3 June 2022

Saving Our Planet: Every Little Step Counts

By Tania Lam

With modern urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth, environmental deterioration has become an increasingly alarming issue over the decades. The importance of saving our planet has become more and more evident. Although awareness of this issue has gradually improved, there is still a long way to go.  

The responsibility of protecting our planet may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember: You’re not alone! In fact, the good news is that everyone can help to do their part for the environment.

What’s more, you can make a change one small step at a time. There are so many environmentally conscious steps you could practise in daily life. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way towards living a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.

Safeguarding our planet for future generations is a collective effort. After all, we have only one Earth to call home, so we’d better start taking care of it.

In conjunction with World Environment Day which falls on 5 June, members of Swinburne Sarawak Green Club have shared their thoughts on caring for the environment.

Bachelor of Computer Science
Swinburne Sarawak Green Club President

Aaron Mok (left) and another Green Club committee member, Elwin, collect trash during a beach clean-up in 2019.

As it gets more evident by the day, Mother Earth is dying and her ‘blood and tears’ are on our hands. It is a devastating tragedy, but everyone has the power to turn this tide. It is important for all of us to chip in together to conserve the environment and support environmental sustainability, not just for our future generations, but also for us and the biodiversity that supports this planet.

I started trying to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle when I learned that even the minute things we do every day can harm the environment and many life forms suffer these consequences.

Little things matter. I bring along my own water bottle wherever I go, use my own recyclable/reusable bags to carry items bought at stores and of course, no littering! I turn off the lights, water and air conditioner when they’re not necessary and use the recycle bins to properly dispose of my trash.

My advice for those who would like to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle is to start simple by doing whatever you can – whether it be in your own home, neighbourhood or campus. Join the Swinburne Sarawak Green Club and take part in our activities!

You can also look up online or see what others are doing to be eco-friendly and sustainable. Yes, it probably means a change in your lifestyle, but we don’t really have a choice. The Earth is changing and it’s because of human activities. But if we work together, we really can help to turn the tide.

Master of Computer Science
Former Swinburne Sarawak Green Club President (2019)

Thon Pun Liang (left) and others at a beach clean-up in 2019.

Growing up in the city actually made me drawn towards being immersed in Mother Nature. This also made me feel obliged to protect and preserve it for future generations.

It is important to protect our environment because human activities are eating away at our planet day by day. For example, we are starting to experience the impact of global warming. We might survive it in our lifetime, but our future generations may not. Think about your anak-anak and cucu-cucu – do you want them to live on a soon uninhabitable planet?

“How do I get started?” you might ask. The answer is to join our Green Club’s activities of course! Jokes aside, you already know many ways: using a water bottle instead of buying bottled water, using an eco-bag (reusable cloth bag) when shopping for groceries, reusing plastic bags, practising the 5Rs including reducing our consumption of material things.

These practices may seem insignificant, but remember, every effort counts, big or small. And you can always level up your game whenever you feel comfortable, like joining a Green Club beach clean-up or tree-planting activity! Never stress yourself out to become environmentally friendly. Happy going green!

Bachelor of Computer Science

Lutfi Welton and his plants.

I enjoy living an eco-friendly lifestyle for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s cheaper to recycle, and you can use that saved money to buy ice cream – everyone loves ice cream. Secondly, nature is a beautiful thing to be around; it’s calm and peaceful. Lastly, you can reap the benefits. For example, the air would be cleaner to breathe and the temperature would be much cooler.

In my opinion, it is very important to take care of the environment because without a healthy environment, we would all live miserable lives. Nobody wants to swim in the ocean while being surrounded by plastic bags and babies’ diapers, nobody wants to feel extreme heat whenever they go outside and nobody wants to wear an oxygen mask every day.

Taking care of the environment is like taking care of your room; it’s not an enjoyable place to be in if it’s filthy.

If anyone wants to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle, I suggest going for it. My advice is to start small by either recycling or growing something in your home, preferably something you can eat like tomatoes which would motivate you to keep that plant alive. Remember: Every little thing helps!

Foundation in Design

Suzyiana binti Sophian.

Practising environmentally friendly habits is far easier than most would like to admit – perhaps because most fail to see the purpose of the extra steps. Whatever the reason may be, I personally practise a few easy actions.

For one, I refuse to use plastic straws. Maybe if I’m able, I’ll also refuse plastic bags, cups, containers and so on if I can’t do anything with it after the first use. Reducing the use of plastic not only reduces domestic waste, it also reduces carbon emissions from producing said products.

When it comes to why I care so much about preserving the environment, well, it may sound very ‘anti-noble’ of me, but I do believe you can benefit more from a healthy environment monetary-wise if we think alike. A healthy environment allows for an abundance of resources. As the ‘takers’, we should definitely be nicer to Mother Nature.

Generally, we should preserve our environment because we live in it. It should be common sense to not trash our homes, literally. The future generation will be the ones responsible for this planet long after we’re gone. We should do them the favour of not making things too complicated regarding the environment at least.

To those who wish to live a more sustainable life, my advice to them would be to start small then work your way up. Maybe ditch the plastic bags when you do groceries and instead use backpacks. Think about it: Heavy plastic bags will hurt your hands if you carry them for too long, but backpacks will cause significantly less strain on you while also hurting the ecosystem less.

Once you’re ready to step up to the next level, you can volunteer for community service activities like cleaning up a park or even your local beach.

One very crucial thing to keep in mind is that you must always do your research before diving into something, especially when it comes to meddling with the natural balance of the ecosystem. Things like planting more trees, placing hundreds of solar panels at a random desert or anything of the sort may sound like great ideas but they may also cause more harm than good. Just clean up after ourselves and pay attention to what we do.

Interested in doing your part for the environment? Sign up for Swinburne Sarawak Green Club right here. Stay connected and discover more about the Swinburne Sarawak Green Club through its Instagram (@swinsarawakgreenclub) and Facebook (@swinburnesarawakgreenclub) pages.

This article was written in conjunction with World Environment Day, which is celebrated annually on 5 June by millions of people across the world. It is a platform to raise awareness on environmental issues such as pollution, sustainable consumption, food security and so on. #OnlyOneEarth is the worldwide campaign for World Environment Day 2022, calling for transformative and collective action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.

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