Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Meatless lunch - for zero waste

 I brought my own plate and spoon. Next to me is Kiru who is the brains behind this 7-year effort. She's a staff in USM and has been cooking vegetarian lunch at her home for distribution to students and staff based on donations. Not a single sen from USM.

I want to support their effort for many reasons. One is the spirit of volunteerism amongst the group of students who help with the cooking, distribution of food and washing. Another reason is health. Less meat is good for your health. 3rd reason is sustainability - no waste and less use of resources (as in raising animals for meet). And 4th, it is truly multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religion.

We talked about making a petition to the University to adopt a no meat day per week. We talked about encouraging the "diners" to bring their own reusable containers so as not to generate rubbish. But it needs to be come from them.

Most of all, we must start recognising and taking notice of the wonderful things being done by students and staff for the good of the community.

I was told that many students are very poor and this wholesome home-cooked meal is a welcomed relief for them.

I am guessing it is not entirely their fault that they didn't bring any reusable containers. Many just happen to bum into the free lunch corner after lecture. Perhaps we need to give more warning, or set definite dates and publicise it so that people can bring their own containers. We also talked of possibility of buying some Tupperware to be given out on loan to regular "customers". Those who were aware brought their own containers (below).

I saw this banner (I still don't like plastic banners) along the way. Yes, "zero waste". Connecting it with religion is also a power tool.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Happy Chinese New Year - and stop the waste

The reporter from Guang Ming Daily was very persistent. The first request, I said, "sorry, very busy, I'll get back to you". After about 1 month or so, she emailed again. I said "sorry, am on my way to Bucharest". That was early Dec 2009. I thought that was the end of it. End of the year, she emailed again, reminding me of my promise. So how many times can you "Say NO"? So, I said "OK come over for a chat - no interview". She said OK, just chat. Guess what? She came with a photographer.

And finally, the article is out today. I have no idea what the article says. My daughter and wife read and translated parts to me. Essentially, stop generating the waste. It seems that Penangites generate an additional 70 tonnes of rubbish during the CNY period. Not sure if that is per day. But the key point is ADDITIONAL rubbish.

So, Happy Chinese New Year to all of you. When you go to the big party at the heritage enclave in George Town tomorrow, remember : avoid the disposal containers. Insist on your right as a consumer.

Watch for the next issue of Sustainability : The journal of record (February 2010 issue) : what would you like to see?.

BTW, I am told that my secret blog is too secret - nobody seems able to find it. So here it is nosurplus.blogspot.com - still in gestation.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Calling all volunteers


As I said before in my earlier post more than one month ago, I am changing directions (sort of) and focus. The Kampus Sejahtera blog does not belong to me. It belongs to the Universiti. And as you can see, someone else, with the monekar of Santos has started posting. She works with me and has the glamorous title of Coordinator for Volunteerism.
That's one of the new directions and focus. We are shifting our attention to volunteerism. That actually is a sort of pillar of Kampus Sejahtera. To get students and staff to come forward to contribute to the well-being of everybody. Not just to resolve problems. But to work towards a vision.

For three weeks now, the students have been giving lunch time talks (without the lunch). The first two saw only a handful of people attending. So, we rammed it up a little, even offering free ice-creams (popsicles). Today there was about 30 students or so.

What we are trying to do is to gather all the students who have done one form of voluntary work or another. Let's see if they can synergise. We are not trying to bring everybody under one roof. We just want to create opportunities for them to get to know what others are doing, perhaps learn from one another, hopefully find areas to help each other, and eventually work with one another. We don't even know how big an impact USM students are making in the community. From what I gather, many of the students are doing exemplary work, unnoticed.

We also hope to gather the students at a convention, tentatively scheduled for 19-21 March 2010. Students talking to each other. Is there something the students would like to do to help USM achieve the APEX University status? If you are interested to help or know more contact kampussejahtera@gmail.com.


psst, I have started a secret blog. And I start burning carbon tomorrow. Find me ...

Monday, 1 February 2010


Penang Undergraduate Community Service (PUCS), founded on year 1997 with the vision and mission as below:

1. To elevate the consciousness and the standard of education among the community
2. To elevate the mindset and learning ability of the community and our members.
3. To instill and elevate volunteerism and community consciousness, thus contribute to the community.

PUCS members have their own internal training before get into the community. Every year, PUCS liase with the local community to do educational type of volunteering work in their village. PUCS usually stay in the villagers' house by 'Adoption Program'.

They have variety activities such as recycling, gotong-royong, paper DIY, making garbage enzyme, sign language class, health awareness talk and so on...

They do not get sponsorship. Thus, every member have to pay themselves to volunteer.
PUCS members pay from their own pocket to volunteer, how about you?