Monday, 25 July 2011

Cultivating green habits

GOOD habits are best cultivated from young — an adage that holds true when it comes to adopting an environment-friendly and sustainable modern lifestyle.

In line with this, a Smart Eco- Schools Competition is currently being held to empower teachers and students with knowledge and innovation to create significant and positive change to their schools and community.

Through training and workshops, the competition ultimately seeks to create a green and healthy environment for the young to live, learn and grow, whilst also guiding participating schools in becoming environment-friendly institutions.

Starting 'em young: Pupils from SRK Convent Pulau Tikus checking out the recycling demonstrations during the launching ceremony at Han Chiang High School, Penang.

The four-month contest ending in September, is open to all public and private primary and secondary schools in Penang, and will see the top 10 performing schools awarded with trophies, certificates and grants of RM1,000.

The competition is organised by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Tanjung Bunga in collaboration with Water Watch Penang, Save Earth Alliance, Penang Environment Working Group, Consumer Association of Penang and Malaysia Nature Society.

At the launching ceremony at the Han Chiang High School on Saturday, organising chairman Yeap Leay Fong said the knowledge and practical skills gained from the project would be invaluable.

“Share it with your family members and neighbours,” she told participants.

Symbolic act: Organisers, supporters and sponsors of the Smart Eco-Schools Competition planting seeds into a tray to mark the launch of the contest.

JCI Tanjung Bunga president Catherine Chang said that with the planet’s current environmental problems posing implications for the next generation, it was vital to start effecting positive changes.

In his speech, Datuk Ong Heng Tee, representing Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai, believed that Penang was fortunate as there were many parties eager to do their part for Mother Earth.

“We should start with simple things, such as saving water or electricity at home, or using less petrol, before going on to bigger projects, ideally those that can be replicated elsewhere.

“Mahatma Gandhi once said, do not worry if you’re only one person. Because if thousands of individuals each do something, you will achieve great things,” he added during the event on Saturday.

The Star