Neighbours know Chaw Swee Yong as a quiet and unassuming woman who recycles just about everything that can be recycled.
The trash can in Chaw Swee Yong’s kitchen is perpetually dry. All food wastes are kept aside to be buried in the ground later. Even fish and chicken bones are not spared. “My kitchen always smells good. You won’t find any ants in the trash can, either,” she says.
The 55-year-old mother of three who lives in Seremban, also collects old newspaper, magazines, empty milk powder tins, plastic bottles and used clothes. These are sent to a recycling center and are sold at jumble sales.
“In my household, basically everything recyclable is recycled; everything that can be decomposed is left to decay,” she declares. She uses the compost to fertilize her garden. Her spacious lawn has flowering plants, fruit trees such as mango, durian and mangosteen and a vegetable plot as well. All her plants are organically grown.
Each time the lawn is mowed, the cut grass is collected and sprinkled under the trees. Every few days, she uses a small hoe to mix the grass and soil. With the addition of compost, the soil in her garden has, over time, become rich and loamy. The luscious fruits and vegetables in her garden testify the richness of organic farming. “Credit should also go to my husband as he helps me a lot,” says Chaw.
She says her neighbours used to praise her gardening skills and wondered how she keeps her garden so healthy. She was only too willing to share some gardening advice. Soon, she saw some of her neighbours spending more time in their garden. “Previously, they used to dump their lawn trimmings into black plastic bags for the municipal council workers to take away. Nowadays. the grass is left to decompose under the trees in their garden,” says a pleased Chaw.
A former tailor, she now spends a lot of time tending to her garden. She also shares with neighbours how easy it is to observe sound environmental practices and be rewarded with a bountiful harvest.
Chaw Swee Yong 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
Garbage Can Be Useful
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.