Friday, 28 September 2007

Student Leader Briefing (By Zhiyang)

From 25th to 27th September 2007, we presented environmentally-friendly guidelines to all Student Leaders of NTU. The purpose of this is to spread environmental awareness to the student population through the influence of the student leaders. The guidelines highlight green practices that are practicable for application by the Committees of all Clubs, Societies and Halls. Basically, the guidelines cover eco-friendly practices for common activities like meetings, events, camps and publicity. We have also proposed the idea of appointing a Green Ambassador for each main committee so as to better facilitate the incorporation of green practices in each club’s activities.
Thus far, we would not have achieved so much without the support of the NTU Administration. Particularly in this academic year (07/08), the NTU Administration has become more proactive in pursuing environmental initiatives. As a result, Earthlink is able to install recycling bins in all Halls and “green publicity” can been done on a larger scale. We look forward to further collaboration with the Administration and other student organizations of NTU to create a Green Culture on campus.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Outing #1 to Singapore Botanical Gardensn (by Ru Hui)

For Earthlink’s very first outing, we visited the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

At 745 am, we made our way there. Since we reached the place a little early, we had a small ice-breaking session while waiting for our tour to start.

Our guide was an experienced and enthusiastic volunteer who took us through the journey of plant evolution. She began by asking us to see the difference between the palm tree and a cycad right outside of the evolution garden. The cycad, though small in size, was much older than the palm tree that was twice its height. The cycads were a much older species of plants that was present even during the dinosaur period. So that was how we started our journey into the evolution garden.

Although the evolution garden is a relatively new area of the botanical gardens, there were many plants and interactive sculptures as it was set up mainly for educational purposes. Starting off with the mosses, we gradually moved to the taller ferns, cycads and lepidodendrons. We learnt many interesting facts along the way, like how some spores of ferns that were growing around a cave was used for camera flashes, how horsetails could grow back together if the broken pieces were put together again and many other interesting details of plants through the ages.

After the insightful tour, we headed to the national orchid gardens, a must-see when visiting the botanical gardens. We rested in the cool house after taking many pictures of the colourful and vibrant orchids, which were present in large varieties.

Finally, it was time for lunch. By this time, most of us were familiar with one another and we had a really enjoyable lunch at a food court within the botanical gardens. Overall, the trip was a fruitful one as we left not only with many things learnt, but also with a few more friends.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Coastal Cleanup 2007 at Kallang Basin (By Dang Kang)

This year on September 15th, 24 Earth link NTU volunteers went to clean up trashes on coastlines and waterways at Kallang Basin. The event is part of International Coastal Cleanup Singapore organized by Ocean Conservancy. It is the largest and most successful event of its kind. We not only tried to eliminate those rubbish, but also recorded the number of rubbish collected according to its type, which may be useful for further analysis such as tracing back origin of the trashes.

Morning Gathering at Chinese Heritage Garden, a beautiful day.

Around 8:30 am, we reached Kallang Basin, and quickly began our work.

We are divided into group of 4 to finish our job. Among the four people one records the data and the other three collect the rubbish.

Some of us are discussing among the groups on dividing of tasks and a good strategy to finish their job.

Each group was given a log sheet to keep a record of garbage item for different categories like plastics, food and so on depending on the materials they were made of.
The data then will be sent to the ICCS for consolidation and further analysis. The analysis results then would be sent to the SEC, ENV, NParks, PUB, URA, MND, MOE, MITA, The Internet. Some of them even affected the policy making!

Volunteers are so eager to collect the rubbish that they even forget the safety of their shoes!

Although it is a tough job, many of our volunteers feel very happy.

Let's hear what they say

“I think the coastal clean up is quite meaningful for me because I can help protecting the environment in my own way. I can also do my part in taking the responsibility of the citizen of this country.”

“I think sometimes people are very selfish. They clean and decorate their house very well however make our natural environment very dim. The activities can help us be aware of the serious consequence of the rubbish pollution for the coast by looking out to the coast.”

The kids from German European School of Singapore

And we are not alone. there were other volunteers working with us to clean the coast. Some of our volunteers think this activity is particularly meaningful for kids like these. One volunteer said, “ I think this activity is especially helpful to the children for encouraging them to protect the coast and environment. The main duty of adults, I think, it is organizing the activity”

We found all kind of rubbish.

Here, we even found such big monsters!

Life is being threatened!

A sick bird

Our volunteers are also worried about the pollutions: “There is a lot of daily life rubbish. The creature in the ocean must have a very hard life. The problem might be very serious cause a lot of rubbish has been embed in the underground very deeply. There might be a lot of rubbish that we didn’t get.”

The whole activity end around 10:00 am . Despite the short during, we have made a great job. our Earth link volunteers managed to clean up around 100m of coastline and collect 45kg of trashes. While for the whole Singapore, the length of coastline cleaned is 1520m and the weight of trashes collected is 4109kg.

After our work,no more trashes!

Background Information: About Kallang Basin

Kallang Basin is selected to be one target of the events because of its economic, social and environment benefits। According to Chou L।M, The Singapore River and the Kallang Basin “form an important catchment covering one-fifth of Singapore's total land area। These waterways served important functions in the economic development of the country. The intense and varied uses however contributed to the gross pollution of the rivers.” He suggested the cleaning system of these area shall be implemented. Besides, National Environment Agency etc also have the following plans:

Kallang Basin is going to be a linear garden of the Garden at Marina Center is links the cultural core at the Esplanade Theaters to Kallang Basin.

In 2004, the Public Utilities Board publicly announced plans to construct a new downtown reservoir. It will turn Marina Bay and the Kallang Basin into a confined freshwater reservoir with limited access to marine transportation to regulate the water quality.

This event would promote the protection of Kallang Basin and thus help reach the above goal।