The youth from WAY zone advocate for the green cause by encouraging others to recycle their waste.
By Yeo Zhi Qi
The saying “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s all gone” applies very well to how Earthlings make use of their resources. But thankfully, a handful of them are wise enough to recognize the speed at which their natural resources are depleting and have started moving towards sustainable development. Many corporations have adopted the “go green” slogan, but what can we, as individuals, do to help in sustaining the resources on Earth?
A group of youths in City Harvest Church started asking themselves this question when they were brainstorming on an event that would positively impact society, as part of the iSociety project for Emerge Youth Conference 2012. This year, apart from the requisite talent and preaching competitions, Emerge organizers have also introduced a new category, Salt and Light, which requires the youths of CHC to create and execute projects that make a difference to the local community.
These youths, from WAY zone, led by Wayne Choong, observed that unlike other developed cities, like Japan and Taiwan, recycling bins are relatively scarce in Singapore’s dense city. They realized that in a typical neighborhood, around five to 10 blocks of flats share only one recycling bin. They thus felt that it was important to drum up awareness of recycling amongst citizens to create a more eco-friendly nation.
Green Day is the recycling project birthed out of that vision. About 100 volunteers from the zone travelled all around the island on May 27, to collect recyclable materials. These volunteers, ranging from students to young working adults, went from one household to another, knocking on door to door, with a common goal in mind: to collect as much recyclable material as possible.
“We want to bring a clean and green environment in Singapore through effective waste management and the recycling of unwanted materials,” shared Julian Lee, 28, the main organizer of Green Day. “By going door to door to collect the old items from various households, we hope to not just make recycling as convenient as possible, but to also encourage residents to build recycling into their daily lives.”
The event which started at 11.30am saw participants visiting the households of their friends and family members to pick up old items that the households were prepared to give away. While the bulk of the collection consisted of newspapers, magazines, clothes and toys, volunteers were pleasantly surprised to receive other items such as fans, scrap metals, LCD screens, dryers, irons, washing machines and even air conditioners.
Besides the environmental cause, the event also forged stronger relationships between participants. Gareth Gay, 25, a student shared, “The most memorable part was spending time with my cell group members and getting to know them better as we travelled around the different households in Choa Chu Kang on bicycle.”
At the end of the event, participants gathered at Raffles Place where the collected items were consolidated and sent directly to a recycling centre. By bringing recycling right to the doorsteps of residents, the team saw more than 2,000 kg of newspapers and 1,000 kg of old clothes collected.
Sharing his experience, Abel Sim, 24 said, “I am very heartened to see so many people forthcoming in contributing their old items; and that so many volunteers were willing to sacrifice their time for this good cause.”
Though Green Day lasted for a mere five hours, it could have sparked a recycling wave in the country. So the next time you chuck what may seem like trash into the bin, think again—and take some green action.