Green Fingers: the year ahead

LO 3 Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

LO 6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

Green Fingers is a local service that aims to tackle the issue of waste management within our school community and local community here in Singapore. Our NGO partner is Buddha Tzu Chi a global organisation whose focus is on extending the lifespan of Mother Earth though the means of the 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. The reason they follow these 5 R’s is due to the increase in frequency of natural disasters is a sign of global warming.

This issue of climate change can improve if waste is properly managed and less of it go to incineration. It is imperative that we do our best to take care of Mother Earth since there is only one planet that all living things can live on. Sustainability is also a part of the United World College’s missions, as members of the community, it is only right if we practice what we preach and live the mission. Through this activity, I hope to continue to create some change, big or small, to help the issue within the school and Singaporean community.

Our three main goals for the academic year are:

  1. To maintain a good relationship with our local partner – Buddha Tzu Chi
  2. Reduce waste and raise awareness on campus
  3. Liaise with other services in school, particularly GCs

Our first goal of focus for this year is number 1, we intend to keep close contact with Buddha Tzu Chi by collaborating in events with them. They have always helped us with our previous events such as the Family Festival and Career Fair and we hope to maintain this relationship. Since we are a local service, we would also continue to help out at local recycling points to get the real and hands on experience of recycling. This will also let us persevere through the struggles, from the heat to the smell. By immersing ourself into the local community, we also have a chance to collaborate with other volunteers and expose ourselves to the many perspectives that are new and may not align with our beliefs. Recycling is a task that heavily relies on manpower since there has yet to be a technology that will do it on behalf of us. Because of this, I hope that they realise how easy this change in habit is. But also acknowledge the possible frustrations that they might face if there are such large quantities of waste, possibly encouraging them to produce less waste. Together with the Chair, we have set the dates and commitment for the year ahead. We hope that the members of the group had the same experience as we did last year and that it will be meaningful to them as they were to us.

Another project that we started, based on campus, is to reduce the use of disposables, especially polystyrene boxes, from the Hawker centre as well as in school events. These polystyrene boxes are not biodegradable, the use of these boxes only increase landfill as well as other undesirable environmental effects. So far, we have split into three groups, one of them has prepared a presentation to be shown to the service departments to advertise the crockery we have available. These utensils may be rented out to prevent the use of disposables to make events at our school greener. The other two groups focus more on the Hawkers project, one group making a promotional video to be shown in assemblies, raising the concern of disposables. The other group designing posters to be placed around school as reminders to either bring your own box or simply eat at the Hawkers. This project is going well so far, everyone has been meeting their deadlines. With this project, we hope to eliminate the habit of using disposables in the school community. The only obstacle we have faced thus far is deciding on the material of our poster. It would be ironic if we were to print them in excess on new paper when we could have used something more sustainable and possibly reusable. This decision is ongoing, research is still being conducted. Hopefully we will find the right material that does not go against our mission.

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