The Eunos Community Club takes the message of sustainability into the heartlands with its own lights-out party.
Contributed By Seow Jieying
As Earth Hour celebrations went underway at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on March 26, the Eunos Community Club staged its own party, with the lights going out at 8:30 p.m. sharp. Within minutes, a single candle flame had spread to form the number “60” signifying the Earth Hour logo, “60+.” Residents then lifted their candles to mark ECC’s first-ever Earth Hour commemoration ceremony, jointly organized by the Eunos Height Youth Network and the Eunos Community Club Youth Executive Committee.
The event was the brainchild of Fong Yoong Kheong, 24, chairman of Eunos Zone 3 Residents’ Committee and vice-chairman of Eunos CC YEC. An environmentalist himself, Fong shared that he had always wanted to organize an Earth Hour event but always seemed to miss it by a few days. This year, he was reminded by a Facebook event listing and one month later, the inaugural ECC Earth Hour event took place.
While Earth Hour has been globally celebrated the last few years, many Singaporeans are not aware of the event and its significance. “Hence, we wanted to bring the message of Earth Hour to the grassroots, at the same time create awareness of being environmentally friendly.” While the event targeted the youth, many elderly residents came to join in the fun, bringing the total turnout to almost 100 residents. The evening started with the “pass the parcel” ice-breaker, a game which allows residents to mingle and have fun without the need for electricity.
The green theme was incorporated even in the food—the Eunos CC YEC went through much effort to prepare a sumptuous and tasty vegetarian buffet for the residents. “We hope that these little steps will encourage residents to love the environment and take their own steps towards conservation,” said Fong. Elaine Hong, 17, a student, knew of Earth Hour but had never participated in the past. She said that the event was fun and taught her how to save the earth. Likewise, Poh Kai Ling, 16, and her friends gleaned useful tips on saving electricity, commenting that from that day on, they will do their part to save electricity.
While the Earth Hour party was a first for the Eunos CC YEC, on-going environmental initiatives have already been implemented. Earlier this year, it collaborated with the Aljunied Town Council to encourage anti-littering through the “Zero Littering 2011” movement, where volunteers set up “flyer recycling bins” at void decks, providing information on the number of trees one can help save by recycling unwanted flyers. The initiative triggered off a significant improvement in the neighbourhood’s littering problem. Under the same movement, a food exchange program where residents were encouraged to bring their recyclable goods in exchange for food items was organized.
Beyond Earth Hour, energy conservation needs to be a lifestyle choice, not just a once-a-year affair. Here are five simple steps to save energy in your home:
1. Use the fan instead of air-conditioner to keep cool.
2. Set the temperature of your air-conditioner at 25 degrees Celsius or higher.
3. Switch off home appliances at the power socket. Do not leave them on standby.
4. Choose an energy-efficient air-conditioner or refrigerator by checking the energy labels.
5. Choose energy-efficient light bulbs.
Log on to www.earthhour.org and www.e2singapore.gov.sg/energy-challenge.html to find out more.