News (2006-2016) News 2010 News Propagating Environmental Awareness in Braddell Heights Emergency Preparedness Day

Propagating Environmental Awareness in Braddell Heights Emergency Preparedness Day

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The recycling point at Block 241, Serangoon Avenue 3 had officially opened on 14 November 2010. Seeing that the response from the Serangoon community was promising, Tzu Chi volunteers seized the opportunity offered by Braddell Heights Zone 'A' Residents' Committee to promote greater environmental awareness in this year's Braddell Heights Emergency Preparedness Day on 27 Nov.

Besides the residents, officers of the Civil Defence Force were attracted to find out more about Tzu Chi's eco-fabric creation too. (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)

Volunteers presenting the eco-garments and accessories developed by Da Ai Technology Co. Ltd. (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)
Volunteers explaining and demonstrating the correct ways of sorting recyclables to residents who stopped by the booth. (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)
Dynamic dance of "Everybody Does Recycling". (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)
Guest of Honour Mr Seah Kian Peng, MP for Marine Parade GRC, listening to Tzu Chi volunteer's explanation on the Foundation's environmental concepts. (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)
Many were eager to feel the touch of the PET-made polo shirts. (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)
Resident Mdm Ainon was glad that she had finally found the right organization she was looking for. (Photo: Goh Shoo Weng)

With the help of screens erected at the open areas in front of Block 263 at Serangoon Central, Tzu Chi volunteers managed to set up an environmental education booth at the venue. Although the space was limited, they succeeded in partitioning the areas for guest reception, displays of Jing Si Publication's eco-friendly utensils and Da Ai Technology eco-products as well as recyclable classification.

“A warm welcome to everyone here! It's great to have your support in our recycling work.” The reception volunteers greeted the residents enthusiastically and shared recycling knowledge with them whereas volunteers on duty at the eco-friendly utensils counter patiently explained the advantages of using reusable utensils. At the sorting area, volunteers gave explicit explanation and demonstration to the residents on ways to sort out home and office recyclables.

“You're from Tzu Chi! I've seen you guys in our neighbourhood before doing door-to-door publicity!”

“I know you're doing recycling every month at Block 241. I'll bring some stuff to your recycling point next month!”

These pleasant remarks by the local residents were the best evidence of how effective the messages delivered through word of mouth in the community were. Most of the residents are aware about Tzu Chi's monthly recycling activity in their neighbourhood. Moreover, they have started to engage themselves in the initiative.

Qing Qian Yi, a Primary 3 student, came to the recyclable sorting area under the company of her father. Holding a bag of recyclables, the little girl was nervous and shy to approach the volunteers at first. Soon, with the proper guidance and advice from the volunteers, Qian Yi managed to classify the recyclable items by herself.

Qian Yi only picked up the word "recycling" from the Tzu Chi volunteers recently when they knocked on her family's door to promote the concept. From there, the word was vividly imprinted in her mind. She had even started collecting cans and bottles at home for recycling purpose, just like a little gardener aspiring to safeguard the Earth.

Besides recycling promotion, the volunteers also hopped onto the stage to perform a dynamic song titled “Everybody Does Recycling”. The interesting lyrics and amusing moves eventually spurred the residents to join in the motivating song.

Mdm Liang Shao Fang, who is staying in the vicinity, enjoyed the dynamic session very much. “I saw your volunteers working very hard at the recycling point last month and I was very touched. Therefore, I have brought some recyclables from home today to support Tzu Chi,” said the resident.

Guest of Honour Mr Seah Kian Peng, MP for Marine Parade GRC, addressed the Foundation when giving his speech: “We're thankful to have Tzu Chi promoting environmental awareness and performing sign language dance for our residents today. Hopefully our residents will support our recycling initiatives to make our neighbourhoods cleaner and greener!” said Mr Seah.

The eco-fabrics developed by Da Ai Technology Co. Ltd., an eco-company started by Tzu Chi's entrepreneurial arm, bewildered many of those who first came in contact with Tzu Chi.

“This is the very first time I've heard of PET bottles being used to produce clothing and blankets for relief purpose. What an amazing creation! I will start collecting bottles and bring them to your recycling point next month. Hopefully I can help others too,” said Mdm Wang Zhao Xi.

Donning a red tudung, Malay resident Mdm Ainon was seen walking close to the booth to view the exhibition. Tzu Chi volunteer Fang Yuting greeted her and explained to her about Global Warming and its detrimental effects to human race as well as the commitment of Tzu Chi in charity.

Mdm Ainon had actually heard about Tzu Chi before but did not know how to get started to volunteer her time. After getting a more comprehensive explanation about Tzu Chi’s development from Sister Fang, Mdm Ainon decided to become a donating member as well as a volunteer with the Foundation.

“My children have all grown up and I think it's time I spend my time more meaningfully,” said Mdm Ainon. The softhearted resident even wept upon reading the story of a Burmese girl getting her cleft lip treated with the help of Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur. “This is the charity organization that I have been looking for as it upholds the principles of equality among races and religions.”

The fact that residents are picking up recycling knowledge from the exhibition, and learning that some residents are already practicing domestic recycling after participating in Tzu Chi's recycling activity, left the volunteers with immense gratification.

The ardent response received that day was like a shot of adrenaline and has highly reassured the volunteers of their relentless effort in running the Serangoon recycling point. It is hoped that the residents' environmental awareness will be enhanced through the progressive publicity and education, with the ultimate mission of safeguarding our one and only planet Earth.

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