Thursday, 28 February 2008

Defining Environment

I attended a workshop today on biodiversity.

I was very shocked (and honestly dissappointed) to find out that a guy whom I believe is a professional (who works in the field of biodiversity and all) does not understand the definition of Environment. He thinks Environment does not take into account social factors.

So, I'd like to share with all of you the definition as stated in the Environment Protection Enactment (2002).

“environment” includes –
(a) the external physical surroundings and conditions influencing
development and growth of people, animals or plants and
includes social, living or working conditions;
(b) all natural and physical resources;
(c) ecosystems and their constituent parts including people and
communities; and
(d) amenity, aesthetic and cultural values

When I was at the university, one of my professors defined Environment really nicely. He said 'Environment is everything that isn't me'.

Have a lovely evening, everyone!

Sunday, 24 February 2008


Sekolah Rakan Alam Sekitar Programme or better known as SERASI is an environmental education programme and an award scheme for schools in Sabah.

It has been implemented since 2003 by the Environment Protection Department, Department of Environment, Education Department, Department of Forestry, Science and Technology Unit, Environmental Action Committee, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre and SHELL Malaysia.

I did my MSc research on the evaluation of SERASI implementation in 39 schools in Sabah. If all goes well, my viva voce will be sometime in March. *keeping my fingers crossed!*

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Food for Thoughts...

The trees are God's great alphabet:
With them He writes in shining green,
Across the world His thoughts serene.

~Leonora Speyer

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Recycled Shoes, Anyone?

Hubby told me a few days ago about this new Nike shoe called 'Trash Talk' that is made from manufacturing wastes (scrap-ground foam from factory production). The outsole uses environmentally-preferred rubber that reduces toxics and incorporates Nike Grind material from footwear.

How cool is that??!

Nike has also created a recycling programme in 1993 called Reuse-A-Shoe, which collects worn-out athletic shoes of any brand and recycles the footwear into usable material called Nike Grind (rubber from the outsole, foam from the midsole and fabric from the upper).

Presenting Trash Talk to you:

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Some Facts About Styrofoams...

I found this on the Net. Thought of sharing it with you all because we tend to tapau our food in this white packet, right?

  • Styrofoam is actually Dow's trade name for polystyrene.
  • There are two problems with polystyrene, involving both production and waste. During production, a blowing agent blows gas into the polystyrene. For years, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were the agents-contributing to the destruction of the Earth's ozone layer. After the Montreal Protocol's ban on CFCs, slightly-more benign HCFCs replaced them. However, Ozone Action's Christopher Ball notes, "HCFCs are better for the ozone layer than CFCs, but they still cause problems." Because of this, HCFCs have also been banned, with their total phasing-out not expected until the year 2030. Carbon dioxide and pentane (a highly flammable chemical that contributes to smog) are also used as blowing agents. On the waste issue, polystyrene products, including cups, don't biodegrade well and, if incinerated, produce toxic ash.
  • To combat such problems, recycling programmes are popping up, but not yet everywhere *this is in the US, I presume*
  • Drinking from reuseable mugs, however, is an easy way to reduce such waste problems and ease pressures on the ozone layer. If people can't be convinced to change their throw-away habits, try telling them that the mugs can save them money, too.

There you go. I guess, this is something for us to ponder about, ya?

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Celebrating World Wetlands Day at KKWC

13 groups of students won prizes during the Mangrove Hunt Challenge at the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre yesterday (16 Feb). It was a gloomy day (and it rained just after the students finished their tasks) but it did not stop the students from having fun! Most were covered with mud because they also had to go down to the mud to collect rubbish.
At the finishing line...

Mike & I as part of the judging team

Some of the winners receiving their prizes...

Mangroves are super important for many reasons. It is a breeding ground for crabs, prawns and other marine animals, essential for sustaining a viable fishing industry. It also protects coastlines against erosive wave action and strong coastal winds, and serve as natural barriers against tsunamis and torrential storms. (For more information click here Mangrove forests)

Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre or better known as KKWC (formerly known as KK City Bird Sanctuary) is situated in the heart of Kota Kinabalu and was once part of a huge area of mangrove forest. The total area now is about 24 hectares. The centre offers various environmental education programmes for students and the public. For more information, you can call my buddies Jocelyn or Cornelea at 088-246955 or email

Ahh.. this is my little environmentalist *grin*

Trust me, it's really fun planting mangrove seedlings and being in the mud! *wink*

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Be Friendly to The Environment

Actually, when we think about it, all of us pollute the environment in one way or another. For example, if we drive to work, the moment we start the engine, we are already polluting the air with the fumes (although these days we can get cars with 'green engines'). One of the green driving tips I've read is to combine trips because warmed-up engines and catalysts generate much less air pollution. If we plan on having several short trips in a day, we may become one of the contributors to increased air pollution! Do you know also that if we follow the speed limit, we can lower our fuel economy?

My point is that, most of our activities will impact the environment. To be realistic, we have to establish an understanding that the things we do have an impact on the environment. However, we CAN REDUCE the impacts (not necessarily zero-impact) by practising environment-friendly actions.

In terms of development activities, we have rules and regulations to control these activities so the impacts on the environment can be minimised. It is the same with waste management. We can't help but generate wastes everyday BUT if we try to reduce the wastes generated, practise waste segregation at home, do recycling of papers, aluminium, etc and compost our kitchen/food or garden wastes, then we become positive contributors to environmental protection.

My good friend Dena is expecting her first baby soon and she is really into cloth diapers instead of the disposable ones. Cloth diapers are more environmentally-friendly than the disposable ones based on comparisons of their pros and cons. They are also cheaper and cost-effective in the long-run. Honestly speaking, I did not know much about the latest development of cloth diapers except for the white, thin cloth I use for my kids' lampin when they were babies!

We live and learn.

And most importantly, we REALLY must learn.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated on 2 February annually.

It marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and made an encouraging beginning. Each year, government agencies, NGOs, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. (

In Kota Kinabalu, the KK Wetland Centre is organising a Mangrove Hunt Challenge on 16 February, Saturday, in conjunction with WWD this year. The participants of the activity are students around KK. It's gonna be really exciting! (p.s. I'll be one of the judges. *wink*)

This year's theme is Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People.

Happy WWD Everyone!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

My first environmental talk in 2008

I've given quite a number of environmental talks in my working life.

My first talk this year was at SM St Michael's Penampang yesterday morning. After the talk, my colleague and I were supposed to give a hands-on training on how to make garden waste compost but it was raining quite heavily. It wasn't really a good idea to let the students get drenched so we cancelled the hands-on training (although it would have been fun being in the rain! ha..)

Showed some students how to make kitchen waste compost..

Changing Ourselves First

Attitude change must come from within us.

In environmental protection, we must realise that we can make a difference if we change our heart attitude. We need to internalise good values towards the environment and slowly try our best to spread this to others.

I’ve worked in this field for more than 10 years. That’s not so long but enough to see some people from all walks of life, educated or not, being indifferent about environmental protection.

That’s really sad but it will not dampen my spirit to do whatever is within my strength to look after the environment!

There are so many little ways we can do to help.

Remember, when we heal the earth, we heal ourselves (David Orr)

Welcome to Osindak's Green World!


Being an environmental educator, I decided to have a special blog for the environment.

In my other blog, I talk about the environment too but mostly This is My Life is about many aspects of my life, my family, friends, food, travels and many more.

So dear friends, this is a blog especially about and for the environment!

Hope you’ll find useful and interesting stories and information here.


There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed (Mohandas K. Gandhi)