Friday, 23 March 2007

The Right Place not to litter?

It seems like Mrs Ess is the only one updating the blog so I shall write an entry then.

Today during our Humanities trip, we went to various places in the Civil District like the Supreme Court, the Old Parliment House, etc. One thing I realised about these places is that they are 'litter-free', not a single piece of paper could even be found on the floor. So this brings me to a question: How is that this area is so clean while other parts of Singapore are not as clean?

After thinking about it, I finally knew the answer: 'the place'. It is simple, people never litters in the Civil District whether or not they are lawyers, ministers or even normal citizens like you and I. This is probably because this is a place of high security and thus, we know that this is not the place to litter. Now does that mean that we can litter elsewhere? I don't think so. People know that it is wrong to litter no matter where we are but the problem here is that there are some people out there who thinks that as long as they will not be caught, littering is alright, which is the wrong attitude.

Therefore, it is very important to change the people's attitude. Now one country that I can think of which is almost 'litter-free' is Japan. In Japan, if you walk along the streets, you will realise that there are not as many dustbins as there are along the streets in Singapore. However, Japan is also much cleaner, as people have the right attitude. Some Singaporeans mentality is: "I can litter as long as there is nobody around" while the mentality of Japanese is: "If I cannot find a dustbin, I go find one!"

This leads to the fact that Japan is so clean while in Singapore, you can even find litter next to dustbins, which is ridiculous. The only reasons that Singapore is clean during certain times are due to the heavy fines and the contribution of our cleaners. I fear one day that even fines will not stop people from littering, and therefore, we should put in our best efforts to stop littering.

Kenneth Lim (4J)

Friday, 16 March 2007

A journey of a thousand miles......

Often when we get discouraged when we do not see the fruit of our labour. When our effort to save the environment does not seems to make any great major impact, we must not give up. Sometime one small step from the YEGs is a giant step for the environment.

For example, it was observed that this pile of rubbish was left to rot for a couple of months. This picture was taken in February 2007. Notice the Chirstmas decoration at the bottom right corner?

The relevant authorities were informed of this when the YEGs was studying the littering issue. Action was taken immediately and the above was the result. While we can celebrate this small step, let take a look at another place.

This is Ang Mo Kio Street 21. Notice that it is clean and there are very little rubbish.

This is another view of the same road. Why is it so clean? This is because it was taken during the March school holidays when there were very few students walking along this road.

Can anyone guess what will happen when school reopens?

Here are the top ten reasons why this road is filled with rubbish during term time.

1. It is outside school and so the teachers will not catch me.
2. There are no rubbish bins along this road so it is not my fault.
3. Few teachers will walk here as they have cars, so I can litter as I wish.
4. CARE value only takes place in school. Once I am outside school, I DON"T CARE.
5. My friends do it so I do.
6. This is not my house. It is a public place.
7. I forgot. My maid is not here to pick up after me
8. Mr Han will not see me.
9. Mr. Prem is too busy in school to catch me outside of school.
10.If I litter in class what the difference does it make doing it here?

What a load of RUBBISH!!!!!!

Watch out. There will be YEGs looking out for litterbugs along this road.

Would it not be fun to be caught in the act and have your picture posted on this blog?

You have been warned.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Road Shows at Serangoon Garden

The YEGs of Mayflower Secondary School, together with the NEA and the Serangoon Garden CCC, organised a road show about littering at Serangoon Garden Village on 10th March 2007.

Ms Farida, our teacher conducted a reflection session before we start our road show. She reminded us about the purpose of doing this road show and also how to approach the residents to share their views about littering in Serangoon Garden.

Here, one of our YEGs is doing a final touch up on the photo exhibit. They have taken photos showing the littering problem in Serangoon Garden. The NEA contributed the exhibition panels.

Our roadshow was well received by both the young and the old.

