Sunday September 8th, 2019
Despite the heat and dust of the sunny morning, the air in the Tzu Chi Educational Recycling Station was filled with enthusiasm and excitement of Tzu Chi School’s P2 students, who helped our Tzu Chi volunteers sorting out plastic bottles’ caps and labels, then flatten the bottle for recycling purpose.
Hudoyo Teguhraya, or known to his friends as Thomas, Tzu Chi’s volunteer who accompanied the students that day said that, by joining this recycling programme, children will be able to learn to help and care about the environment, ‘They learn to respect the earth, the earth needs us because we’ve taken so much use of it. Awareness like this must be taught from a young age, so the idea to respect the earth is instilled in them.
Kanishka Zia Halim, P2 Honesty, found the activity enjoyable, ‘This is so fun! I also learn how to keep my environment clean.’ Similar comments also came from her classmate, Valerie Chung, who joyfully collected the bottles into a big bag. When asked about the recycling activities, Valerie agreed that it is important for us to take care of the environment, ‘I now know to not buy bottled water anymore, and to bring my own bottle to get water.’ However, she also added that, even though she is willing to stop using plastic bottles, her parents would still do it. ‘However, my mom and dad will still buy bottled drinks, they like to buy juices in bottles. But maybe I can ask them to bring the plastic bottles here (to recycle).
In response to Valerie’s comments on her parents, Thomas said, ‘Unfortunately, that is inevitable, the school can teach so much, but in the end, it will come back to what children do every day at home, too. I am hoping by joining this kind of activities, our students will be able to inform their parents at home to be more caring to the environment. Eventually, they might make their parents to change, too.
Throughout the first week of September, 260 P2 students of Tzu Chi Primary School dedicated their morning to help our volunteers at the Tzu Chi Educational Recycling Station, as part of ‘Care for the Environment: Recycling Activity’, an outdoor learning experience for Science class. Tzu Chi School hopes that, by incorporating this activity in the lesson, students would not only learn about Science in theory, but also able to actually jump into the field, to see the need to respect and protect our environment, as an effort to develop a good habit. Over time, such minuscule effort will become a part of our students’ everyday life. Likewise, quoting the Jing Si Aphorism,‘The journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step,’ as said by Master Cheng Yen.