Jointly reported by:
Tee Jia Xien 16332 Sr2B
Ng Choon Hau 16066 SR2A
“Zero waste” is a new word and concept in the 21st century. Pua Shu Yun, Chairperson of the Environmental Society, held a talk called “Zero Waste Lifestyle” on the Zoom video platform on Friday, 29th of May 2020.
“What is zero waste?”, she asked. The definition of zero waste is to carry out “reuse” in 5R, reduce the amount of waste, and not to produce environmentally destructive waste.
Basically, there are two types of waste, disposable and reusable. One-time garbage is then divided into recyclable and non-recyclable garbage. For example, plastic bottles, cans, office wastepaper both are recyclable. Some non-recyclable garbage are decomposable and others are non-decomposable like toilet paper, plastic bag, straws.
She also explained to us the harm of disposable waste to the ocean. If plastic or styrofoam were thrown into the sea, it can be incredibly damaging to sea life. Once in the ocean, plastic or styrofoam decomposes very slowly, breaking down into tiny pieces known as microplastics by waves. It poses a threat to the animals that depend on the oceans for food.
Afterward, she shared some tips to drastically reduce your waste at home. Making your own homemade enzyme cleaner is relatively easy to do and environmentally friendly, just combining brown sugar with fruit skins and water in a glass bottle. Besides enzyme, we could also make a DIY environmental cleaning agent by mixing baking soda and white vinegar. In public places, what we can do to achieve zero waste is to use a handkerchief instead of tissue paper. By then, we could bring out own container or lunch box to take away our meal if possible. Take away your uneaten food in the restaurant for later consumption, however, it is better to avoid ordering too much food.
Later, she played two news videos about the boom of the zero waste lifestyle in Malaysia.
What followed was a Q&A session hosted by Ms Foo Cheau Yee, Chief Advisor-Teacher of the Environmental Society. She prompted attendees to submit their questions about environmentalism and anecdotes of their recycling efforts at home. Active feedback was attained, and she answered questions ranging from topics like the recycling of glass, eraser shavings, and milk cartons; to methods on dealing with an excess of food waste at home. She also commended students who sent in their anecdotes and prompted a few Environmental Society committee members to share their own stories in the fight for environmentalism. Through this Q&A session, Ms. Foo was able to enrich attendees further on how to live a Zero Waste life.
The talk then came to a close, hopefully leaving attendees with newfound knowledge of the Zero Waste movement, and inspiring them to take up this new lifestyle to play a part in saving our Earth from total environmental destruction.