The NEA sent two officers to guide the YEGs and they provided some collaterals which were given to residents.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Mayflower YEGs at the 3rd Environmental Regional Workshop

Our YEGs were selected as the group with the best presentation amongst all the other schools with YEGs at a sharing session held on 3rd March 2007. . They presented their findings at the 3rd Environmental Regional Workshop on 10 March 07. The Mayor of Central Singapore District, Mr Zainudin Nordin, was the Guest-of-Honour for this workshop. It was Marina Mandarin Hotel, Vanda Ballroom, Level 5.

The Mayor of Central Singapore District, MP Mr Zainudin Nordin, holding a discussion with YEGs on the topic of littering in Singapore. The YEGs shared with him the reason why they chose to participate in this project even though they are preparing for O level exam.

YEGs giving the final touch to the presentation at the lobby of hotel.

YEGs working out the game plan with the grassroots leader on how to stop Singaporean from littering.

The YEGs presenting their skits on littering.

A shot for the album.

Sunday, 11 March 2007


here goes my entry...though not good at writing...

yesterday was a tiring day...and a fun and 'hot' day...haahaa
met quite early in the morning...not 6a.m. ...but 10.30a.m. ...
got to meet and travel...though was tiring...but we had a great time at MARINA MANDARIN!!!

the first thing that impresses me was their TOILET!!!gorgeous, shiny and *o my god*... don't know when will be the next time i will be going there... heres a picture of the males' toilet (though a little 'lame'):

ok... back to the point...i think our presentation was a great success!!!WOOHOO!!!thanks to team 1 as me...i think that teamwork and co-operation are the factors that had brought us to the route of success...mhuahahaha...ok...too high...must control...if this project was thrown to me, only me, i would not have done it to this standard...i would have done it in a very simple way and jus take it as wasting my time...but through the factors, i learnt that littering is bad...though i used to litter, 0.0 :p, i will encourage people not to litter and will try to get everyone to have their rubbish to be thrown into the dustbin...i mean drop in, not thrown...because i said "don't thrown is you can't aim" in the skit scene one...haahaa
this is why this blog has been created for...although team 1 and team 5(im in this team) are both secondary four students, final year, we will spread this activity to our future schools, discussed during our lunch and marina mandarin, and change the attitiue of everybody's. and let singapore ba a litter-free country!!! cleaner than JAPAN!!! WE ARE THE GARDEN CITY!!! we can make a little difference alone, but as a nation, we can make a BIG DIFFERENCE!!! and influence the other country and be a litter-free earth!!!...hope that our dream will come through and remember, "STOP LITTERING, SAVE THE EVIRONMENT" and a quote from team 1, "LITTERING CRUSHES LIFE"... and, thank you mrs ess... you led us to the success that we are having now...haahaa... and thanks for the dinner(from the whole of team 1 and team 5)...

Eugene Lim *~one of the YEGs in MFSS~* *~one of the YEG mascots~*


it was a wonderful day at marina mandarin. firstly, we met at yio cu kang MRT station and i was late. lol... so sorry guys... then we took the MRT train to city hall... on the way there, i realised that i did not bring the receipt for the cake... then die... i called my mom to go pick it up.. so much trouble... lol...

the toilet in the hotel is so shiny... so CLEAN... unlike the public :X... i received the plague on our team from the mayor of central district... stress ar... lol..

the our presentation ROX... i was so happy... we made everybody laughed.. thank you teachers... i really enjoyed myself down there... i and chun tat was interviewed... scary.... the ppl in the workshop kept inviting us to go to their roadshows and block parties... as if we were the VIPs instead.. lol... felt so professional.. haha...

then we gone to Mrs Ess house... yeah... chocolate cake... also, the SPECIAL drink... lol.... left here house at 10... wow... that's late... had a lot of fun...

i really enjoyed myself... i wish that all these kind of programmes,projects, activities were held when i was in lower sec... now that i'm already sec 4... i cant really enjoy all of these funs... O lEVELS... sian... but still this is the BEST!!! yes.... go YEGs... do ur thing... STOP LITTERING!!! SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT!!!

