GETTING students’ hands dirty is Sunway Education Group’s method of raising awareness for climate issues and driving lifestyle changes for sustainable living.
In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Sunway Education Group’s Environmental Society is currently focused on one of its main projects, an urban farm initiative, which requires students to get involved in planting greens within campus grounds to nurture their appreciation and love for nature.
The environmental society recently organised a seed planting session on campus, which was part of the varsity’s #campuswithaconscience campaign, to promote sustainable practices on campus.
Society Advisor and Sunway University Senior Teaching Fellow for American Education (CAE) Saqib Muneer Sheikh shared how a small plot of land for an urban farm within the campus has been allocated to the society to get the urban farm initiative rolling.
He said that a mall had donated 20kg of compost from its food composting initiative to start the farm.
Still in its early stages, students have planted peppers, chili padi, kailan (Chinese broccoli), ginger as well as spinach on the farm.
“Students are now learning gardening and composting methods as well as nurturing local herbs which they can practise in the space.
“It is critical to get students involved in these sustainable farming activities, have them learn best waste management practices as well as reconnect them with the soil, as many urban youth are unfamiliar with these practices, ” said Saqib who is also the co-founder and manager of
Urban Hijau, a one-acre urban farm and sustainability centre in Sungai Penchala.
He hopes the initiative would be able to create a grassroots movement among the Sunway students and help them develop a connection with Mother Earth.
Prior to the seed planting session, the society’s members have been active in their endeavours to foster good environmental practices.
They’ve attended an eco-bricks workshop last year, organised a beach clean-up at Port Dickson and its members have gone for two hikes to cultivate a deeper appreciation for nature.
Additionally, Saqib said a movie night featuring Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood documentary — a 2016 documentary film about climate change directed by Fisher Stevens — is underway.
The purpose of movie night, he said, is to generate interest among students and let them think of the bigger picture and how to get more involved.
“With regard to climate change, students should focus on educating and creating awareness among fellow youth, as well as advocating for positive action by all stakeholders, ” Saqib added.
Sunway’s Environmental Society, which comprises both Sunway University and Sunway College students, is a platform to activate a grassroots movement among Sunway’s youths to adopt sustainable practices and cultivate environmental consciousness through activities such as urban farming, recycling and nature hikes.
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