By other people’s standards, Ding Siew Lan’s house is filled with “rubbish.” She begs to differ. She feels that all the “rubbish” can be recycled into useful items. A homemaker with three school-going children, she spends her spare time doing just that.
Ding, who recently turned 44, is actively involved in her church’s community recycling project in Fair Park, Ipoh. Her duties include collecting old newspapers, unwanted glassware, cardboard boxes, aluminium cans and plastic containers from families in the neighbourhood.
She then patiently separates them into three bins: the glassware goes into the brown recycling bin, the paper and cardboard go into the blue bin while the plastic bottles and aluminium cans go into the orange bin.
Going to the church daily to do her recycling activities is not a hassle as she lives directly opposite it. “There are also others involved in this two-year old recycling project. It’s now become a routine for me,” she said.
Back home, the act of recycling begins in her kitchen. “I make my own organic fertilizer from fruit, vegetable peel and food wastes. I believe that chemical fertilizers are not only harmful to the body but also to the environment. Not only do they destroy the soil, they also pollute the air with their smell. By using organic fertilizer, I’m making use of refuse which would otherwise end up in the trash can.”
Since she teaches moral studies at the church school every Saturday, she takes advantage of the lessons to instill in her students a love for the environment. To give them practical lessons on caring for the environment, she takes them to public parks and recreational areas.
“Educate a child and you educate a nation,” she said philosophically.
When the women’s wing of her church meet, Ding takes the opportunity to discuss environmental issues, among other things. “Awareness is very important. I believe that if we keep on having activities related to the environment, more and more people will realise the importance of preserving nature,” she explained.
Her lush garden has pineapple plants, lime shrubs, as well as vegetables. They are all organically grown. In the true spirit of neighbourliness, she gives fruits and vegetable to her neighbours after each harvest.
Ding is one of eight winners of our Green Moms Unite! Contest held last May. Click on the links below to read about the other winners.
Silver Lining In Old Papers
At Home With Nature
Adventure Loving Grandma
Gardening Is Her Passion
Clean Is In
Spreading The Recycling Message
Click here to read about the High Tea With "Green" Moms Event.