Alina 4J ++YEGs of MFSS++
here is the link to the skit our group came out with on the top 3 reasons why singaporeans litter:
Eugene Lim

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Ok here's my reflection on the YEG. It's gonna be a long one, so sit back and relax =)
Well I once wondered why Singapore was considered a 'Green/Garden City' with litter all over the place. Maybe it was the trees and flowers, but in my mind, a garden is incomplete if there are litter 'decorating' the place.
As you people know, littering is one of the most serious problem to the environment, not only in Singapore, but all over the world. Maybe life's just too good, resulting in such irresponsible acts. Admit it or not, I believe that most people have at least litter not only once, but a few times if not more. It seems like littering is part of our life.
Joining the YEG, I feel honoured to be given the chance to attempt stopping this major problem in the world, as if it succeeds in my country, do not rule out the possibility of the message being spread to various countries, as what we, the YEGs, are doing might make a great impact to this world, extending the lifespan of the Earth.
I will not go into Geography lessons about global warming, pollution, etc, but this long list of problems that littering cause just shows us the impact littering has on this world.
I believe that the suggestions that we have raised will be successful, maybe not now, but in the future, if the message is spread throughout the people. We might make only a small impact, but with the cooperation of the majority, this small impact will become a great impact.
Lastly, I feel that it is important that we must first set an example and not litter. By doing this, we are not only teaching the public not to litter, but we are showing them how to prevent littering. I also believe that people will learn faster in a fun environment, therefore I will like to see more opportunities to organise roadshows in the future.

Kenneth Lim, 4J
our interview with our school's staffs and student

by Eugene Lim
from 4 Justice

Thursday, 8 March 2007

It was such a great experience! Not only did i learn about the effects of littering, i also learnt about ways of preventing it. It was useful and it will definitely benefit those who attended the workshop. Remember, do not litter!

Terence Ng, 4J
One of Mayflower YEG
'When i first joined the YEG, I just thought of it being a stepping stone for my future, purely for CIP hours. But after going for the workshop, I was inspired to do well in this project. The workshop was inspiring and useful in many ways like how to protect our environment and its horrible effects. I was really thankful to be involve in this project as I can bond better with my classmates and present things better.'

Yang Jie, 4J
One of Mayflower YEG


REDUCE,REUSE,REJOICELET'S get one thing straight — the Happy Planet Index (HPI) that ranked Singapore 131st out of 178 countries does not actually measure happiness as we know it.

It is an innovative measure of how efficiently a nation converts the planet's natural resources into long and happy lives for its citizens. The word "happy", by which many have been seduced, is just one component of the index.

So it is wrong to assume that nations that score low in this index are the unhappiest places in the world. A low score says quite something else. To properly understand this, we must look at the three basic components of the index. These are life satisfaction, life expectancy and ecological footprint. The HPI is arrived at by multiplying life satisfaction and life expectancy (the result being an indicator of a happy and long life), and dividing that by the ecological footprint (that is, how much planetary resources are consumed).

In short, the HPI represents the efficiency with which a nation converts the earth's finite resources into well-being for its citizens. Singapore scored 6.9 for life satisfaction, 78.7 for life expectancy, and 6.2 for ecological footprint. The first indicates that Singaporeans are generally satisfied with their lives — not a bad score, considering the highest was 8.2, achieved by Switzerland and Denmark. In life expectancy, we outperformed the United States (77.4 years) and just tail Australia (80.3 years) and Japan (82 years).

Since life expectancy reflects a country's medical conditions, that's something to cheer about. So why did we score so badly overall in the HPI? This happened because we had a very high ecological footprint measure.

This indicator measures how much of the planet's environmental resources are used up to sustain a nation at its present levels of consumption, technological development and resource efficiency. The higher a country's ecological footprint score, the more that country uses up the earth's resources, and the bigger its global environmental impact. The beauty of the ecological footprint indicator is that it takes into account the fact that, in a global economy, people consume resources and ecological services from all over the world.

So, a coffee plantation in Brazil, for example, will count towards the ecological footprints of all the countries where Brazilian coffee is consumed. Now, since Singapore apparently leaves such a big ecological footprint, we should consider why we consume so much of our planet's resources.

