Hi! i'm just an ordinary christian dude who has passion in Architecture, Environmental sustainability, and Travelling Photography. Also hitting on events especially Conferences and having personal stands and philosophy in this blog. Currently 2nd year Bachelor in Architecture USM Penang, Malaysia. All opinions here are just 2 sens of mine and not in any offensive means. You could follow me at Facebook or Twitter =) Welcome and have a nice day ahead! God Bless.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

[4/5/2011] The Great Green Race of Penang & How USM can learn from it.

I found that TheStar Newspaper today 3/5/2011 is really an interesting pick. Having around 3 green news in the Metro session and the Star Two featuring a green issue with all the nice little articles on how we can go green etc. This kinda struck me, Penang is really having all these green things coming in just too fast, which is good, and the best thing is the response is positive so far from the residents. There was no holding back to see other countries already have all the movements we have today as a norm in their routine. 

Penang Spring Cleaning Day last year, this was part of the program Cleaner Greener Penang.

I personally have a chat with YB Phee Boon Poh few weeks ago in his Office, went there for YES project purpose with my teammate, personally we really hear fascinating things (far beyond thoughts i will say) the state government exco will be pusing on later. Some of us might question that the Cleaner Greener Penang website is no longer active, but clearly because we are on the next stage already, the awareness platform is left there. The actions and news today with the headlines explains it all.

Here shows. 

GEORGE TOWN, April 30 (Bernama) -- ICI Dulux (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd will place 500 recycling bins along Gurney Drive here. The bins will be placed at every 100 steps with the first 50 bins launched today.Of the 50 bins, 40 are meant for papers, aluminium and plastic, and the rest for solid waste such as paint cans.He said the bins were environmentally friendly and could save electricity for they were solar powered contributed from LED lights.
(This is the intention i heard from Spring Cleaning Day before, YB Lim Guan Eng announced it, and yes, it really happened in the end. Every 100 steps. Economically this sounds sustainable because Dulux will use this bins as their ads as well. Have not really seen the prototype but can't wait to see them appear)

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said a composting plant was recently set up at the market’s car park for the purpose. He said the project, believed to be the first in Penang, was an initiative by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) and S.I. Green Management Sdn Bhd. “The company has invested about RM1mil into the technology and plant which has the capacity of processing up to four metric tonnes of wastes per day.

“Presently, the company processes about a tonne of wastes daily and is in need of more wastes to optimise operations,” he said after visiting the plant on Sunday. Waste not: S.I. Green Management Sdn Bhd workers T. Kanageswaran, 30, (right) and S. Anand, 40, placing vegetable and fruit wastes onto a conveyor belt linked to a crushing machine at the plant Phee said effective microorganisms were used as a catalytic agent to help turn the wastes into fertilisers within a short period of time. He said all types of organic kitchen wastes, both oily and dry, such as food discards as well as garden wastes such as leaves and twigs were turned into fertilisers that were later sold to the public.
(This is highly possible to be done in USM, that intention just really struck me, imagine all the cafes and waste we have from events in USM itself, if we can have a decompose site in USM itself and really leave this process to bio school students to explore the possibility, i don't see any harm it can be, just really need to show good figures and saving to the admin that we can do this)

SOME 2,000 people did their bit for the environment when they took part in a Cleaner Greener Penang community programme at Kampung Titi Teras in Balik Pulau, Penang. They participated in various fun activities and competitions such as quizzes. Free health checks were available as well. A colouring contest was also held for children. Helping out Mother Nature: 

Twenty tecoma trees being planted during the community programme held at Kampung Titi Teras in Balik Pulau Reuseable bags were distributed and an exhibition by government agencies drove home their messages on environmental issues, drugs and reckless driving.
(And it's essential to have these kinds of awareness events carried out by local councils around the state too to align with the transformation of the state government wanting to do. Really, both awareness and action comes together)

These news area really just from what happened this week. If you could ask me what i know is going to happen in Penang based on what i heard from YB, there is really many more to come. Among a few i have heard is that every one or two sundays of each month will be a recycling day where residence could bring their waste to the recycling center set up by local councils. Also would be vegetable planting with reusable materials at the balconies of your condos, also he even shared about how penangnites could respond to any disaster such as Earthquake, the food distribution and stockpiles in tragedies as such. I couldn't list them all, i bet he has many ideas based on the experience he had. And the best thing i know is, NGOs are all doing their part to support this. 

I just suddenly thought, what could i really do for my final year effort in doing something for USM. To be honest, at this root, i find that myself has nothing much contributed yet. Y.E.S might sound something long focus during my third and fourth semester but there are much more to be done besides having a pioneer student project focusing on RE and EE in Penang, or the whole Malaysia. USM is really far from sustainable campus, infact i really doubt if generally USM students can define sustainable off the textbook. 

I have said about trying to do Carbon Footprint studies of USM and making it the first university to ensure all students are aware of this calculator. Never seem easy, believe me that i have been ups and downs asking certain NGOs and also downloading various Carbon Footprint Calculator especially from Harvard. I would definitely need some professionals in the datas. Nevertheless, there are really many simple things that still can be done. 

As much as i respect VC's vision that students taking up projects , i hope that there can be a direct regulation and orders sometimes from HEP to enforce the rules, we already had Green Events Protocols and such. I really just hope this thing can take off the hands of MPP, really i can't see any hope in them focusing on certain cause besides the reason of just supporting their politics means. Many simple means can be done. Chin Hong was talking about Post Events Zero Waste Management, get the recyclable things sorted after Convex event. There are much to be done for Zero Waste in USM itself. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 

REDUCE. Just have everyone bringing their tupperware in USM? No take away is allowed? Sounds insane but it's just a matter of getting used to it. Sounds nice to have USM students to have the branding of bringing reusable tupperware and bags everywhere they go.

Charge Students Electricity and Water Bills but being subsidized with a decent amount. The moment a person starts to use over it, pay. This is common in China itself when Shanghai students go to Shower they would record the amount of water they use.

REUSE. There are plenty of wastage from HBP school and other as well. Let it be anything, but really majority will be paper. We said before that whatever waste you produce may be the treasure to others. Art School often have the struggle of finding these cheap materials but instead need to buy them. 
Food Waste will decompose in lands where they will be the soil's food so we can harvest vegetable from them as well.

RECYCLE. This should always been seen as the last option. But yea recycling bins around the campus, and really ensured they are sorted out, clean before sending to the companies to recycle. and nevertheless, the foundation of knowledge in this items, because some items will be downcycled instead of recycle. Economic sense that whatever profits we get from this recyclings can go breakeven the facilities price so why not?

But these ideas would be taught by USM Students even 10 years ago, but why didn't it happen or continue? White Coffin remains a flagship to this, but really it's just the beginning of everything and soon enough i think it's going to sink if there's no follow up after it. 

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