EARTHlink - Nanyang Technological University

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EARTHlink - Nanyang Technological University

Contents Page

Main Committee 2

President’s Foreword 3

Introduction to Earthlink 4

Solar Innovations 2003 5

Changi Beach Clean-up 6

Sungei Buloh Nature Park Trip 6

Night Safari Trip 7

Reforestation at Lower Pierce 7

Prelude And Environmental Week 2004 8

11th Executive Committee of EARTHlink NTU

earthlings 2004

Eco Camp at Taman Negara 10

Recycling Bins Around Campus 11

Solar Innovations 2004 11

From Left to Right: Por Horng Woei, Tay Dongting, Choo Kok Boon, Liang

Ying Shun, Sheila Yio, Chang Eng Kiat, Low Ying Ying, Fiona Lee Huifeng,

Young Ming Ee, Tan Sheng Yang (President), He Jiajing, Vincent Cher, Lee

Sin Han (Vice-President), Jason Lee

http://www.ntu.edu.sg/studorgn/earthlink/

2

EarthlinkNTU

“If I change, the world changes...”

MITA(P) No. 102/10/2003

earthlink@ntu.edu.sg

President

Tan Sheng Yang

Vice-President

Lee Sin Han

Honorary General Secretary

He Jiajing

Honorary Treasurer

Young Ming Ee

Recycling Secretary

Chang Eng Kiat

Publicity Secretary

Fiona Lee Huifeng

Asst. Publicity Secretary

Sheila Yio Peiling

Publication Secretary

Por Horng Woei

Liaison Officer

Vincent Cher Wei Ping

Welfare Secretary

Tay Dongting

Project Co-ordinator

Jason Lee

Green Volunteer Network

GVN (Nature Conservation)

Liang Ying Shun

GVN (Recycling)

Choo Kok Boon

GVN (Public Education)

Low Ying Ying


president’s foreword

Recently, much has been about “Sustainable Development”, yet how many of us truly understand

its meaning? The guiding principle of sustainable development is: Development that meets the needs

of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Many governments around the world are prioritizing on sustainable development, including our

very own Singapore Government. Thus, it is high time for all of us to be concerned about sustainable

development.

Simply put, sustainable development is comprised of 3 fundamentals: Economy, Social, and Environment.

It is only with the marriage and harmonious co-existence of these 3 attributes can we achieve sustainable

development. Neither one can be lacking or be in excess. There must be a balance struck between them.

And for the sake of our future generations, this balance has got to be attained soon.

Thus far, Singapore has been faring pretty well in her economic and social developments. Standard of

living has been rising, and Singapore has among the highest per capita incomes in the world. The city-state

is a peaceful and safe one, with low crime rates and low possibilities of external threats. Having achieved

much of the Economy and Social aspect, it is about time that we address the Environmental part.

From my perspective, more public education is required. The infrastructure and facilities are already

there. The general public should be taught to use them effectively as a way of life. I am aware that several

people possess a wrong conception on Environmentalism. They think they know all about it, and they

find it out-of-fashioned and boring. And the first thing that would come to their minds about being

environmental will be recycling. Wrong. Being environmental is not all about recycling. There is more

to it. The 3-R concept refers to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, in that specific order. First, we should try

as much as possible, to cut down on the usage of our resource base. This will help reduce the wasting

of unnecessary resources. Secondly, we should reuse as much as possible. For example: using unwanted

papers for rough workings. Lastly, we should recycle materials instead of just throwing them away as

waste. Recycling is the last resort. The 3-R concept will help greatly in waste minimisation, which is a

major concern as space-constrained Singapore no longer has areas suitable as landfill sites.

