Preschoolers are out to save the Earth!
Preschoolers helped to save a whooping 800,000 plastic bags in a go green initiative, Little Green Ambassadors, organised by Dairy Farm groups and the NEA. On Saturday, phase two of the program was launched for implementation nationwide. Organisers are expecting further success.
16 July 2011 - Over 1,500 people from all walks of life took part in a go green event, Wheels of Harmony, at Jurong Central Park. The event jointly organised by Dairy Farm Singapore, South West CDC and National Environment Agency (NEA), set out to promote social harmony and to raise awareness on the importance of protecting the environment.
Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office & Second Minister for Home Affairs & Trade and Industry, graced the morning event. In his speech, he congratulated all those involved and mentioned that ‘no one is too young to start caring and contributing to the environment.’
Also in attendance were Minister of State and Mayor of the South West District, Dr Amy Khor along with Mr Alex Tay, Regional Director for Dairy Farm South Asia.
The morning bore witness to the first successful attempt at a new Singapore record with some 1,500 people spinning pinwheels at same time as a pledge to support the go green cause. Wheels of Harmony also launched phase two of Dairy Farm and NEA’s green initiative, The Little Green Ambassadors (LGA). Also, in celebration of Wheels of Harmony and to mark the completion of LGA phase one, Dairy Farm and South West CDC each contributed $50,000 to raise a total of $100,000 worth of 4,000 bags of basic essentials that include rice, sugar, oil and biscuits. This will benefit 2,000 needy families under the care of Dairy Farm’s adopted charity, Care Community Services Society and 2,000 needy families in the South West district.
Another highlight of the day was the presentation of prizes to the gold, silver and bronze recipients for LGA. The program involves preschoolers from three to six-year-olds in a bid to nurture good eco-friendly habits. They are encouraged to reduce excessive use of plastic bags and replace the use with reusable bags. These children are given passbooks to collect fun stickers of a LGA cartoon icon. The kids will receive a cartoon sticker for every transaction when they and their parents refuse excessive plastic bags or choose to shop with reusable bags at Dairy Farm’s stores in Singapore. All 805 stores within the Dairy Farm Group including Cold Storage, Market Place, Shop N Save, Giant, Guardian Health & Beauty and 7-Eleven are involved in this program. 10 stickers entitle them to be a LG ambassador while more stickers win them bronze, silver or gold badges.
TheAsianParent spoke to one of little gold winners, six-year-old Xuanqi Lim. She said: ‘I want to reuse plastic bags so I can save the earth!’
Her mother, Christine Lim, 33, added: ‘initially she wanted a sticker, after one month of the program, she has a clearer idea of what recycling and reducing is about. I think it’s a very good initiative especially for young children. It allows them to see that recycling is a way of life and a norm for them. Xuanqi actually carries out these green habits while reminding the whole family and I to do it. We’re all slowly trying.’
Echoing Minister S Iswaran’s sentiments, she continued to say that it is important to ‘start them young and start them small’.
Phase one of LGA was first introduced from April to June this year to preschools in the South West district. This initial phase gained positive response from the schools, students and parents. It managed to save a whooping 800,000 plastic bags in total!
In phase two, Dairy Farm is extending the program nationwide and hopes more schools will adopt the initiative.
Dairy Farm’s vice-chairman for the organizing committee for Wheels of Harmony, Mr Winston Chee said: ‘We’re confident that the number of plastic bags saved would increase. We’re expecting more savings in this phase. We believe that with more participating schools in more areas and more awareness, would result in more children and their parents going into the stores and refuse plastic bags or reduce the number for it.
Dr Amy Khor who was also present at the event believes that environmental values and habits should be inculcated and nurtured since young in order for it to be second nature to the children. She added: ‘parents are obviously role models to their kids. You have to practice what you preach. I think that is the most powerful means of educating your kids.’
She encourages all families and especially parents with young children to carry out environmentally friendly habits at home. When asked about how she has done this with her family, she said: ‘at home, we recycle, we do not use so much air con, conserve water and use energy saving lights. I even drive a green car, after all we have to start somewhere.’
While we all know of the original 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, this new initiative by Dairy Farm and NEA brought forth a fourth ‘R’ which is Refuse. In refusing to continue on with bad habits such as requesting for extra plastic bags and instead bringing along reusable bags when grocery shopping we can all do our part in saving the Earth. If the little ones can do it, so can the adults.
Do you have other ways of being environmentally friendly? Tell us all about it.
Photo credit: Dairy Farm Singapore, Seri R.S