Some will suggest that this is an inevitable by-product of our economic development; others, that our high standard of life makes it psychologically far easier for us to donate money to save an endangered elephant, than to give up a car, switch off the air conditioner or reduce the use of plastic products.

Ultimately, we have to face this uncomfortable question: Can we live long and satisfied lives without using up so much of the earth's resources? Top-ranked Vanuatu proves it is possible. But we are not Vanuatu. Can Singapore find a way to outperform Vanuatu? It will be a challenge to each and every one of us.

The Ess
This article was first published in Today on 21.7.2006

A Clear Solution to a Hazy Problem

"Tigers and elephants are fleeing the burning jungles. Birds are falling from the murky skies. School children are fainting at their desks. Ships are colliding at sea."As a filthy haze from vast Indonesian forest fires continues to darken the sky across seven South-east Asian nations, illness, ecological destruction and economic hardship are growing... "

After reading the above extract from The New York Times, you can be forgiven for thinking it describes the haze we have been experiencing over the past few days.

In fact, this article was published on Oct 26, 1997. Nine years have passed and the solution to this ecological disaster still seems hazy (pun intended).After surviving the 1997 haze, we should have put in place a set of protocols agreed upon by Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia to prevent this from recurring.

This was partially achieved when the Asean (Association of South-east Asian Nations) Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution was signed in 2002. Its objective is to prevent and monitor haze pollution as a result of land and/or forest fires which should be mitigated, through concerted national efforts and regional and international cooperation.

The problem is that as of August 2005, only seven out of the 10 member countries have ratified the agreement. Indonesia, where the fires originate, has yet to ratify the treaty. If nothing more is done, the same excerpt quoted above might be used to describe the situation five, 10, even 15 years later.

Apart from the short-term effect of the haze where the effect on human beings is most noticeable, the haze also has long-term serious consequences.According to Mr Klaus Toepfer, the United Nations Environment Programme's executive director, a study by 250 scientists released in 2002 showed that "the thick brown haze which forms over much of Asia during the tropical dry season could have profound effects on human health, crop yield and rainfall patterns in the Asian region".It is reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the tropical Indian Ocean surface by as much as 10 per cent, with a larger percentage reduction over the Indian subcontinent.Up till now, the haze has been dealt with as a national problem of Indonesia.

It is easy to point the finger at corrupt local officials who turn a blind eye to allow plantation owners to continue clearing their land by setting fire to it.Similarly, it is easy to send satellite photographs of the hotspots and expect Indonesia to take action against the plantation owners, or to offer fire-fighting equipment.

Perhaps there is a need to change the way the haze problem is approached. As the Asean agreement so aptly indicated, the haze does not respect national boundaries. It goes where the wind blows. Hence, the ownership of this problem should not rest on Indonesia's shoulders alone.But what can we do as we do not wish to intrude on Indonesia's sovereignty?Perhaps a fund can be set up to provide plantation owners and farmers with incentives to clear the forest in other ways. An educational campaign could be embarked on to get farmers to look beyond their individual needs to the collective need of Asia.This would be difficult. But if an effort is not made to change mindsets, the haze problem will continue.

The recurrence of the haze has shown that this crisis cannot be solved at the individual or national level alone.Are we ready to play a more active role, or do we continue to be content to breath in air with a PSI that exceeds 100, as it did on Saturday?The choice is clear.

The Ess

This article first appeared in TODAY in October 2006.

The YEGs@Serangoon Garden

The YEGs of Mayflower Secondary School, together with the NEA and the Serangoon Garden CCC, together organised a road show about littering at Serangoon Garden Village on 10th March 2007.

Ms Farida, our teacher conducted a reflection session before we start our road show. She reminded us about the purpose of doing this road show and also how to approach the residents to share their views about littering in Serangoon Garden.

Here, one of our YEGs is doing a final touch up on the photo exhibit. They have taken photos showing the littering problem in Serangoon Garden. The NEA contributed the exhibition panels.

