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Education, Env. Protection

Young Eco-Warriors Take the Eco-Mission to the Streets

Youths from the Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Class spent a joyful and meaningful Sunday morning at Tzu Chi recycling points helping to sort recyclables. They also collected rubbish on the busy streets nearby and promoted recycling to the public.

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On 11 March 2018, the Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Class and community recycling points specially made arrangements for 134 students from the class and their team leaders to visit five recycling points, to take part in the Recycling Day.

A team of 23 youths visited the recycling point at Block 109 in Redhill, bringing vitality to the usually quiet area. Guided by their team leaders, the youths lined up in an orderly manner to listen to the briefing by veteran Tzu Chi volunteer Ngai Sin Kam (first from the right in the photo below), on the green concepts of Tzu Chi and their current developments.

SG20180311 CUA SYJ 003Photo by Saw Gwek Keow

Ngai personally demonstrated to the students how to sort items like bottles, cans, papers and glass bottles. She also taught them the catchy “Ten-Finger Mnemonic”, a formula for remembering different types of recyclables, and the 5Rs of recycling, namely Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Repair and Recycle.

Her briefing was detailed and fun, drawing the youths into the mood for recycling.

The latter listened attentively to her explanations and showed great enthusiasm when they started sorting the recyclables. Every one of them was very eager to try their hands out.  

“I see hope for the future when I look at these youths engrossing themselves in the recycling work. I hope that they will implement what they have learned from the activity into their daily lives and give back to society,” said Ngai.  

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To encourage the Tzu Chi youths to engage with the community, Ngai led a team of them on door-to-door visits to promote the message of recycling. She told the students that doing recycling is also a character-building practice, and reminded them to always be polite and show respect and gratitude to others, as they embody the humanistic values of Tzu Chi. 

Another team of 39 youths, together with their team leaders, went to the recycling point at Yishun Block 701. Apart from listening to the briefing on green concepts and recycling practices delivered by Tzu Chi volunteers, they also took to the streets to promote recycling and environmental conservation to the public.

The youths were divided into two groups. One group held placards to promote recycling at the nearby shops and wet market, while the other went about picking up rubbish on the busy streets with tongs, and subsequently sorted it into recyclable and non-recyclable items. Their presence attracted the attention of a lot of passers-by, and many gave them thumbs up to affirm their effort.

SG20180311 CUA LSW 014Photo by Lee Shao Wee

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After completing the laborious sorting work, the youths took a break to replenish themselves with drinks and some snacks. Then, they moved on to the poster-making session. Under the guidance of their team leaders, the youths sourced for whatever materials they were able to find at the venue, such as cardboard, clothes and plastic items, to produce creative art works related to recycling and environmental protection.  

A group of the students made a colourful poster based on the 5R green concept, while another group turned some old clothes into shopping bags. A few of them made photo frames with used cardboards and gift boxes. Many of the other recycling volunteers were fascinated by their creativity and marveled at their ingenuity.

SG20180311 CUA SYJ 035Photo by Saw Gwek Keow

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Team leader Fong Kok Kee said, “Poster-making is the most important session in this event. After participating in the recycling activities, the youths settled down and pondered about the relationship between mankind and nature while making the posters. This will help strengthen their environmental awareness.”

“It is very meaningful to participate in a recycling event. From there we learn how to sort the recyclables. In the future, whenever I am on the streets or on my way to school, I will pick up whatever recyclable trash I see and sort it accordingly,” shared one of the youths, Liu Hui En (second from the left in the photo below).  

SG20180311 CUA SYJ 048Photo by Saw Gwek Keow

After picking up trash from the streets, another youth, Li Huan You (pictured below), said with a sigh, “I never expected that there would be so much rubbish on the ground! I feel quite sad and confused. Why do people throw their rubbish anywhere they like even though there is a rubbish bin nearby?”

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Time flies — it was not long before the day’s activities came to an end. Despite being sweaty and physically tired, everyone’s heart was filled with joy. In fact, they could not get enough of the activities they had participated. After some closing words from their team leaders, everybody went home happily, bringing back memories of a fun-filled learning day.

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