Young, Passionate and Green
Story by Janna Khoo
The youths have something to say about sustainability and they’re doing their part in little ways they know how.
Youths Celebrate! Sustainability, an event by Gardens By The Bay, was developed to raise awareness of current environmental issues, as well as promote the need for conservation and responsible living in everyone. The two-day event was held on the 19th and 20th of May, drawing a mix of students, members of the public (both young and old), and even tourists, to the gardens.
One of the programmes, the Sustainability Carnival, opened up entries to various secondary schools to form game booths on the first day of the event. Each booth was well thought out, all of which bore a learning point geared towards the theme of “sustainability”. The games at each booth were made from recyclable materials such as old drink bottles and used cardboard, tying in perfectly with the event’s theme as well.
“Sustainability itself is a really small concept, yet it can actually have a large impact, even through the smallest things like picking up litter and switching off the lights,” said 15-year-old Muhammad Huzaifah Baharudin, a student councillor from Damai Secondary School.
Chairman of the Green Club at Fuchun Secondary School, 16-year-old Kim Jhermaine Joy Esden, said: “It’s about prolonging our natural resources, because our natural resources are not infinite and may run out anytime.”
16-year-old Claire Li Ker Shin, a student from Raffles Girls’ School, further reiterated this. She said: “It’s about each and every one of us doing our little part to save the environment, which can be done through knowing what we need and what we want. For example, we want the air-con on all the time. If we can learn to do without that, we’re actually celebrating sustainability.”
Despite the concept of the 3Rs constantly being advocated in educational institutions and public campaigns, many still close one eye to the issue, not realizing the full extent of the consequence birthed from their negligence towards the environment.
“Young people should be more aware of the need to reduce, reuse and recycle,” said 14-year-old Tasneem, a member of Yuan Ching Secondary School’s Environmental Club.
Kim firmly echoed the statement. She said: “As people who inhabit the Earth, we should be responsible and refrain from using too much of it. If we don’t preserve the natural environment, we will face severe consequences.”
When asked about how the youth can do their part, most of the students shared similar sentiments, saying that awareness was key, along with the power of social media. We are now living in a time where almost the entire world is a connected digital global village. This not only negates geographical barriers, it has a medium in which one’s voice can be heard by a large audience at a high speed.
“We can all do our part by sharing it with our friends. Especially among the youth, social media is very popular. If everyone is willing to do something and share it with their friends, a ripple effect can take place to make a more sustainable Singapore,” said Claire.