Our roadshow was well received by both the young and the old.

The NEA send two officers to guide the YEGs and they provided some collaterals which were given to residents.

One of the YEGs interviewing the residents about the problem of littering in Serangoon Garden.

Students to adopt public premises in central district for a cleaner, more hygienic environment

Our pioner batch of YEG with our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Wong Kan Seng at the Central Singapore District Public Health Carnival

This is a press release on the YEGs. It shows the origin or the beginning of YEG


DATE OF ISSUE: 19 November 2006

The National Environment Agency and Central Singapore CDC launched a new programme today to groom and cultivate groups of young people who would develop and participate in initiatives towards a cleaner and healthier environment in the Central Singapore District.

2 The new volunteer engagement programme aptly named Youth Environmental Guardians (YEGs) will for a start recruit some 150 students from secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the district. The students will engage in activities such as creating environment blogs and public health roadshows.

3 A key activity in the new year will be the “Adopt-a-Neighbourhood” initiative. Under it, YEGs are expected to take on projects to improve the public health standards of the estate they choose to adopt. This will be done in partnership with stakeholders such as the Town Councils, NEA and grassroots organisations. Taking centre stage in this particular activity to begin with, are public health issues such as cleanliness of premises and mosquito breeding.

4 Twenty students from Mayflower Secondary School, Whitley Secondary School and Pierce Secondary School will form the pioneer batch of YEGs. The organisers hope young volunteers will gain a better appreciation of the public health challenges faced by their community through the programme. The initiative will also provide additional opportunities for the youth of Central Singapore District to contribute towards raising the public health standards in their community.

5 This new programme continues the Central Singapore District’s commitment to high public health standards. This year it has won the Singapore’s OK (SOK) Best Community award for having the commitment to push out the most number of SOK/Public Health programmes and activities, recruit volunteers to support these initiatives and engage the community to get their active participation. (Please see annex for more details on why the district won the award).

6 The district has identified five public health goals for itself:

Create a Litter-Free Central Singapore District
Spread No Germs, Be Hygienic
Clean Up, Be Free of Pests
Do it Yourself, Do Away With Dengue
Care for Our Environment, Own it

To promote awareness of the goals, a Central Singapore District Public Health Carnival will be held today at Bishan Park II. The event is co-organised by the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC GROs, National Environment Agency and Central Singapore CDC. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Wong Kan Seng, is the Guest-of-Honour. More than 4000 visitors are expected to turn up at the carnival organised in conjunction with this year’s Clean and Green Week.

Singaporeans need to correct public health habits: DPM Wong

Channel NewsAsia 19 Nov 06

By Wong Siew Ying

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans must clean up their public health habits as society progresses, says Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng. Launching a new environment programme, Mr Wong says the young must be allowed to come up with innovative projects as well.

Attitudes must change and habits like littering, spitting and dirtying toilets have to go or Singapore would lose its shine as a clean and modern city. "It doesn't give Singapore a good image. Even though your economy may be first rate, if people's behaviour is third rate, we are not keeping up with the image we have created as a clean and green Singapore that has got a modern economy, which emphasises on science and technology, that people are well-educated and knowledgeable," says DPM Wong.

So, the Central Singapore District will start a new programme next year to groom Youth Environmental Guardians. These volunteers will help to run public health road shows and outreach projects for an estate they adopt. Nithia Veeramani, a student at Mayflower Secondary School, says: "We are planning to do blogging--network blog on the environment, and my school is also planning campaigns and stuff to make our peers aware of the environment."

Goh Chiat Yi, another student at Mayflower Secondary School, says: "Nowadays children are very pampered--everything is relied on the maid. So they think it is ok to throw litter on the floor because the cleaners will pick them up."

The National Environment Agency says the programme will encourage students to be more proactive and put what they have learned into practice. There are over 80 schools in the Central Singapore District.

So far, 20 students from three of them have signed up as Youth Environmental Guardians. The organiser hopes to attract 150 students for the programme and could expand it, if the response is good.

