News (2006-2016) News 2010 News Calling on More Planet Warden in Tampines Clean & Green Recycling Day

Calling on More Planet Warden in Tampines Clean & Green Recycling Day

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Tampines East Zone ‘1’ celebrated its annual Clean & Green Week on 5 Dec 2010 with a Recycling Day at the basketball court in Tampines Street 21. Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore Branch) was invited to collaborate with the zone's Residents' Committee (RC) to hold an eco-exhibition to engage more residents to come forward to conserve the environment.

Tzu Chi volunteers seize the opportunity to brief Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development and Advisor to Tampines GROs (3rd from right), about Tzu Chi's recycling procedures. (Photo: Hoh Hoong Koan)

The residents have great interest in Tzu Chi's various educational stands. (Photo: Hoh Hoong Koan)
Tzu Chi volunteers showing a resident a blanket made of PET bottles, explaining how “uselessness” can be turned into “great usefulness”. (Photo: Hoh Hoong Koan)
Mrs Lin making enzyme under the guidance of Tzu Chi volunteer. (Photo: Hoh Hoong Koan)
Not only do Mdm Jit and family take pain to recycle their garbage, they also hope that they can set a good example for the others to follow suit. (Photo: Hoh Hoong Koan)
Zhang Wei Wei felt that her spiritual wellbeing was purified through the recycling work. (Photo: Hoh Hoong Koan)

Member of Tampines East Zone ‘1’ RC, Mr Jacky Tor, has been participating in the monthly recycling activity at Block 202, Tampines St 21 for six months. He used to feel that most residents in the neighbourhood did not pay much attention to protect the environment, but the situation has improved since the recycling point was set up and also with Tzu Chi volunteers leading by example through personal participation in the recycling. The RC member was also impressed with the volunteers’ perseverance in living out the Foundation's philosophy of “making environmentalism integral in daily lives”.

The effort has moreover gained recognition and support from the RC members and residents alike when they learned that the income generated from the recyclables are used for charity purpose, which is to support Tzu Chi Singapore's “Seeds of Hope” bursary scheme. Now Mr Tor spontaneously picks up garbage when he sees it while walking on the road.

A clean surrounding is only possible when we have more people like Mr Tor who take responsibility to keep the environment clean.

Invited to set up exhibition

At the Tampines East Zone ‘1’ Clean & Green Recycling Day on 5 Dec, Tzu Chi volunteers were invited by the zone’s RC to set up an eco-exhibition to promote environmental awareness to the residents.

Tzu Chi volunteers started the preparatory work for the exhibition early in that morning, setting up different zones for briefing, publicity and publications display, recycled products and enzyme making demonstration.

Mdm Jit along with her husband and their two nieces were deeply amazed by the Da Ai Technology recycled products when their walked past the exhibition. “It is really an eye opener for me,” said Mdm Jit.

In recent years, due to Global Warming and drastic climate change, the family has grown to realize the importance of environmental protection. They take pain to classify their garbage and hope that by setting an example themselves, they can inspire more people to join their ranks.

Mdm Jit and her family fully agreed with the following Jing Si aphorism by Master Cheng Yen: “Instead of leaving behind wealth for our children, why not leave behind a clean Earth for our next generation?”

Enthusiastic participation from residents

“Is the enzyme sweet?” Mr Lin Mu Shun and his wife asked one of the volunteers curiously. The volunteer replied that not only is the molasses in the enzyme not sweet, it can also cleanse away dirt and grease. Getting to know it for the first time, Mr and Mrs Lim were amazed, more so when they found out that the enzyme was made of fruit peels which were normally thrown away.

Both of them then started making the enzyme on the spot. Feeling that the making process was not difficult at all, Mrs Lin opined that if everyone can start using enzyme and cut down on the usage of chemical detergents, we can reduce the contamination of rivers and make use of the otherwise useless fruit peels to the benefit of environmental protection. “This is indeed a very meaningful thing to do,” said Mrs Lin.

Zhang Wei Wei, a Tzu Chi donating member, is often busy with her work and family life. She used to take her children to shop and have high tea in her spare time. Since she became a volunteer, she felt energized and happy “every time she participates in Tzu Chi activities”.

Zhang began her philanthropic journey through Tzu Chi’s recycling activities and with keen interest in the work, she does recycling with an earnest and grateful mind, hence her mind was also purified. Zhang had cut down on her time for shopping and high tea, and though her children still wish for her to take them out for shopping, they too understand that their mother is doing something more meaningful than shopping as they can see the positive changes in her.

Minister lending support

At 11am, Minister for National Development and Advisor to Tampines Grassroots Organizations, Mr Mah Bow Tan, arrived at the scene with his entourage.

The making process of the eco-enzyme made Mr Mah marvel at the wonders of nature, who agreed that the eco-enzyme is indeed a very good home detergent. Mr Mah praised the residents for their self-motivated recycling efforts and for creating a clean environment together.

When the volunteers briefed Mr Mah about the collection of waste paper products, he listened attentively and expressed that he had never known that colour papers have to be separated from the black and white ones for recycling. The minister mentioned that he could see the great efforts of the volunteers as they have paid attention to such minute details while classifying wastes. Mr Mah also noted that many volunteers are needed for such refined recycling efforts, and was deeply moved by the Great Love of Tzu Chi when he learnt that Tzu Chi volunteers come from all walks of life, transcending race, religion and language.

The philosophy of “observing the precepts and managing with love” allows Tzu Chi volunteers to be forthcoming in immersing themselves in the community to make contributions. Mr Mah was touched and respectful of such spirit, he even made a wish to meet up with Master Cheng Yen in person one day.

The common use of plastic bags has contaminated our environment seriously. The reason being plastic bags could hardly decompose naturally and the incineration process causes air pollution.

To relief the stress of planet Earth, the RC distributed a specially made biodegradable plastic bag for the residents at the event. These plastic bags can decompose naturally within nine to twelve months.

Start the act of recycling from oneself, implement it in one’s family, and extend it to the whole community. Such wholesome effort should propagate in all directions as “one hand moves and inspire thousands of hands to follow suit”. With that, we will be leaving behind a beautiful and clean Earth for our offspring.

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