The 5Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot

You might wonder what this is all about. Before that, I would like you to know why I want to do this!

Life experiences can change a person. In my case, this is absolutely true. I was first introduced to the word of conservation when I started university. Not my choice but I was offered to study Conservation and Biodiversity Management. Sometimes things happen for a reason. I had no clue what it was about but three years of study, I gained probably the most basic knowledge and insight of this field. I still remember how I could not really comprehend why we were not allowed (ok, maybe that’s a strong word) to do take-away because the stalls used polystyrene boxes. In a nicer term, we were encouraged to eat there instead of having a take-away. Back then, I actually thought that was a bit to the extreme. However, just working and living on an island, I realised how much waste humans produce every day! More importantly, I come to know that no matter how ridiculously small an impact is, every human being’s action does make a difference to the environment.

As humans advance in the modern world, trying to make things easier and simpler, humans have also created more waste than the Earth can handle. Everything comes in packages nowadays and more tiny packages within the big ones. As I see non-organic waste lying around the island, it struck me hard to finally understand the importance to reduce, reuse and recycle! Humans will never stop producing waste but I believe we can somehow control the amount of waste we produce. Even without realising it, I have started to say no to plastic bags. Some of my friends just don’t understand it. In fact they would take the plastic bags on my behalf.

Reduce is simple but not necessarily easy to practise. I guess to reduce waste, we would probably reuse most of our things. However, what about things that we don’t need or want anymore? Everywhere else I have lived, I never pay much attention to the waste. In Kuala Terengganu, I just have to make sure I dump everything in the black dustbin and MBKT (local Municipal Council) will pick the rubbish up. In Swiss and England, it was better in terms that I had to separate and throw my waste in different bins. Well, at Perhentian Island, I bag everything in a plastic bag but question is where to dispose the waste? All this waste are shipped to landfills at mainland. I dare not imagine how huge the pile of waste at landfills is knowing how much the community on the island can produce in a day. Encouraging the locals to separate their waste is a challenge! They have a point though – why separate when everything end up in landfills? I ask myself that too! Until the day we have a proper waste management system, everything does end up in landfills. So sometimes looking at the stuffs that I will have to throw away, I would often wonder what else can I do with them. While doing beach clean ups, I stare at bags of rubbish being placed by the beach, awaiting for boats to transfer them to mainland. Reducing the rubbish that ends up in the ocean doesn’t reduce anything that goes to the landfills.

This project is just my passion to reduce waste and if I can’t reuse them, the only way I can think of is to recycle them! I like arts and crafts but to make something takes time. I’m not sure how much free time I have to always create something. Nevertheless, this will be something I will continue to do whenever I can find time for it! I decided to create different arts and crafts using waste (of course non-organic) for my friends. If you receive something from me, just so you know, I thought of you! I will continue to post pictures of things I made through recycling so click here to find out more!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s