The Community Development Council will tap its S$230,000 Public Health Protection Fund to get residents to play a greater role in the care for the surroundings. Zainudin Nordin, Mayor, Central Singapore District, says: "They can also see it being translated into financial benefits, because if we have a clean environment, we can employ less workers to clean the environment, and probably the workers can be used for other more important issues." Central Singapore District also won the Best Community Award for rolling out the most number of public health activities this year. - CNA/so

Keeping S'pore clean and green

Jasmine Yin Straits Times 20 Nov 06

Young guardians groomed to lead green driveDPM Wong: They can educate peers with creative ideas By Khushwant Singh IT WILL take the young to connect with the young - about the environment.

And young people are being groomed to develop and lead initiatives towards a cleaner and more hygienic Singapore as they are in the best position to educate their peers and the community.

Young Environment Guardians (YEG) programme is the brainchild of the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) and the National Environment Agency to follow up on the setting up of a similar initiative among older residents last year. The YEG programme has already recruited 20 students from three secondary schools in the Central Singapore District, and it hopes to bring in 150 more from schools and tertiary institutions in the district.

Said Mayflower Secondary School student and YEG pioneer Nithia Veeramani, 15: 'I hope to organise small exhibitions at litter-prone areas in my neighbourhood.' Schoolmate Crystal Goh Chiat Yi, also 15, added: 'We intend to start blogs to spread the clean and green message.'

Launching the YEG programme at a public health carnival yesterday at Bishan Park II, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng said: 'Young people are very concerned about the environment and they can develop very creative ideas to change the mindsets of their peers and the community.'

Mr Wong, who is also Home Affairs Minister, said the Government will not micro-manage because young volunteers might feel that since the authorities know so much, their role was limited. Mr Zainudin Nordin, Mayor of the Central Singapore District, said that activities in the YEG pipeline include adopting common community areas.

Mayflower Secondary has adopted Bishan Park since 2004, holding regular clean-ups, but the scheme hopes to extend this to hawker centres, playgrounds and void decks, he added. He said residents stood to benefit from cost savings as fewer cleaners would be needed if all did their part to keep neighbourhoods litter-free. The carnival attracted about 4,000 visitors, who cheered loudly when Queenstown clinched the Singapore's OK Most Active Constituency award for the most number of activities last year.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Bugged by littering

This picture was taken by The Ess on Sunday 4.3.2007 The Ess noticed that this pile of rubbish in the bakclane of Serangoon Garden has been there for sometime. Notice the Christmas decorations

This article first appeared in TODAY on 7th March 2007

THE litterbugs are thriving — and they tend to be those who practically grew up with the anti-littering campaigns of the past 40 years

Singaporeans under 30 years of age are the most indifferent to littering, revealed a survey commissioned by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Males under 30 and smokers were also more likely to litter, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, told Parliament.

Getting people to stop littering, Dr Khor said, “remains a key challenge today, especially in the heartlands”. In the NEA’s survey of some 3,000 people, done between last September and
this month, 95 per cent viewed littering as socially unacceptable.

Yet, the picture is different when it comes to action, particularly with those aged 30 and younger. This group had the lowest proportion agreeing that litter is harmful to the environment or leads to the spread of disease.

Only 69.9 per cent of those under 20 and 74.4 per cent of those in the 20 to 29 age group said
they took pride in keeping Singapore litter-free.

When the same question was asked of older Singaporeans, the figure was 78.6 per cent for those between 30 and 39; 84.6 per cent for those between 40 and 49; and 82 per cent for those above 50.

Younger people were also the least concerned about littering as a problem — with 50.9 per cent of those in the 20 to 29 age group and 48 per cent of the under-20s,registering concern.

The rest were “not concerned” or “neutral”. Older respondents appeared to care more, with those over 50 recording more concern, awareness and pride over keeping Singapore clean.

Two members of the Government Parliamentary Committee for National Development
and Environment said they were not surprised by the findings. Madam Cynthia
Phua noted that the under-30s grew up at a time when the good times were rolling in Singapore.