Throughout the year, Earthlink NTU has been trying actively to spread Environmentalism amongst

NTU students and staff by means of events such as Outdoor Trips, Beach Clean-Up, Adopt-A-Bin

Competition, Environmental Week 2004, ECO Camp 2004, and Solar Innovations 2004. Of special

mention would be the Reforestation Programme and the ECO Camp 2004 where participants really

had an eye-opening time. Apart from these events, Earthlink NTU has also played an important role in

NTU’s recycling efforts. The recycling bins from Sembvisy have all been moved out to the more crowded

bus-stops and the North-South Spines. Previously, one bin was assigned to each hall. As a result of bad

placement, they were often misused. Now, more recyclables are being collected.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my committee members for their undying efforts

and unwavering commitment. Together, we have come far and achieved our aims. I hope that we will

all carry on being advocates of our environment and help to protect it at all costs. I would also like to

thank Earthlink’s teacher advisor, Dr. Wang Jing-Yuan, for his valuable advises and support along the

way. I am certain that he will continue to support Earthlink NTU and bring it to greater heights.

May there come a day when Environmentalism becomes our way of life,

whichever path we take, know this: “If I change, the world changes…”

Tan Sheng Yang

President

11 th Executive Committee

EARTHlink NTU

3


EARTHlink NTU is the sole environmental club

in the Nanyang Technological University and

has a membership of about 200 students. Over

the years, Earthlink has been actively promoting

environmentalism since being founded in 1993. Our

motto, “If I change, the world changes”, ensures

that Earthlink continues to strive to provide the

link between a highly conducive

study environment and a truly

green campus.

Annual activities are being carried

out to enforce our cause. These

events have helped us to reach out

to many young people and students.

This is crucial for our nation’s future

and therefore key in conveying

the notion of environmentalism

in the 21 st century. During this

academic year of 2003/2004,

the 11 th Executive Committee has

embarked on several exciting steps

to encourage people to adopt a

green mentality.

The recycling project in NTU has

taken a bold new change. Last year,

we invited SembVisy Recycling Pte

Ltd, a private recycling company to set up recycling

bins across the campus. This year, the recycling bins

have been relocated to more strategic locations such

as the main bus stops and the main canteens. The

recycling bins have been made more recognisable

and now come in two different forms, blue plastic

ones and metal ones.

During this workyear, our committee has also gone

for our inaugural Ecology Camp, a five day four

night nature trip in Malaysia that took place

in Taman Negara National Park after the

exams. Taman Negara National Park,

which is located in the state of

Pahang, has the world’s longest

tree canopy walk and is one

of the oldest rainforests

in Malaysia.

INTRODUCTION

The conservationist’s most Important task, if we are to save the

earth, is to educate....

Also several activities like the Changi Beach Cleanup

with NUS, a trip to Sungei Buloh Nature Park,

visit to the Night Safari and a lesson in Reforestation

at Lower Pierce were organized for our members

this year. All this were organized with the aim

of educating students in our university to be

environmentally friendly and have that mentality

to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

4

This year we also had

our annual Prelude and

Environmental Week. In

conjunction with the week’s

events, an adopt the bin

competition was organised

to get the students involved

in learning about recycling.

The aim of the competition

was to spark the creativity

of the students and at the

same time increasing their

awareness of the recycling

bins that exist on campus.

Also our beloved website

EARTHlink NTU OnLine was

revamped and given a more

professional look. Please

do check it out at http://

www.ntu.edu.sg/studorgn/

earthlink. More information

and more photos have been placed online. We have

also launched a new online forum, EARTHlink NTU

Forums at http://earthlinkntu.proboards24.com.

With this forum we hope to get the feedback and

ideas from a wider audience and thereby reach even

more people to spread the green word. So please do

join us online at our webpage and forums, cos’ you

are the people who will keep us alive on the world

wide web. Be active and just tell us what you think

of us and other green issues. We will definitely do

our best to reply.

Yet another year has past, and having more success

of events under our belt, we believe that EARTHlink

is helping to make environmentalism a way of life

among our staff and students alike – a great link to

a greener future!

-Horng Woei, Publication Secretary

11th Executive Committee

EARTHlink NTU


Solar Innovations was held for the first time in Singapore in 2002. The main objective of Solar Innovations

2003 was to promote the concept of sustainable energy, such as solar,

wind and water energy to youths in Singapore. This competition

was the first of a series of activities organized by Earthlink NTU that

introduces a different theme each year, with the long term objective of

increasing environmental awareness by highlighting the various ways

a person can play a part in caring for our living environment besides

the usual recycling.

