KL Haze

Over the past week in South East Asia, you will no doubt have noticed the heavy haze hanging over cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the effects of which have been placing countless numbers of people in hospital and closing schools all over the place.

The cause of this haze can be traced back to companies in Sumatra using slash and burn techniques to burn the rain forests down, rain forests home to over 10,000 plant species, and more than 200 mammals (UNESCO world heritage site – a 2.5 million hectare reserve alone.). Slash and burn is used by farmers in small areas of the forest, but it is currently being used by bigger palm oil industries in order to create palm oil plantations. However, the fires have been spreading and the Sumatran fire department is having trouble keeping them under hand. The fires are releasing countless numbers of carbon emissions into the atmosphere as well.

The result of which means that the smoke and haze is being blown up by a south west wind, falling directly over Singapore and KL. The quality of air, at its worst was 746 on the API scale. Also, June and July are some of the driest months of the year, and the lack of rain means the haze lingered. The annual KL marathon has had to be pushed back to September due to the unsafe quality of air.

I will, however, admit, that many student (including myself) were very happy about the extra 3 day holiday we got due to the haze!

Twin towers and central KL in haze

Twin towers and central KL in haze

Climate Change Week YTL

Climate change week is finally here, happening on the 19th June. Our official Billy the Plastic Bag book will be launched along with the opening of our ‘Bring Kids For Earth to your school’ Workshop. If  you want to take part, contact me at raphaelletseng@kidsforearthasia.com. You have to get a team of 4 or 5 kids from the ages 10 to 15 to come. 19th June is a Saturday and the workshop/launch will start at 11.00am. Hope to see some of you guys there!

Oh yeah, there is also going to be an eco bazaar running throughout most of the day. Kids For Earth will be selling bags and books there.

Astro TVIQ talk in SK Sri Petaling

Astro TVIQ organised a workshop in SK Sri Petaling and made plans for Kids For Earth to present our Billy the Plastic Bag presentation. Isaac, Gautam, our newest member Idris and myself, stayed the whole morning and took part in some of the activities. At the end of the workshop, the members of Kids For Earth judged sketches of why not to use plastic bags and how to ban them. We all learnt about how a proper workshop should be run and this gave us some ideas for future workshops.

Astro TVIQ Workshop in SK Sri Petaling

Issac Lee, Raphaelle Tseng, Idris Bin Azim, Gautam Jethwani

Raub

On Saturday 13th March, Kids For Earth departed to Raub to take part in a day long, anti-plastic bag workshop with the Raub Leo club.

Arriving there, they quickly organised ourselves in order of birthdays as a simple icebreaker. Somebody, (not mentioning any names!) completely misunderstood the game and ended up saying the wrong thing (well, it was in mandarin so…).

Being special guests, members of KFE were not sorted into teams, unlike all the other teenagers. However, they decided to participate in the games anyway, all of Kids For Earth being one team (called Kids For Earth, obviously!).

George, Gautam and Gabriel all attempted (and nearly succeeded) to present the Billy the Plastic bag presentation in both mandarin and English. With the help of a translator, they managed to pass the message through and thoroughly entertained everyone!

After that, they took part in a game  about degradation   where they had to match up how long something took to degrade with its object. The best part was that the 100 PLUS, Chewing gum and banana hadn’t been eaten yet!

Afterwards, Aurelie, the organiser of the day, gave her presentation, again with the help of a translator, about plastic bags and why they where no good. Having looked at the quiz answers in the car, Raphaelle spotted all the fun facts that would be in the quiz such as:  The Great Pacific Garbage dump is 4 times the size of Malaysia.

Then, Kids For Earth brought a group of kids downstairs to have the eco-quiz. It was awesome and some of the answers were VERY surprising!

At 12.00, everybody raced to be the front of a long queue. The delicious aroma of nasi lemak drifted around the cafeteria. Everyone gobbled up his or her lunch, all finding that the sambal was EXTREMELY spicy!

At the end of lunchtime, Aurelie asked Kids for Earth to hide pieces of paper around Chong Ching School for the scavenger hunt. Meanwhile, all the teens upstairs were doing a word scramble, earning points for their team.

Next, Raphaelle presented her presentation on Eco-Schools and how to become one. Mandarin subtitles where already on her power point so there was no need for a translator.

Students announced three things they could do to make the school eco-friendly before they had the scavenger hunt.

THAT was a great success and everyone was running around the school, (in the 100*C heat!)  searching for well hidden bits of paper while Gabriel, Gautam and George fanned themselves in the shade.

To cool down, Aurelie had organised a 1 hour Art session where everyone had the choice to either design a poster against plastic bags or create a bag out of plastic bags. Both Kids For Earth members and the committee of the Leo club judged the winners.

At the end of the day, everybody was awarded a new Leo club grocery bag and a bookmark. The Leo club members all took a picture.

On the way back to KL, Kids For Earth stopped at a famous ice-cream shop on the road and had some delicious homemade ice-cream (although peanut flavour was very interesting…).

They arrived back home at 7 pm, having spent 12 hours out of their homes. __________________________________________________________

Kids For Earth had a fantastic day and would like to say a special thanks to Aurelie who organised everything, Gautam and George for coming and the members of the Leo Club for participating.