Many who were cared for by maids and received lower levels of parental guidance are a “bit more selfish”, she told TODAY. Mdm Ho Geok Choo thought the older generation was “more conscious about setting a good example for their children or grandchildren”.

Singaporeans still have a long way to go in self-discipline when it comes to littering, she added.

Singapore-Garden City

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Singapore : Garden City or Garbage City

According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry press release on 10th October 2006, advance estimates showed that Singapore’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 7.1 per cent in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2005.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized basis, real GDP grew by 6.0 per cent, compared with a 3.4 per cent expansion in the preceding quarter. This is a healthy sign that our economy is doing well and that our economic growth is on target.

However, before we start to get ready to pop the champagne or expect a bigger year end bonus, we have to consider this.

Using the GDP as an indicator of development has been considered as inadequate as this place excessive emphasis on purely economic aspect of development. Ecologist, environmentalist and some economists have begun to advocate the concepts of sustainable development, which encompasses the trinity of social, environment and economic concerns.

Can the pursuit of economic growth be compatible with sustainable development? Is there a need to sacrifice some of today’s economic growth to meet the needs of other people and those of our children in future? Will economic growth bring about a strong and healthy society existing within environmental limits?

Before we consider these weightier issues, let consider how we take care of the environment we live in.

Firstly, an appeal to dogs’ owner. It would be great to pick up your dog’s poo when you walk your dogs. By leaving the dog’s poo alone, other people are given the opportunity to step on it which is an event that they do not appreciate very much. Moreover, it shows that the dog owner do not give due consideration to other users of the park.

Secondly, an appeal to cat lovers who took it upon themselves to feed the stray cats all over Singapore. Do ensure that the pellets of cat food are not left for the ants and rats to part-take too.

Thirdly, an appeal to Singaporean not to spit indiscriminately as the spit may contain air-born germs that might spread disease to others.

The above three examples show that we do not take the environment as our own private personal space and so we will do what we please when we please with the environment.

For example, would we allow our dog to shit all over our living room? What about spitting in our bedroom? We seldom do so as we want to keep the environment we live in clean. Thus we all have this mentality that it is o.k. to dirty environment that does not belong to us.

Witness us behaving as environment terrorist in Johore Bahru. We need to change the way we approach the environment.

Dog’s poo, cat food, fool’s spit. We seldom pause to think how these might affect other people or events. Worst, we do not realize that these changes might in the end cause others events to occur that might harm us in the end.Small action. Can we realize in time that ultimately we are responsible for all the environmental problems that have been plaguing us for the past few years?

The Ess

Butterfly Effect

Who could have predicted that President George Bush would have any connection with the O level examination? With his visit to two-day visit to Singapore , some roads and expressway will be closed. As traffic delays can be expected, road users have been advised to allocate more time for their journey. Thus examinations that have been scheduled in the morning will start an hour later.

This incident reminds me about the Butterfly Effect which is often ascribed to Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist. At the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. in 1972, he gave a talk entitled “Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wing in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?”

In the chaos theory, the buttery effect is used to describe how small difference or changes in a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behaviour of the system. The idea is that a butterfly’s wing might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that eventually cause a tornado to develop.

This concept might be difficult to comprehend or believed until we realized that a two-day state visit of President George Bush has impacted on two cohorts of students taking the O and A level examination. Or that a single match has caused the haze to enveloped us in October.

This effect must be clearly understood by everyone so that collectively we take the responsibility for looking after the environment. Often when it come to environmental issues like the Green House effect, the attempt to cut down on fossil fuel consumption or the need to control pollution, we tend to think that our individual effort is not significant. There is a tendency to point finger at others who are not taking similar effect to protect the environment and thus we claim that it is a futile effort and so collectively we continue to destroy the environment.

There is an urgent need for us to understand that our individual effect, like using less electricity, fossil fuel or disposal paper products, does have an impact on the environment.Just like the insignificant butterfly with it delicate wings will cause a tornado to occur, our collective effort do have an impact on the environment. It is difficult for us to believe that our small, individual and inconsequential action has cause the progressive increase in global warming of our earth and therefore have an impact on the weather system which in turn will cause drought, flood and other extreme weather phenomena.