This competition provided an opportunity for students to showcase

their scientific know-how and creativity in the process of research and

project work. The innovative nature of the competition encourages

creativity in students in a fun yet challenging way. The competition

was opened to all primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges

& centralised institutes.

A briefing session was held on the 7 th June 2003 for all the

schools at the Singapore Science Centre where we prepared a powerpoint

presentation to explain

the rules and regulations of the

competition. It is also then when

schools had the opportunity

to clear up any doubts they

might have. Judging was held

at the Singapore Science on

the 26th of July 2003 for Cat

A and Cat B. It was not only

a day of judging but also fun

activities for the participants as

we there were games to keep

them occupied when it is not their turn for judging. The top 10 models

for each category were selected for exhibition at X-periment!

X-periment was a 3 day event held at Suntec City, starting from

5th to 7th of September 2003. We had our booth there to showcase the

winning models at different times of the day. Here, participants shared

their exciting solar innovations concepts with the general public. It was

definitely a most enriching and exciting time for everyone present.

The awards presentation for the winners of our annual

competition took place at the foyer outside Carrefour on the last

day of X-periment!. This year our Guest-of-Honor was the Deputy

Vice-President of NTU. A short video clip was shown. All winners also

had the privilege of displaying their winning projects at our booth at

science.03. Lots of interesting projects were on show and everyone

definitely had fun and learnt a lot. Let us all hope Solar Innovations

2004 comes soon.... and we can do this all over again.

Check out http://www.ntu.edu.sg/studorgn/solar for more details of Solar Innovations 2003.

5


The tranquil peace of

a laid-back Sunday morning on

Changi Beach was sliced apart by

throngs of people trudging on the

beach and their chatter. They were

there for the annual beach clean-

up, which also kicked off a series

of activities on the new Earthlink

calendar. It was a combined effort

with NUS Environmental Club.

The event aims to promote a clean

and green beach for the local public

and foreign tourists to enjoy. It

also helps to initiate interaction

amongst members of the club

through the hands-on effort.

CHANGI BEACH CLEAN-UP

The stretch of Changi Beach,

just off the SIA Logistics Supply

Base, though not the perennial

favourite venue for most,

for a fun-filled weekend of

roller-blading, cycling

and barbecues, will surely

appeal to one with its

picturesque view of the

sea and its ‘lack’ of the

big crowd of beach-goers one

will normally see at the East

Coast Beach.

Cleaning up the beach

was hard work in the blazing

sun on the open beach. But

everyone maintained their sense

of humour and went about their

work cheerfully. One was seen

busy doing a waltz with the waves,

stepping forward to pick up a can

and skipping back before the waves

sloshed over his shoes. Minutes

later, he triumphantly brandished

the can to the photographer.

SUNGEI BULOH NATURE PARK

Earthlink members had

a chance to learn more about

conservation in Sungei Buloh

Nature Park. After watching a

video clip about the park and we

learnt that Sungei Buloh Nature

Park (SBNP) presents an excellent

opportunity for conservation.

Out of the 87 hectares in

SBNP, approximately 29 hectares

are mangrove forests. 26 true

mangrove plants species can be

found in the forest fragments

in SBNP and 126 species of birds

had been recorded at the time

when the proposal for its conservation

came out. With such a

unique opportunity at hand, it is

important to maximise the forest

potential as a sanctuary of birds.

We embarked on a

guided tour after the video. Our

guide was really interesting and

helpful, giving us lots of insight

6

During the threehour

clean-up, a small mountain

of trash: flotsam from the sea and

picnic litter — paper plates and

cups, drink cans, food cartons and

bottles were collected and separated

into two portions (recyclable

and non-recyclable litter). Of

course, everyone went back feeling

glad for making the effort in the

conservation of the environment

and having their pangs of hunger

satisfied by the delicious curry-puffs

kindly provided by the club.

into the many creatures and flora

residing in the Sungei Buloh Nature

Park. We also saw a lookout

tower which was sited at a strategic

position along one of the routes.

The tower offered us a panoramic

view of the waders on the mudflats.

