Go Green: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
CapitaLand’s ‘Green for Hope’ project is roping in students to do their part for the environment. And the response is heartening!
Issue: Mar 2009
Students of Chong Zheng Primary School with CapitaLand's CapitaFrog mascot and other staff volunteers
Going green is no longer just a trendy buzzword to throw around. As evidenced by the erratic weather the world has been experiencing due to global warming, more people realise it’s not enough to just sit up and take notice, but to join hands and do their part in preserving the earth.
Corporations are doing their part as well by rolling out social responsibility project that involve the public and their staff. CapitaLand, for example, is educating children in Singapore with its ‘Green for Hope’ project launched in July last year.
Starting Them Young
CapitaFrog performing in the skit
Doing their bit for the environment are responsibilities that young children can readily embrace if they’re involved from an early age. The ‘Green for Hope’ project subscribes to this belief by inviting all primary schools to do their part for the earth and help out their less privileged friends at the same time.
Under this project, $2 will be donated by CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, for every kilogram of recyclable waste collected. This money will go to the school’s welfare fund to meet the basic needs of the underprivileged students.The Foundation has pledged S$1.75 million to this project, which is sufficient to buy over 88,000 sets of school uniforms, one year’s supply of textbooks for 20,000 students, or breakfast for 6,000 kids for a year.
The ‘Green for Hope’ project aims to collect 875,000kg of recyclable waste, which will save approximately 5,000 trees (from paper), enough energy to light up 380 light bulbs for a year (from plastic) and energy to run 65 TV sets for a year (from aluminium cans). As an incentive to the schools to encourage the children, an additional S$5,000, S$3,000 and S$2,000 will be donated to the top three schools with the largest collection of recyclable waste.
Students of Chong Zheng Primary School participating in the skit by CapitaLand’s staff volunteers
Since the launch of the project, the 154 participating schools have seen a surge in interest in environmental matters, with kids becoming more conscious of their habits and their impact on the earth. In the case of Queenstown Primary School, one of the top performers in the project to date, the school even kept parents informed of this campaign so that as families they can do their part together not only in school but also at home in saving the earth. Teachers in the school also took the initiative to be role models and even incorporated the green message of the campaign into their lessons, Says Principal Mrs V Ratnakumar, “Recycled materials are very much a part of our Science lessons, and teachers use them in Science experiments where possible.”
To further encourage the kids to keep up the habit of reducing, reusing and recycling and get more of them involved in the project, CapitaLand hosted an educational ‘Green for Hope’ roadshow in February, where staff volunteers visited participating schools, performing in a skit with the affable CapitaFrog, a mascot created by CapitaLand to propagate the green message.
Skit Performance at Dazhong Primary School
Doing Your Part
As the kids cultivate the 3Rs as part of their daily lifestyle, it’s not too late for you as an adult to do your part for the environment and set a good example. Here are some simple changes you can make to your day-to-day habits and save the earth for future generations:
- Hang-dry clothes. Using a clothes rack or clothes line to dry clothes instead of a clothes dryer will save a lot in energy costs. To generate electricity, fossil fuels are burnt, producing radioactive waste, greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
- Set the air conditioner temperature to 24-25 degrees Celsius. Every degree above 22 degrees Celsius saves cooling costs by 3% and decreases CO2 emissions by an average of 55kg.
- Pack food in reusable containers instead of disposable ones.
- Turn off the tap when soaping hands and promptly after use.
- Only print when really necessary. One million tons of paper is used worldwide every day. In addition to the major issue of deforestation to feed our paper appetite, paper production creates significant CO2 emissions.
- Use plastic grocery bags to bag garbage instead of buying special garbage bags, and use less plastic bags in general. Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade. When they break down, they release greenhouse gases and toxic particles, which contribute to global warming and poison our soil and water.
- Pass on clothes you have outgrown to those who can fit them, and likewise don't be shy about taking other's clothes they have outgrown.
- Use old torn clothes as cleaning rags.
- Instead of throwing printouts that you no longer need, flip it to its unused side to be used as a memo pad, or slip it back into the printer to be used a second time.
- Donate things you no longer need but are still in good condition to various charity organizations such as the Salvation Army or nursing homes.
- Segregate your trash into recyclable items such as glass, plastic, paper and aluminium for collection by waste collectors.
- Choose to buy recycled products, as it takes less energy to make a product from recycled materials than it does to make it from new materials.