Saturday, 17 April 2010

I bought a bottle of 1L dishwashing liquid last Friday. It claimed to be "natural" because it is degradable and do not affect aquatic life.

It is green and smell a little bit 'pandan'. I (we?) used to have a myth that natural washing liquid produce far more little bubbles than the normal commercial one, and less bubbles mean "not so clean". Apparently, it is just a myth~

36 of us visiting the home-business natural soap manufacturer at Lahat, Perak. The factory situated at the end of a long and narrow lorong in a chinese village. The owner Mr Tan, learn about natural soap during his visit to Minamata, Japan. He is also an environmental activist for the ARE incident more than 16 years back.

We have a brief introduction from Mr Tan outside his factory. For your information, natural soap is made from edible oil (coconut oil and palm oil), which turn acidic to alkaline and degraded in a very short time. It means, we can use the dishwashing liquid to wash vegetables and the leftover to water your plants.

There are total 4 products: shampoo, dishwashing liquid, bar soap and clothes washing powder. They are all made from coconut oil + palm oil + lye (NaOH) + water. We glad to have Mr Tan's daughter-in-law to explain on the manufacturing process after a light meal.

The mixture of coconut oil, palm oil and lye (is only in powder and bar soap) is cooked at about 70C in this machine.

This is the mixture of dishwashing liquid/shampoo after cooked. Waiting to be colded and filtered.

This is the mixture of bar soap. Waiting to be dried and molded.

It is almost same for the washing powder. After dried, put it in "meat chopper" machine to make it smaller pieces before blended it into powder. Of course the humidity must be well controlled so that it doesn't too dry to fly anywhere neither too humid to wet the packaging because they do not use plastic bag to pack the powder.

To be really care about the environmental, they fully utilized the plastic bottle before it goes to recycle. Besides, no nice packaging too. The products are highly supported by the local community. However, it is not certified by SIRIM because there is no such soap making formula in their database. It is only get certified by Japanese Industrial Standards (JIP).

We ended our visit with group photo session. Each of us is giving a lemon grass flavor bar soap as souvenir.

This is Mr Tan. A passionate environmentalist.

The group photo (Mr Tan & Mrs Tan)

There is a story behind....shhhhhhh~

Friday, 2 April 2010

Student-Community Convention 2010

It is over...

There are only around 20 students attended SCC 2010. From the committees feedbacks, we know that people heard about this convention, talk about it and noticed the 'creative' painting banners around DK Foyer (perhaps free coffee and movie vouchers?). Some claim that 2 days convention is too long especially at this timing where people rushing assignments and tests. Some saying that "Student-Community Convention" look boring (students are hard to please nowadays). So we might need to figure it out maybe next time we put it "Volunteerism Party" or move the convention to Langkawi beach resort. :p

We are glad to have 5 speakers to talk about volunteerism.

Dr Prema (top left) and Miss Poh Lerk Shih (bottom left) from WCC (Women Centre for Change), En. Ridzuan (top right) from Consumer Association of Penang, Mr Kevin Kong(middle)a very experienced person in community services and Bernard Hor (bottom right) from Summer Sands Group.

And 4 facilitators for the workshop. Wan Teng (top left) from USM Kanita, Jeannie (top right) from PUCS (they have a new name now: XXT), Yoke Pin from ARTS-ED and Khang Siean from Green Lung.

Community service is always start with an inspection on target community: community background and community profile.The inspection helps us to understand what the community really needs. Community service is not merely services you give to the community but empowerment. "Community empowerment is making the community independance and able to generate income themselves after you leave the community", said Kevin when he talk about his interesting story when staying in Orang Asli village during his 19 years-old.

Of course the first steps to organize a volunteering services/activities, we need volunteers. Fun and unique activities is the key to attract people to join. "If volunteerism is FUN, you might not need to shout so loud" said Bernard Hor.

I am still figuring out how to convert the video file so that i can upload and share the awesome presentations. Kampus Sejahtera is planning for the coming program. Stay tunned...