At the end of the day,

Earthlink members learnt that

conservation works hand in hand

with education and recreation. It is

hoped that Singaporeans and other

visitors will appreciate the essence

of the Park and share our sentiment

that one of life’s pleasures

is in watching birds and other

wildlife in their natural habitats. If

these are achieved, the role of the

Park would have been fulfilled and

the setting aside of prime land as a

nature park in land-scarce Singapore

would have been worth the

economic sacrifice.


NIGHT SAFArI

This is the first time Earthlink has gone on a night activity. Having gone to the zoo the previous year,

Earthlink decided that a trip to the Night Safari was also a must. The Night Safari is the world’s first wildlife park

built to be viewed at night. It is not an ordinary zoo simply illuminated by night or a modern version of nocturnal

houses found in many zoos.

By displaying animals in simulated natural

environment and through public education, visitors have a better

appreciation for wildlife and conservation issues. Earthlink members

had an opportunity to learn more about how the Night Safari plays

its part in saving and conserving our wildlife. We managed to catch

the Animal Show which was really fun and interesting to watch. These

were meant to entertain but there were also ample opportunities to

integrate conservation messages, and these messages are likely to

have greater impact on a captive audience. At the end of the day,

Earthlink members felt a warm sense of satisfaction that we had

learnt that bit more on the conservation of our wildlife and at the

same time had lots of fun.

Reforestation aims at rehabilitating degraded

forested areas by removing aggressive weeds and

planting native trees species to ensure the continued

survival of our forest. Apart from its ecological benefits,

reforestation also cultivates community responsibility,

teamwork, and highlights the importance of our

indigenous plants and their conservation.

The Lower Peirce reforestation site (near

Casuarina Road) is part of National Parks Board’s

reforestation efforts embarked since 1991. Sites chosen

for reforestation are degraded areas in our forest and

these are usually along the forest edges or are abandoned

kampong areas. Such sites are usually invaded by

aggressive weeds and non native weeds and if we do

not lend nature a helping hand, natural regeneration

Set in 40 hectares of dense secondary forest, the Night Safari

offers guests the unique experience of exploring wildlife in a tropical

jungle at night. Through the use of subtle lighting technique, guests

are able to view over 1000 nocturnal animals of 100 species in vast

naturalistic habitats. For the uninitiated, visitors speak of the Night

Safari as a holistic ‘experience’ in a tropical forest at night, unlike

the linked but separate experiences of a typical zoo. The Night

Safari boosts of a carefully designed open concept to recreate the

conditions of safari habitats in Asia, Africa and South America for

the wildlife.

7

REFORESTATION

of these areas will be hampered. The weeds

will also further invade into the better

vegetation.

Earthlink decided to join as

volunteers in the Lower Peirce reforestation

plot to help remove aggressive weeds

known as Smilax. Left alone, these fastgrowing

weeds will smother and kill our

trees by devoiding them of sunlight.

Earthlink members had a fun time working together

to clear the weeds known as Smilax - a spiny vicious

looking climber that grows well in the sun. It has been

smothering some of our trees to death near the forest

edges. Helps are needed to remove its growth on trees

as well as to destroy their underground network of roots

and creeping stems. We initially started off quite slowly,

but as soon as we got the hang of it, we managed to

work faster and soon we could begin to see the fruits

of our labour. The outline of the trees could be seen

and the weeds were cleared away. Everyone had lots of

fun and agreed that it was a very different experience.

It was indeed a very ‘green’ thing to do. At the end

of the day, everyone went back home with a sense of

accomplishment.


ENVIRONMENTAL WEEK 2004 ASKS US

TO KISS OUR WORLD, DO OUR PART...

Awareness of our residential environment is very important.

It involves learning all about the immediate environment that we live

in. To some, the environment is about nature and conservation. To

Singapore, however, protecting and sustaining our living environment

is also about people and change. Our country has emphasised the

need to be clean and green from its earliest years. Singapore’s Ministry

of the Environment was formed in 1972; long before most counterparts in developed

countries and decades before environmental issues became household concerns. Political will, capable

administration, sound technology and know-how have combined to give Singapore a good foundation

in environmental protection and public health. Every year, one week during February will be designated

as NTU Environmental Week. And in this week, Earthlink NTU organised a series of activities within

campus in attempt to promote environmentalism and to raise environmental awareness among the

population of NTU.

