By Raffles One Earth
We may not be the Animal Liberation Front in Okja, the recent satire on genetically modified food, or Erin Brockovich in the critically-acclaimed biographical film Erin Brockovich, but we, Raffles One Earth, would like to believe that as a small, close-knit family of your everyday Rafflesians, we can make a difference. From managing our school’s recycling bins to calling for a change in our school’s current conservation efforts or reaching out to the community through our advocacy efforts, there is always something that drives us to meet every Friday afternoon to discuss how we can be of service to our environment.
So what exactly is it that we do? Our club sessions mainly consist of group discussions to facilitate the planning for our self-initiated projects. We come together weekly for an hour or two to brainstorm fun and creative ways to protect and preserve our environment. Occasionally, we also invite guest speakers to share their expertise and experiences about environmental issues they are fiercely passionate about.
This year, we invited speakers from People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze) to shed light on how to fight haze, which has caused adverse health, economic and environmental impacts on many Southeast Asian countries, especially Singapore. We greatly benefitted from their sharing and gained invaluable insights about how the extensive usage of palm oil causes haze and how haze can be better managed through the use of sustainable palm oil. In sum, the speakers from PM.Haze further inspired us to play our part in saving the environment while advocating for others to do the same.
There is absolutely no limit to what topic we decide on when embarking on our projects, as long as it is related to the environment. In fact, this year we had a variety of topics, ranging from plastic waste to textile waste. Members with similar interests came together to form groups and invested time and effort to plan activities and events both inside and outside of school. These activities and events involve visiting primary schools as well as launching campaigns in school to spread awareness of environmental issues.
For instance, we carried out the Clothes Donation Drive, gathering ten full boxes of old clothes in a short span of just one week. They were contributed mainly by the student population, but some of our teachers played a part too! Our collaboration with the Salvation Army was a meaningful one, especially when we finally donated the huge pile of clothes to them. Their pleasantly surprised and delighted faces sufficed as a reward for our months of hard work in planning and organising this donation drive. Knowing that our efforts not only helped people less fortunate than us but also reduced the wastage of our environment’s limited resources, we were once again motivated to continue doing our very best for the environment.
Our advocacy of the environment was also extended to the Year 1-4 side, with us organising a terrarium workshop for them in May. It was heartening to see the boys having fun crafting their very own terrariums using recycled materials and bringing home their creations to nurture. Through the workshop, they learnt more about biodiversity and became more keen on conserving the environment.
We also organised a slew of other initiatives, including the revamping of our paper recycling bins located throughout the school, which included the mascot familiar to all (the Gryphon), as well as the “No Straws” campaign discouraging the use of plastic straws in RI.
On the whole, 2017 has been a fruitful year for us, so do join us if you are interested in creating yet another year of fulfilling memories with us! Rest assured that the trials are not too trying; an interview is all that is required, and there are no prerequisites to join our One Earth family. We look forward to seeing you at our trials!