leftrightWednesday, June 4, 2008
More youths battling against environmental problems
Lim Chun Tat Kenneth, a member of the YEG in 2007, class 4J.

There is still hope for Earth; more youths are becoming environmentally conscious today. While some youths are following fashion trends, there is another trend going on around the youths: be environmentally conscious.

Worry no further about problems like global warming and pollution. Students like Tanya and Toh Yong Qing, both 16, are equally caring about the environment. In fact, both of them are also working with Cicada Tree Eco-place, an environmental non-profit organisation.

When asked to name one of his ‘green habits’, Toh Yong Qing said: “I pick up litter whenever I see them, even in public. The world is already on a decline now; it’s the least I could do.”

It seems the reason behind this recent trend is the media. Through channels like the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel, youths are exposed to the negative impact human actions have on the environment.

Thanks to the influence of the media, “Green groups” are growing at a much faster rate than 10 years ago. This means Singaporeans are more affluent and more aware of the environment now.

However, although education also helps to spread such environmental messages, it is still not as effective as the influence of the media.

Mrs Frances Ess, the teacher of Tanya and Toh Yong Qing, recalled teaching environmental issues for as long as 20 years ago, but youths are only taking actions after the premiere of movies like ‘Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘Inconvenient Truth’ as they have powerful visual images.

But does it end here? For youths like Tanya, joining an environmental group is just the first phase, the next phase being spreading awareness to her family members back in Indonesia.

“Indonesia is a heavily polluted country, so I want my family members to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” said Tanya.

Such responsibilities do not only lie in the adults. Mrs Ess thinks youths have to help spread the message too, “it is more effective when a teenager spreads the message to another teenager as it is easier for them to talk to one another.”

Emphasising on the importance for youths to help save our environment, Mrs Ess said, “the time is up; the environment cannot take any more blows. Wake up!”

Although this is a good start, more has to be done as some youths are still wasting resources. There are also no signs to show that this trend will last for a long time.

Miss Vilma D’Rozario, Sub-Dean, Student Development & Liaison, Foundation Programme Office, National Institute of Education, thinks this trend is only just the beginning as the youths have more in them.

Miss Vilma said that the education system, together with the media, works well together to spread such environmental messages: “the schools promote the lifestyle, while the media shows the effects.”

However, money might become an obstacle. Miss Celine Low, a co-founder of Cicada Tree Eco Place, encourages the public to show their support to the environmental organisations as such organisations provide platforms for youths to do a bigger part in saving the environment. An example is the Project CLEAN organised by the National Environment Agency on the 24th May.

“We are hoping to build a pool of young volunteers for outreach on equal living as well as to share to everyone an appreciation for our nature heritage,” Miss Vilma said, restating that the role of environmental organisations is to provide platforms for youths to spread the message of saving the environment.

The students posing with the MP of Ang Mo Kio GRC Mr. Wee after the activities.

[Mayflower] [11:28 AM]




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