In conjunction with Earthlink’s

Recycling Campaign 2 days before

Environmental Week 2004, from the

23rd to 24th of February, “A Prelude to

Environmental Week 2004” was organised

at Canteen B. “Prelude”, as the name suggests,

served as a warm-up for the Environmental

Week that was to be held at Canteen A.

Having this event at Canteen B made sure no

one was missing out the fun. The theme to

this year’s Prelude to Environmental Week

was “Recycle Your Way to a Greener World.”

Posters and 3 Dimensional installations were

put up to educate the NTU staff and students on ways to recycle. From these installations and

posters, they gained a deeper insight into what recycling is all about.

We conducted a small quiz at our booth. Every day,

three different questions with regards to environmentalism

were asked. Participants have to answer all three questions

correctly before they are entitled to a lucky dip and win

the prizes. Besides the lucky dip, we have a “Do your Part,

V o i c e your Thought” board where the students will

pen down their thoughts about the environment

...environmental conservation

does not have to be dull and

boring. It could be as colorful,

bold and exciting as we desire...

and what they feel about this event. Response was overwhelming and within a short

period of time, the board was filled with encouraging words such as “No effort

is too small. Please save the earth.”, “Do not waste paper.”, “Do your part for the

environment. You are part of it.”

The best part about this event was that we all strive very hard to show

everyone that environmental conservation does not have to be dull and boring. It

could be as colorful, bold and exciting as we desire, as long as we have the courage

to dream of better ideas.

8


Posters with ECO-labels, used regionally and internationally, for products or services which are

environmentally friendly were on display. In addition, it is hoped that through the various exhibitions

and activities, a greater sense of environmentalism can be instilled in the NTU population.

This year, the Environmental Week 2004 was from 25 th to 27 th

Feb 2004. The Guest-Of Honour was Professor Cheong Hee Kiat , Vice-

President, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The activities

lined-up included an opening launch, environmental exhibits, game

stalls and an environmental fair to promote environmental friendly

and recycled products.

In conjunction with the launch of

Environmental Week 2004, an “Adopt A Bin” Competition

was organised among the Halls of Residence and Schools in NTU.

Students were tasked to redecorate the

existing green bins on campus to enhance

their looks and make them more appealing

for recycling purposes. Prizes were indeed

attractive and many people took part. Some

of the more creative students came up with

many outrageous ideas with their creations

which indeed wowed the judges. This certainly

added that extra zest to spice up this year’s

Environmental Week 2004. Through this “Adopt A Bin “ Competition,

we believe that it has somewhat increase the environmental awareness

of more students, especially those who took part. Perhaps now they will

appreciate the recycling bins more and less of these bins will be abused.

The environmental trade fair promotes environmentally

friendly and recycled products from local ‘green’ companies to the NTU

population. Therefore, Earthlink NTU believes that their efforts will place

environmentalism and recycling in the hearts of all students in NTU. This

year our theme was “Kiss Our World”. The environmental fair promotes

the awareness of environmental friendly and

recycled products to the vast population of

NTU.

This year, there were posters set up

by Sungei Buloh Nature reserve and the

National Environmental Agency, some

handicrafts , beehive, aerophonics products

and a booth selling aloe vera products. Not

only does it serve an educational purpose, it

is also a good chance for sale and publicity of

the products. Now let’s hope everyone learn from all of this and be more

aware of the increasing environmental concerns among us. Only then,

can we Kiss Our World, Do Our Part and save our beloved Earth.

...environmental fair promotes

the awareness of environmentally

friendly and recycled products

to the vast population of NTU...

9


ECO CAMP AT TAMAN NEGARA

For 5 days, from the 23rd of May to the 27th of May 2004, 29 nature and

trekking enthusiasts joined Earthlink in our inaugural Eco Camp, discovering

the magnificent biodiversity of Malaysia’s national park, Taman Negara.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. Getting to the site itself was a minor

chore, considering the fact that the rain forest is fully segregated away from

urbanization (7 hours train ride, 3 hours of a wonderful scenic boat ride to the

resort entrance). But once upon reaching the park, one is given the impression of a natureresort

haven. Floating restaurants and air-conditioned accommodations at least gave us a touch of modern

civilization.

