Sunday, 17 May 2009

The White Coffin 2.0 - Zero Waste

Am numb from working the Consultation Paper for People-Centred Sustainable Development - also watching the endless marathon of American Idol. Everything I think should be in it is there. Just need to read it one last time tomorrow morning and then it will be emailed to a small select group of students and staff who have agreed to read it and give some feedback. Then we'll see whether it bombs.

Ah, but I am not the only one who did the writing. I have a trust-worthy co-writer.

This is the cover of the paper. Why so red? 'Cos we're still in the red ocean.

Then the paper will go through the motions until it either gets accepted as something that makes sense or gets thrown out the window. And mine you, up there is a tough bunch. I have seen months of work go back to the drawing board within the space of one or two hours of heated and sustained attack.

So, what's next? First, I got to look for a successor. Seriously. This is one of the experiments for the people-centred taskforce. To be truly people-centred, the people must come forward voluntarily and the people will find their synergies and from there the leader will emerge. I had a conversation with a few student volunteers and one of them suggested maybe even a student could lead Kampus Sejahtera. Why not?

Second, The White Coffin 2.0 is about to take off. Again this is part of the people-centred agenda. Yes, The White Coffin was a resounding success but there's lots of loose ends. The White Coffin 2.0 will not just be about getting rid of polystyrene foam containers. Version 2.0 will be themed "Zero Waste". It must permeate the entire University operations - not just canteens. So get ready. But the ultimate goal as far as canteens are concerned is zero disposable packaging including polystyrene, plastic sheets, brown paper, plastic boxes (polypropylene), paper boxes and even biodegradable containers (i.e. EcoPak and the like). YES, you read it right. Zero packaginng. Not doable? If we cannot achieve that, we don't deserve to call ourselves the APEX U Sustainable Campus.

I was really proud of my wife when I heard that she gave the checkout counter girl a hard time. They always insist that everything must be in a plastic bag so that they can stick the price sticker on it. My wife refused to let the girl put the fruit in a plastic bag and insisted on the simple solution above. Zero waste is not difficult - don't generate the waste.

Second, close the loop. Make sure the fruit skins and seeds don't go into the thrash. Collect them and put them in your compost bin. What comes from nature must go back to nature.

Another simple way to return nutrients back to Earth. The heap is about a metre high (just the right height for compost heaps). Actually I have dugged about one feet down so the height is higher. All that from about 2 hours of trimming weeds and replanting my ladies finger plot. As you can see it is a huge open space which me and my neighbours have taken over portions for flowers and fruits. My neightbour has got a neem tree and I am learning to use it for cooking. Sort of like urban guerillas. But some people still don't quite get it or are impatient so they burn the heap. I have one heap outside and one inside my compound.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really glad to know that there is another one avoiding plastic bag during shopping. Dont worry, Im one of us,too.

Hidayah Miftahul Nur Husna said...

yes..zero waste..we have to do this..

Hafiz Pesona Senifoto said...

glad to met u dr. this evening .... ur talk is very inspired .... i am apple and photography geek also ..

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