PENANG Green Idol 2017 participants made impassioned pleas for society to do more to address environmental issues.
The 65 children and youths taking part in the preliminary round of the public speaking contest at Ist Avenue Mall highlighted an urgent need for change.
Several in the category for those in the nine to 12 age group proved eloquent beyond their years.
Aisha Maisarah Mohd Shamsul said open burning, excessive carbon emissions and uncontrolled development had exacerbated the greenhouse effect.
“The Earth’s ecosystem is delicately balanced.
“So let’s plant more trees, use less electricity and use public transport more often,” she said at the recent event.
Echoing those sentiments, Putri Shamimi Mohd Sadat said that behind the shadows cast by skyscrapers and smoke from vehicles, nature was being forsaken.
“Malaysians also throw away 1.8 million tonnes of trash a year,” she pointed out.
Nur Haziqah Aqilah Mohd Shahrizan pointed to people’s carelessness and greed as a major contributor to environmental problems like pollution.
“This is not to be taken lightly. We did not inherit the world from our ancestors but are merely loaning it from future generations,” she said.
Senttinee Somasundaram lamented that Penang was going the way of many cities in the world where more land was being cleared to make way for housing, office blocks and factories to cater to the burgeoning population.
On a more hopeful note, Nur Wafa Yusra Fakhurrazi championed the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) to save the environment.
“Take shorter showers. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. Print on both sides of the paper. Bring your own bags when shopping.
“Also, donate your unwanted clothes to collection centres.
“And reuse your plastic bottles because waste like this can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills,” she advised.
State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the present administration remained committed in turning Penang into Malaysia’s first green state with measures that include waste segretation at source.
“About 40% of waste sent to the landfills is food waste.
“We have installed bio-regen food waste machines at many locations to convert such waste into bio-liquid soil enhancers.
“Also, under the recent Food Waste Diversion project, 3,200kg of waste was collected in 15 days from 28 business operators at Chowrasta Market and Macalister Road.”
The Penang Green Idol 2017 final will take place on April 22 on the mall’s eighth floor, starting at 1.30pm.
For more information, visit www.pgc.com.my.