The vastly diverse magnificence

of flora and fauna in Taman Negara

was evident for all to see during our

activities. After we enjoyed hours

of fun shooting up water rapids on

the first day, nature education and

observation filled our mind and soul

for the second day. Two guides attached

to us were extremely knowledgeable

and taught us the wonders of nature,

like the telephone tree in which tribes

used to communicate with each other

in ancient times. We then went up the

world’s longest and highest canopy

walkway, in which we had a glimpse

of nature form a bird’s eye view.

Exploration of the bat caves of Gua

Tembeling gave us a memorable insight

of how bats live among their community,

with the journey through the caves just as adventurous as the sights to behold. Our final educational playground

was exploring the Kua Telinga caves, where we were mystified by the scenery, myths and legends of the Ear

Caves and the Dark Caves.

The bonds of friendship made during the trip made it all the more worthwhile during our hugely adventurous

but thoroughly educational experience. It truly opened our perspective of flora and fauna diversity outside

Singapore. For our fellow mates who accompanied us out there, thank you for making our first overseas trip

and Eco Camp more than memorable!! A special mention and thanks to Pac west Travel Pte Ltd for your kind

assistance!

-Written by Ying Shun

10


Eleven of the recycling bins around campus have been replaced and relocated to

prevent people from mistaking them as rubbish bins. These new bins can be easily

recognised by their bright blue exteriors and were installed by recycling company

SembVisy in November last year. The old recycling bins were green in colour like most

of the rubbish bins in Singapore so many students mistook one for the other.

With the new recyling bins at the bus-stops, there is a higher chance that students

will notice them. There are also

new metal bins with a more snazzy

look and separate receptacles for

paper, cans or plastic This are also

placed in high human traffic areas

so more people will find it easier to recycle.

In Years 2000 and 2001, Earthlink NTU held the Earthlink NTU-BP Recycling Competition. Following

which in 2002, Earthlink NTU brought to you the inaugural Solar Innovations 2002 competition with a theme

of Solar Energy. The project “Earthlink-NTU-A*STAR Solar Innovations 2002” was a success with 229 participants

from the various Junior Colleges, Primary and Secondary schools. Then again in 2003, Solar Innovations 2003

focused on the harvesting of solar energy and its application in various appliances in the kitchen. The project was

another success with a total of 255 participants from various schools.

This year, Solar Innovations: RE.FUSE 2004 will focus on waste minimisation. Recycling of waste water,

reusing of waste materials and designing innovative ways to segregate waste are the themes for this year’s event.

We hope that through this event, the public will be able to understand the need to conserve and protect our

resources. Over the years, Earthlink NTU has successfully organized many enriching nationwide environmental

themed competitions. Earthlink NTU hopes to educate and raise awareness amongst the public, especially our

youth, about new environmental issues and new technology advances globally.

This competition provides an opportunity for your students to showcase their scientific knowhow

and creativity in the process of research and project work. The innovative

nature of the competition encourages creativity in students in a fun yet

challenging way. Competition is opened to all primary schools, secondary

schools, junior colleges.

Come join us at Solar Innovations: RE.FUSE 2004 and we promise

a fun-filled and enriching experience for both teachers and students. We

look forward to your active participation and support especially if you have

missed the opportunity last year. For more information, you may visit our

webpage at http://www.ntu.edu.sg/studorgn/si2004.

11

Location of Recycling Bins

Blue plastic bins are at bus stops outside:

- Library 1

- NIE Library

- School of Communi- - Hall of Residence 4

cation & Information - Hall of Residence 8

- Innovation Centre - Hall of Residence 11

Metal recycling bins are located at:

- Foyer of Canteen A

- Foyer of Canteen B

- Staircase leading from Nanyang Auditorium

to South Spine

- S4 Basement 1 study area


Primary School

Secondary School

Junior College

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