However, environment consciousness rank low in our society. Why should we care for the environment? What is in it for me? As long as it does not affect me now, why should I care how it will affect others in future? No sea-food in forty years time? No problem. I will be dead by then.

But several unexpected and unexplained heat waves and flooding in different parts of the world are indication that the worst is yet to come. Thus, Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change provided a different perspective to motivate us to save the environment. According to this report compiled by Sir Nicholas Stern for the UK government, the world has to act now on climate change or face devastating economic consequences. It postulates that extreme weather could reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 1% while a two to three degree Celsius rise in temperature could reduce global economic output by 3%. If temperatures rise by five degrees Celsius, up to 10% of global output could be lost.

If appealing to our heart string does not push us out of our complacency, perhaps appealing to our economic pocket will. A good example would be how the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) encourage and promote the use of green cars and taxis. Owners of these green vehicles are given rebates of 40% of the car’s Open Market Value.We should look at other economic carrots that will encourage us to do our part in saving the environment. Time is running out and we do not have the luxury to be wrong.

Best Group Presentation@My Campus

Best Group Presentation @ My Campus
~ A Sharing Session with peers from other Secondary Schools ~

To increase the knowledge level of students in public health though Sharing Session on environmental and public health issues.

Sharing Session Topic

3 March 07 - “Why do Singaporeans litter and how to discourage it?”

Our YEGs put up two teams for this sharing session. Team A presentation was entitled Littering Crushes Life while Team B presentation was entitled YEGs :Littering : A deadly disease

After all the preparation Team B presentation were selected as the group with the best presentation amongst all the other schools.

They will go on to present their findings at the 3rd Environmental Regional Workshop on 10 March 07. Mayor of Central Singapore District, Mr Zainudin Nordin, is the Guest-of-Honour for this workshop.

Date: 10 Mar 2007 (Saturday)
Time: 2pm - 5pm (Lunch will be served at 1pm)
Venue: Marina Mandarin Hotel, Vanda Ballroom, Level 5.

Well done YEGs

Here are some of the relfection from the YEGs

Reflections on YEG sharing session on 03/03/07

From Koh Fang Qi
It is a fruitful trip as we obtained quite a number of informative information about littering and pollution, regardless of what the main topic is. Through this, we did our school and our class proud. Other than these, we did ourselves proud by getting chosen too.
After the ‘intensive’ training and valuable comments given by teachers, we often stayed behind after school to make amendments and rehearse for the presentation. We even prepared props and tried ways to make the presentation in a lively and interesting way, rather then reading word by word that appears on the slides. It is a little too boring presenting in this way.
So, our hard work and all our efforts paid off. Our video clips entertained the judges, making them and the audiences laugh out loud and we added a ‘live’ skit at the ending, showing how we being the YEG react to litterbugs of our age. Stretching out to the public, educating them more about littering is a must, being friendly is a plus. Our target is to show our care and concern to the environment and take good care of it.
I believe that our action plan will work as our goal in thinking about it was- realistic and easily accessible. When they announced the winning team, we were so nervous even though our friends in another participating team said that we would win. I really enjoyed the moment when our classmates and the judges congratulated us and received friendly hugs between our team members. All of us were happy for each other. We did it!


I realised that it is important in a team, to have teamwork and cooperation. without coordination and cohesiveness in a group, things will not carry out as planned. creativity is also a very important factor. responsibility is very important too, as everybody has a role to play, and to do well, we all have to do our part.i learnt that what matters most is that so long as we have done our very best.i felt a sense of satisfaction and achievement when we completed the task.

Eugene Lim
during the other presentations by other schools, i learnt how to spot the things that we should not do during presentation... as for the presentation, i learn how to avoid the things that should not be done. teamwork is very important, if not, the work that we had done will be wasted. be confident in what we had done and be ourselves. take the competition as an experience, not a torture to us.