Sunday, 23 November 2008

The YEGs were at the Clean And Green 2008 at the Toa Payoh HUB from 22 Nov to 23 Nov 2008.

Eugene and Fang Qi describing the ingredients that are found in Shoo Mozzie.

Kenneth, a memeber of the Mayflower Alumni and Jian Hao were also on stage conducting the game show.

Meanwhile, Rui Siang was busy explaining to a member of the public about the Green Bus.

Marcus was busy conducting a game.

The YEG of 2007 were out in full force on Sunday to promote the Shoo Mozzie.

When Dr Ng Eng Hen, the Minister of Education visited the Shoo Mozzie booth, he was interested in how we can use natural ingredients found in the kitchen as insect repellent.

Here Kenneth is explaining to him about the making of Shoo Mozzie.

Simon and Eugene explaining to the aunties about the Shoo Mozzie.

Jieying managed to capture this mother's attention.

HuYi using his charm to explain the project.

Wayne patiently explaining to this aunty about the use of garlic.

Alina eagerly explaining to these two girls the need to save the earth through the use of natural organic products.

JiaXin, ever ready to do her part to save the environment.

YangJie doing his best to speak in Hokkien to this aunty about Shoo Mozzie.

This is a special lady standing next to Mrs Ess. She grew up in Johore and she remembered how the Malays would use the lemon grass to rub all over their body to prevent mosquito from biting them.

Mrs Ess is glad that the grandmother's tale about how lemon grass is a natural insect repellent is confirmed by this grandmother who has twenty children.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Nature Insect Repellent

Learning from a NGO called Journey to Forever, the YEGs@Mayflower decided to explore the possibility of using local herbs and plants as insect repellent

The reasons are

a. It is sustainable: made entirely from locally available renewable resources

b. It is empowering: processed entirely by the end-user as needed

c. It is eco-friendly: won't boil the planet or blow a hole in the sky.

PandanThe first plant we explored was the Pandan leave.

Did you know that Pandan leave is an effective repellent?

Two researchers from NTU did a research using Pandan Leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) as a natural cockroach repellent.

It was observed that taxi drivers in Singapore and Malaysia kept bunches of pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) in their taxis to ward off cockroaches.

Many families (including the Esshold) also use Pandan leaves as a natural cockroach repellent. In addition, it also makes the kitchen smell nice and clean.

For those who are interested, you may go to this website to see the researcher's report.

Lemon Grass

Lemon grass contains citronella oil, a safe and natural insect repellent that's just as effective as the commercial chemical products, especially when it's fresh.

You can rub the long, grassy leaves on the skin, but the stalk worked even better. Take one stalk of fresh lemon grass and peel off the outer leaves, snap off the grass blades behind the swollen stem at the base.

Bend the stem between your fingers, loosening it, then rub it vigorously between your palms so that it fractures into a kind of fibrous juicy mass, and rub this mess over all exposed skin, covering thoroughly at least once. Pleasant on the skin and the effect lasts about 4-5 hours.

According to the CRC Ethnobotany Desk Reference by Tim Johnson, lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is traditionally used in various parts of the world as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cyanogenetic, dentrifice, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, pectoral, preventative (cold), stimulant, sudorific, and tonic, used to treat common cold, consumption, cough, depurative, dyspepsia, elephantiasis, fever, flu, gingivitis, headache, hypertension, insecticide, leprosy, malaria, mouth sores, neuritis, pneumonia, pyorrhea, rheumatism, sprains, and toothache.

The Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Index at the Purdue Guide to Medicinal and Aromatic Plants has a lot of information on lemon grass, also listing it as an insect repellent and a medicinal plant, and says it's used in food and confections, in perfumes and cosmetics, soaps and creams, as a flavouring in soft drinks, and as a mask for industrial bad smells.

The information above is obtained from this blog:

Turmeric (yellow powder or yellow ginger) can be found in most kitchen in Singapore.

Turmeric has been used for many conditions in traditional medicine in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Turmeric has been applied to insect stings and to alleviate itching.

There are many uses of turmeric and you can go to the website below to check out the information.


Garlic, a common staple found in kitchens in Singapore, has been considered a special food.

Garlic has a natural sulfur which repels insects, including mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Spraying garlic concentrates as a mosquito repellent is not something new. Farmers and master gardeners have been doing it for many generations.

