KUCHING: Twelve volunteers worked together to clean Kuching City during an event called “Kuching City Plogging” last week.
The group led by Dylan Phiong was surprised at the huge amount of trash collected despite the short session. The team said even more trash could have been picked up if the weather had been better.
This event was in line with the United States Embassy’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) programme’s annual celebration “YOUnified” – a combination of the words ‘YOUTH’ and ‘UNIFIED’.
The celebration takes places throughout Southeast Asia and is celebrated through acts of volunteerism.
After the “Kuching City Plogging” event, there was a series of talks and sharing by community leaders.
The “For a better Kuching” event highlighted leaders who were actively working in different aspects to improve current communal practices and activities.
The first presenter, Mark Liao from Sarawak Eco-Warriors, talked about plastics — how one of humanity’s greatest inventions harmed the environment and how it affected humans.
The second speaker Ian Chin shared his experiences in YSEALI’s Professional Fellows Programme in Omaha Permaculture.
He said a simple community-led programme on community farming there had greatly improved local conditions in terms of appearances, environmental value and economic value.
Next was Alicia Ng, the first Malaysian to be awarded the Professional Fellows Programme Alumni Impact Award (AIA) who talked on her experiences in the United States and how she utilised the knowledge to improve her work in WWF-Malaysia for Adan rice cultivation in the highlands of Sarawak. She also mentioned her advocacy work on why and how the people could be responsible pet owners.
Last was Hani Lutfi who shared her experience with Waste Less Kuching, an Instagram page (@wastelesskch) where she started to provide support to those in their sustainability journey and ultimately, build a Zero Waste community in Kuching.
She shared how every individual could practise mindful consumption with seven simple everyday actions to reduce their ecological impact on the environment.
“I really had fun and I think if it will benefit the community if we have sharing sessions more regularly,” said Ian.
The events were hosted by Sarawak Eco-Warriors in collaboration with Le Café Rouge, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Malaysia Programme, Kuching Beach Cleaners, Artinsia, Waste Less Kuching, Hilton Kuching and Batik Boutique Hotel.