MYROLE RTM1- Featured GrASS on 25 Jan 2011, 330pm

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Dear Friends,

We here at GrASS need your help to help us gather the below mentioned items to help us raise funds for our shelter and other independent pet rescuers.

The items are:

Scrap Paper
Old Newspapers
Old Magazines
Unwanted uncooked/raw Acidic Fruits ( Oranges, pineapples, lime,lemons)
Unwanted uncooked/raw fruits
Unwanted uncooked/raw Vegetables
Brown Sugar
Rice Bran
Red Earth
Glass Jars/Plastic containers with lids
Cardboard boxes (any other cardboard materials)
Aluminium Cans
Expired Food Products

For more ways on how or what items you can donate to help please visit HERE

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Article: Incentives to go green

Sunday July 5, 2009


Shops find ways to help customers switch to reusable bags.

ACCORDING to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, up to one trillion plastic bags are distributed worldwide every year, but less than 1% is recycled. Most get dumped in landfills or find their way into drains and sewage pipes, and end up in the ocean.

The United Nations Environmental Program estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of floating plastic for every square mile of ocean. A British Antarctic survey has found plastic bags floating as far south as the Falkland Islands, and up north in the Arctic Circle near Spitsbergen. In some areas in the North Pacific, the amount of plastic outweighs plankton by a ratio of six to 10.

With increasing awareness of the threat plastic bags pose to the environment, more people are jumping on the bandwagon to reduce usage.

Ee-Lyn Tan uses reusable bags whenever she goes grocery shopping.

Still, plastic bags are cheap and convenient; they are light and sturdy, and storage is a breeze. What viable alternative is there for such an accessible commodity?

Some people are convinced that reusable bags are the answer.

"The manufacture of plastic bags utilises a lot of energy and releases carbon emissions. Every time I use a bag, I am effectively responsible for that," says 28-year-old environmental consultant Natasha Manan.

Finding the green bags sold in supermarkets too flimsy, she uses a sturdy cotton bag for shopping.

"I carry a cotton bag in my backpack all the time. It's just too convenient to use the free plastic bags given out at the till. So awareness has to be raised. Do what Ireland did – ban plastic bags and charge for them," Natasha suggests.

In Malaysia, Ikea has started charging customers 20 sen for one plastic bag. While some are sceptical that this will work, communications officer Ee-Lyn Tan, 24, begs to differ.

"You've got to hit them where it hurts. For many people, it's money.

"You can't force people to switch overnight. In the end, it's about self-realisation: they must want to switch to reusable bags because they want to help the environment."

First introduced to reusable bags when she was studying abroad, Tan now has them in all sizes and fabrics. She takes them with her everywhere, even when travelling.

Bangsar Village special projects manager Lee Joo Khim says to encourage people to reduce plastic bag usage, it is important to advocate reusable bags as an alternative.

"I believe we were the first to introduce green bags in Kuala Lumpur back in 2005. To, date we have sold tens of thousands of them at our supermarket, Village Grocer, and we continue to order them to keep up with existing demand," she says, crediting owner Ong Kim Too for introducing the idea.

On their Say No to Plastic Bags Day on April 22 (World Earth Day), Village Grocer refrained from giving out plastic bags. Sales of green bags (RM3.50 each) soared to 594 that day, a far cry from its daily average of 25.

"Shoppers, when quizzed, said it was a good thing and that we should practise it more often, if not daily.

"Of course, there were those who did not understand why they should be inconvenienced and walked away!" says Lee, pointing out that many foreigners bring their own shopping bags, a habit picked up in their home countries.

"At Village Grocer, close to 6,600 plastic bags are given out each day. In the long run, all initiatives to reduce their use will be good for the environment. It's never easy to change, but we should start by making an effort to turn down just one bag each time," she suggests.

French chef Nicolas Asse Drouet, 32, who has been in Malaysia for three years, says he bought reusable bags the moment he noticed the supermarkets here carrying them.

"Coming from Europe, we've been taught to be eco-friendly and not waste. I've used the same three green bags for my shopping during my time here and they really do last. I keep them in a cupboard at home, and also make sure I have one in my car; it comes in useful when I do unplanned shopping," he says.

Marie-Do deRegt, also from France, agrees that using reusable bags is a habit cultivated from growing up in Europe.

"I don't mind paying a small sum for these bags because they last. What we also have in Europe are thicker plastic bags so people can reuse them instead of throwing them away. If you make people pay for plastic bags, like in Europe, they will start looking for alternatives," she says.

Over at AEON's Jaya Jusco and MaxValu outlets, customers can choose from five different sizes of green bags. Prices range from RM1 to RM4.90.

Its public relations manager, Zakimarhaini Mohd Said, says the company has adopted a Reduce CO2 policy and set aside the 25th of each month as Say No to Plastic Bags Day at its outlets.

"We have banners, posters and ceiling cards to remind our customers about the campaign. We frequently play our announcements and Say No to Plastic Bag song. Those who bring along the Jusco reusable bags when shopping are entitled to 10 J Card points and can use the priority lane when paying for their purchases," she adds.

Ten million plastic bags are given out each month at the 21 Jusco and four MaxValu supermarkets in Malaysia, and Zakimarhaini says they are trying to reduce that number.

"There is still not enough awareness on the green initiative. Many people say it's inconvenient to bring their own bags. Customers who request for plastic bags on Say No to Plastic Bags Day will be given one with those words printed on it to remind them of the green initiative," she says, adding that Jusco Malacca has the highest number of customers using their reusable bags.

Debbie Jonathan, a 43-year-old Briton, puts things in perspective: "I'm a teacher, so I teach my students to recycle. We are all responsible for doing our bit to help the environment.

"I do love the green bags and I think they are an excellent idea, but I just use any reusable bag for my shopping. When I do buy these green bags, though, I always get extra and give them to others.

"It's sort of like spreading the good news. I think we just need to give it time; good things sometimes take a while to catch on."

Related Story:
Penang leads the way

This article was taken from: The Star Online: Lifestyle: Focus 5 July 2009

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