New Straits Times
WORLD Environment Day has come and gone and hopefully any kind of
awareness generated by the media is not going to be forgotten as we
face a critical time when Planet Earth is at the brink of ecological
Thankfully, over the years, in addition to media and government initiatives, the private sector is also becoming more green in its thinking.
One of the earliest retailers to go green is 1 Utama Shopping Centre. From the onset of its development, green practices were already part of the blueprint.
It was the first to install ice-storage air conditioning system to utilise off-peak electric power from TNB, which reduces its power demands during peak hours.
It has a central monitoring system that controls its mechanical and electrical equipment, optimising the use of energy.
It harvests rainwater, using the recycled water for landscaping use, reducing its water bill by some 30 per cent.
Most spectacularly, 1 Utama has incorporated a rainforest within the mall, with some 100 species of Malaysian flora and a fresh water aquarium teaming with fauna from Malaysian rivers and lakes.
Continuing with its green platform, 1 Utama Shopping Centre recently organised a four-day event to further raise awareness on environmental issues.
Themed 'Go green - Get to grips with climate change,' the event was supported by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
The event proved to be fun and informative for their shoppers, especially parents and children. There were more than 20 promo stands set up, sharing stories on environmental conservation and green living.
From the Global Environment Centre (GEC)'s booth, shoppers can learn how to adopt a green lifestyle, sign up for a River Care programme and generally learn more about environmental issues.
The GEC also shared tips during their 'How to Green Shop Smartly' talk, so that shoppers can choose products that will have minimum impact on the environment.
A visit to Tetra Pak's booth was enlightening. Tetra Pak cartons are environmentally-friendly in that they reduce the need for food to be refrigerated (saves energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions) and are made of 100 per cent recyclable materials. Which is why it is important to recycle them.
All it takes is a little time and effort to fold them up and send them (along with your other recyclables, of course) to Alam Flora recycling centres.
Lots of children were intrigued with Wall.E, (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), the recycling robot which is the main character of this Pixar live action movie to be released (end of June for the United States) here soon.
A green model of a different kind, this adorable heap of metal will be a great way to introduce the concept of recycling to young ones.
For the kind of green holiday one might like the whole family to participate in, an idea might be to visit an organic farm or to check out a place like D-Paradise Tropical Fruit World and Aboriginal Village, which boasts 800 varieties of tropical fruits, the world's largest cactus and monkey cup collection and an unique aboriginal village.
Go Green was launched by Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, the Minister of Housing and Local Government, Datuk Teo Chiang Kok, director of 1 Utama and Joanna Bessey, Go Green Ambassador and UNDP Celebrity Partner.
Bessey shared a rather startling piece of information: "The latest UNDP Human Development Report states that Malaysia with 0.4 per cent of the world's population, accounts for 0.6 per cent of global emissions — an average of 7.5 tonnes of CO2 per person. This means that the carbon footprint of the average Malaysian is now larger than that of France. If all countries in the world were to emit CO2 at levels similar to Malaysia's, we would exceed our sustainable carbon budget by approximately 237 per cent!"
Over the four-day period, 1 Utama also organised eco-workshops, storytelling sessions, recycled fashion shows and recycling games, all conceptualised to instil love and respect for Mother Nature.
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