Green Chinese New Year, anyone?


  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Jan 2020

PETALING JAYA: A new year means new habits and switching to e-ang pows and shopping at “naked-packaging” outlets are some tips to get more Malaysians to usher in the coming Chinese Lunar New Year and Year of the Rat in a more environmentally conscious manner.

“A lot of plastic containers and wrappers will be thrown away and eventually, end up at the landfill.

“We could start by lessening personal or household trash during the festivities, ” Zero Waste Malaysia core volunteer Tina Yap Li Yan said.

Yap, who adopted a zero-waste lifestyle four years ago, said she has also stopped buying new clothes for the festivities since 2017.

“I would hold a swap party to exchange clothes with friends or borrow hand-me-downs from them. This way, I don’t have to buy new clothes but will still be able to dress up for the occasion, ” she said.

Yap suggested buying festive goodies and cookies from shops that offer packaging-free for their products.

“I will bring my own jars and containers to buy the cookies and even use them to pack mushrooms and dates, which are traditionally given out as gifts, ” she said.

She said she would be stocking up festive tidbits bought from NUDE The Zero Waste Store and Seong Ying Chai Mooncake, which is selling nyonya pineapple tarts and classic almond cookies.

Yap said she has also started using recycled ang pow packets and e-wallet when giving out ang pows.

“With e-wallet and e-ang pow introduced by the banks, there is a possibility that the younger generation will resort to using them if their families are receptive to it, ” she said.

Although adopting a more eco-friendly way to celebrate the festive season depended on the individuals themselves, Yap said more could be done if the government provided incentives to manufacturers to adopt such practices for their businesses.

Separately, Tenaga Nasional Bhd urged the public not to fix or attach Chinese New Year decorations on electrical poles.

“In preparation to usher in the Year of the Rat, consumers are advised to maintain electrical safety aspects.

“The act of hanging decorations at electrical poles courts danger of getting electrocuted, ” TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman said.

He added that those responsible for disrupting electricity supply due to flashover caused by the decorations could face prosecution.

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