According to some website, mosquitoes are soft-bodied insects so the garlic juice can be very toxic to them in increased concentrations.

The juice does not harm humans or pets or plants, but to mosquitoes it can be deadly.

The odor of it chases them out of the area and they stay away - for as long as they can detect the odor. While the odor of sprayed garlic juice becomes undetectable to humans within minutes, the mosquitoes will still detect it.

Mosquitoes have a very heightened olfactory sense - as high as 10,000 times better than humans. They can detect the garlic extract for much longer periods of time and will stay away from the sprayed area of garlic juice for up to a month and more.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Why are organic products better?

Besides health issues, there are certain big issues which make buying
organic products a more socially responsible and environmentally
friendly choice. These issues are mainly:

  • Climate Change & farming
    Organic farming uses 50% less energy than conventional farming to produce the same amount of food or crops, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gases produced. Poor land management adds to global warming.

  • Animal Welfare
    Animals on organic farms are free ranging and have quality food; routine use of antibiotics and hormones is prevented and possible because they run a healthy and balanced system. Transport and slaughter of animals are also according to guidelines.

  • Wildlife
    Organic farmers maintain trees, hedges, unfarmed field edges, which provide habitats for natural predators like beetles, spiders and birds which control pests. Since the introduction of pesticides into farming, farmland birds have declined by up to 95%, so organic farming supports a living countryside.

  • Genetic Modification

  • Genetic Modification (GM) food is already in the market, although no one knows what the long-term health implications of GM food will be. Once GM pollen is released into the environment, there is no way of recalling it or preventing it from contaminating other crops. Organic farming and food uses non-GM crops or products

  • Antibiotics
    Most of the antibiotics used in the UK are given in food to farm animals to suppress the infectious diseases that arise with intensive farming and to act as artificial growth promoters. The residual antibiotics in the food we eat may have given rise to superbugs and antibiotic resistance. It can be fatal for those infected by antibiotic resistant bacteria and whose immunity is compromised. Drugs and antibiotics are not routinely used in organic farming.

  • Pesticides
    150 of the commonly used pesticides are potentially cancer causing and some cannot be washed off. Organic farmers usually use natural predators or natural products like neem oil from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) to control pests. Buying organic is a way of avoiding pesticides in your food or other products.

The above information can be found on the website of the Soil Association of UK.

Why are natural perfumes better?

Pollution from making, using and disposing of fragrance chemicals is a serious environmental problem. The fragrance industry uses neurotoxic, carcinogenic and toxic waste chemicals derived from petroleum to make sweet smelling products that go into detergents, fabric softeners, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics, air fresheners, scented candles etc.

They are not required to disclose these ingredients on the labels and the Material Safety Data Sheets for these chemicals contain warnings to avoid inhalation of vapours and skin exposure, yet they are in products you inhale and apply on your skin.

Like second hand smoke, synthetic fragrances permeate the environment and are absorbed by everyone surrounding you.

People with asthma or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) can suffer headaches, breathing problems, weakness, confusion, anxiety, panic attacks and other neurotoxic symptoms when they are exposed to synthetic fragrances.

MCS is acquired from chemical overloads, either from one big exposure or low-level exposure over many years.

The above information can be found on the following websites:


Return your used bottles of Cicada Tree Eco-Place natural products on your next order and get a 50¢ discount for each bottle returned.
Contact Celine Low @ email: or mobile no. 96932554.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Central Singapore O.N.E. Awards

Mayflower Secondary School has been awarded the Central Singapore O.N.E. Platinum Awards, (Schools Category), for the qualifying period 1 July 2007 - 30 June 2008.2.

This award will be presented at the Central Singapore Clean & Green Carnival 2008 on the 22nd November 2008 Saturday (6.00pm – 7.30pm), at HDB Hub Mall, by the Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen.

This is jointly presented by the Central Singapore Community Development Council and National Environment Agency, Central Regional Office.

This award aims to reach Out to the community, Nurture, educate and train them, and to Enable and empower them to put their heart into the earth.

The award was conceived to recognize, acknowledge and affirm the necessity to be pro-active in caring for the environment.

The following slides will provide a better understanding of the work that the YEG has to recieve this award.