’s implementation of environmental education.

Teacher Siow felt that everyone should love and protect Mother Earth, and it should be instilled from an early age. For that reason, the parents were very supportive of this study tour. Other than learning about environmental protection, the children were also taught to do good deeds. Each of them brought along RM10 to donate towards the construction fund of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall and disaster relief in Indonesia.

Teacher Siow believed that with the teachers’ guidance, the children will have a deeper impression of their experiences gained from the study tour, and will share about what they have seen and learnt.

Teacher Lim Ai Nyet shared that the kindergarten often incorporates recycled handicraft-making activities in the lessons, like making paper tubes and coin banks from used items. She observed that the children enjoyed such activities and cherished their handmade recycled products. These fun and educational activities also helped create environmental awareness and inspire creative use of used items.

After visiting the recycling centre, the children have a better understanding of environmental protection and the importance of taking good care of the environment. This will be deeply imprinted in their minds and also inspire their responsibility for environmental protection.

Normally, children prefer to buy new school bags. The teachers would always remind them to cherish the things they have. Under the teachers’ guidance, the children gradually understood that they should replace their school bags only when they are worn out. Eight-year-old Edwin Soh is an example, and he has learnt a lot about environmental knowledge from this study tour.

Chua Jee Moi, the stationmaster, believes that education from an early age is very important. The children can implement the environmental knowledge they have learnt in their daily life and influence their parents to do the same. She held the opinion that doing and educating should go hand-in-hand to raise environmental awareness.

She said, “Children are more receptive to what is taught and they are purer in nature.” The good habits that the children develop will be with them throughout their whole life. Also, with the environmental protection concepts and sense of responsibility instilled in them, they will grow to become eco-warriors.


Note 1: “135, Simple Steps to Love the Earth” – save water by limiting tap water flow to the diameter of 1 chopstick; the 3 benefits of a vegetarian diet (slow down global warming, better health, and care for and respect the sacredness of lives); 5 things to always bring along (food container, chopsticks, cup/water bottle, handkerchief, and reusable bag).

Note 2: “10-Finger Formula – plastic bottles, glass bottles, aluminum cans, tin cans, paper, batteries, clothing, 3C products, hardware, and others.

 

On October 6, 2018, six teachers from the Era Naluri Kindergarten Batu Pahat, brought 20 children to visit Tzu Chi’s recycling centre in Taman Mas Jaya, Muar. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang   While introducing recycling concepts, volunteer shared with the children the “135, Simple Steps to Love the Earth”. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

On October 6, 2018, six teachers from the Era Naluri Kindergarten Batu Pahat, brought 20 children to visit Tzu Chi’s recycling centre in Taman Mas Jaya, Muar. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang
 
While introducing recycling concepts, volunteer shared with the children the “135, Simple Steps to Love the Earth”. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]
 
Eight-year-old Edwin Soh has learnt to sort out recyclables. He also expressed that he will not buy anything as he likes, and will only replace his school bag when it is worn out so that it will not go wasted. [Photograph by Kang MiewTiang]   Teacher Lim Ai Nyet (1st left) believes that the first-hand experiences from the learning trip will raise the children’s environmental awareness. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

Eight-year-old Edwin Soh has learnt to sort out recyclables. He also expressed that he will not buy anything as he likes, and will only replace his school bag when it is worn out so that it will not go wasted. [Photograph by Kang MiewTiang]
 
 
Teacher Lim Ai Nyet (1st left) believes that the first-hand experiences from the learning trip will raise the children’s environmental awareness. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]