This year’s Anugerah Hijau competition strives to enhance students’, teachers’, school administrators, parents, policymakers, and government organizations of the awareness on the importance of establishing greener schools. The overarching aim of the competition is to educate the younger generations on waste management and its importance in ensuring clean rivers for the future.

We feel that if the children of Malaysia are nurtured to be more responsible of their refuse and litter, then the aim of this program can be achieved. Younger generations will lead a more waste conscious lifestyle, where they have embraced the element of sustainability.

The Competition aims to:

  1. Educate the youth regarding waste management and how it can be carried out in their school.
  2. Nurture critical and creative thinking by providing training to the school community and encouraging students to express their creative ideas on achieving a waste conscious lifestyle.
  3. To help implement the system of Solid waste and Organic waste (food and garden waste; Cooking oil waste) management within their respective schools.


THEME OF 2017/2018 COMPETITON: WASTE MANAGEMENT

For 2017, EcoKnights is going to focus on improving schools on their waste management practices in terms of 2 categories: Solid Waste and Organic Waste (Food & Garden waste; Used cooking oil). Each school is required to have a discussion among themselves (student involvement expected) on starting or improving these components in their own compounds. After which each school is then required to submit an entry document proposing their ideas. The following information is provided as an introduction to each aspect and can be used as a reference to what is to be expected.

Solid Waste

Solid Waste (SW) are materials that are discarded, often into our trash bin and later on to the landfills.

Characteristics of SW:

  1. Abandoned
  2. Recyclable and Non-recyclable
  3. Waste that are usually sent to landfills

SW can be detrimental to the environment if not managed properly. Waste often ends up in landfills which a facility used for solid waste disposal. SW management focuses on planning, organizing, financing and implementing activities and efforts that affect the storage, collection, processing, recycling or final disposal of solid wastes in a sanitary, nuisance free manner that aims to reduce its impact towards the environment.

Organic Waste

Organic waste are biodegradable waste which originates from plant or animals. It can be broken down by other organisms in a certain period of time. Organic waste when dumped in landfills will undergo anaerobic decomposition, which in turn will produce methane gas which is more harmful than greenhouse gases.

One of the common organic waste are:

Food and garden waste

  1. Unfinished/expired food.
  2. Organic waste that comes directly from gardens such as weeds, leaves, grass and flowers.
  3. Can be made beneficial by turning it into compost.

Used cooking Oil

  1. Oil produced from plants, animals and other organisms.
  2. Can clog pipelines if poured down the sink.
  3. Can be recycled for other purpose or sent to local used cooking oil collection centres

Benefits

Here are tons of reasons on why maintaining a waste conscious school is important:

  1. Increases a sense of community ownership and stewardship
  2. Foster the development of a unified school community identity and spirit
  3. Bring people together from a wide variety of backgrounds and helps people appreciate big ideas that may often seem small
  4. Build basic leadership skills such organizing, analysing problems and teamwork

A waste conscious school community will also allow you so many opportunities to learn about:

  1. Where food comes from and how it’s grown
  2. Analytical skills
  3. Practical mathematical skills
  4. Basic business principles
  5. The importance of community and stewardship
  6. Issues of environmental sustainability
  7. Job and life skills
  8. Basically stuff that you don’t otherwise learn in class and can be used generally in the real world

The best reason of it all? The youth can do their part in being the saviours of the environment, particularly our rivers by being more conscious of the waste they produce every day, methods on reducing the waste stream and the importance of keeping our rivers free of refuse or litter. Each aspect helps bring you closer to nature and you get to do everything in a fun and safe environment.