April 5, 2017

Youngsters vie to become Green Idols

Youngsters vie to become Green Idols

Young participants in the Penang Green Idol competition pose for a picture. Photo Credit: Penang Green Council

Some youngsters want to be celebrities. And some of them want to be eco-warriors.

It’s for these latter youths that the Penang Green Council is staging its Green Idol 2017 competition. A worthy initiative, that one. In the public speaking competition, young participants have to acquit themselves by proposing environmental policies and defending environmental causes.

“Penang Green Idol is a competition designed to encourage students/teenagers to share their ideas and thoughts about environmental issues and to enhance their knowledge and awareness,” the Penang Green Council explains. The event’s objectives are to inspire youngsters to pay more attention to environmental causes, to encourage them to think critically, and to provide a platform for them to speak their minds on green issues.

The event features three age categories for 9 to 12 year-olds, for 15 to 17 year-olds, and for 18 to 25 year-olds. Its final round will take place on Earth Day on April 22. In all, 65 youngsters took part in the preliminary round at a Penang shopping mall. “Several in the category for those in the nine to 12 age group proved eloquent beyond their years,” the Star Online reported. “Aisha Maisarah Mohd Shamsul said open burning, excessive carbon emissions and uncontrolled development had exacerbated the greenhouse effect.”

“The Earth’s ecosystem is delicately balanced,” the newspaper quoted the student as arguing. “So let’s plant more trees, use less electricity and use public transport more often.” Another competitor spoke out against the wastrel ways of Malaysians. “[Waste] is not to be taken lightly,” Nur Haziqah Aqilah Mohd Shahrizan stressed. “We did not inherit the world from our ancestors but are merely loaning it from future generations.”

Yet other students urged their peers to lead more sustainable lifestyles. “Take shorter showers. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. Print on both sides of the paper. Bring your own bags when shopping,” Nur Wafa Yusra Fakhurrazi explained. “And reuse your plastic bottles because waste like this can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.”

Well said all around. Such eco-consciousness from young teens is both commendable and encouraging. The more children are allowed, taught and encouraged to cultivate a love for the natural environment, the more likely it is that they will become better stewards of Malaysia’s environment than previous generations have been. Therein lies hope for the country’s future.


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