Fostering connection with nature

(From left) Sisters Cindy and Leanne Lim making seed bombs with their children at Central Park, Bandar Utama. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

A SUSTAINABILITY programme at Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, encouraged the community to explore the environment.

The “Bumi Kita” (Our Earth) event held at Central Park was organised by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Sustainable X, Let’s RE, and Eco Lestari Strategy with the Bandar Utama assemblyman’s office as one of its main sponsors.

Let’s RE co-founder and Sustainable X secretary Chong Kah Yee said people are too caught up in their busy lives to appreciate nature even at a park.

“We want people to slow down and observe the plants and animals.”

She said the group chose the black shrew (Suncus ater) as its mascot as it wanted to create public awareness about the endangered species found in Mount Kinabalu, Sabah.

“Our slogan is Bumi Kita, Nyawa Kita (Our Earth, Our Life) as we are connected to the earth and live on the same planet.”

One of the games called “nature explorer” involved visitors being taken on a guided tour around the park to observe the flora and fauna.

They then drew what they saw and were asked to upload photos of their subjects using the iNaturalist app so that others could discuss their findings.

Chong said that iNaturalist was popular nature app which encouraged people to become citizen scientists.

Another interactive workshop taught participants how to create their own seed bombs to contribute to urban greening.

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) principal seeding site research officer Noraliza Alias said the seed-bomb technique was used to encourage the community to plant vegetables and flowers in their backyards.

“The seed bombs are cost effective and very easy to make.”

Cindy Lim, 42, was spotted at the seed bomb workshop with her family.

“I believe that this is a good way to promote nature.”

Among the event’s attractions, was the “sustainable marketplace,” where local vendors displayed eco-friendly products including organic produce, upcycled crafts and snacks like nuts and dried fruits.

Nourish and Nibbs founder Adelyn Loo sells plant-based snacks.

“Our goal is to advocate healthy eating and a green lifestyle at events like this.

“It is possible to create tasty food without the need for added sugar.”

Recircle digital marketing advisor Hillton Lee said the organisation had its online recycling app which aims to digitalise the recycling industry in Malaysia.

“We also provide a carbon-footprint tracking feature in our application.

“Users are able to know how much they have recycled and the energy saved.

“If users want to recycle, they can submit their requests via our app. They will get paid and receive points in their accounts.”

Visitors were also treated to music sessions by local artistes who advocated for environmental awareness.

Goh Chuan Teng, 45, who was with her son, completed activities at all five stations to redeem a free silkscreen print on her tote bag.

“I think events like this can help raise awareness to protect our earth.”

Also present was Bandar Utama assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin.

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