PENCINTA ALAM DECEMBER 2012
ECO KIDS COLUMN
THE ECO CHRISTMAS TREE CHALLENGE
By Wong Ee Lynn
The lives of humans are so closely intertwined with trees and nature that we frequently observe a festive holiday by bringing a tree into our homes. People decorate their homes with pine trees and other evergreens at Christmas, banana plants during the Tamil New Year and cherry blossoms and pussywillows during the Chinese New Year. However, in environmentally aware times, many people are beginning to realise that chopping down live pine trees or putting up plastic Christmas trees are wasteful practices. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, you may be asked to help in putting up a tree in your classroom or an organisation that you belong to, for the purpose of spreading holiday cheer.
How do you then come up with a Christmas tree that is within budget, not destructive to the environment, and not made of wasteful plastic parts that are not durable? Here are five alternative Christmas trees created by friends of Green Living over the last two Christmases:
The boys of Kelab Alami Tanjung Kupang created this minimalistic Christmas tree in the porch of their club coordinator, Serina. It sure looked beautiful when all lit up! Kitty seems to approve, too.
The management team in MingChien's office created this geek chic Christmas tree which is made of LED string lights and unwanted CDs.
Rushan Abdul Rahman created this cheerful and space-saving two-dimensional tree out of paper to stick on his apartment glass sliding door.
Green Living coordinator Ee Lynn made this tree out of discarded CDs, mismatched ornaments and a star-shaped cookie cutter.
Serina Rahman received some help from friends to make this illuminated tree out of discarded plastic bottles.
Now here's the challenge. Eco Kids and Green Living wants YOU to try your hand at making an alternative Eco Christmas Tree. It can be a decorated potted plant, a tree made out of recycled materials or a regular tree decorated with handmade ornaments repurposed from discarded objects -- there really are no limits to your creativity! The guidelines are as follows:
(1) Create a Christmas tree out of alternative, discarded or environmentally-friendly materials. You should ideally use whatever you have at hand and not have to go out to buy materials.
(2) Your Christmas tree should be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
(3) It doesn't have to be a Christmas tree. You can tweak it to fit any celebration or festival you want, be it Deepavali, Hari Raya, New Year's Eve or even a birthday.
(4) Take a photo of your Christmas tree and upload it to Green Living's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/389934284359934/?fref=ts. If you are not on Facebook, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The title of the email should be: "Eco Christmas Tree Challenge".
(5) Include a short description of what the tree is made of and how you built it. You can post or attach more than one photo.
(6) This challenge is open only to those aged 18 years and below and residing in Malaysia. If you are above 18 or living outside Malaysia, you may post a photo of your tree to our Facebook Wall but you are not entitled to compete for a prize. Please include your name and age with your entry if via Facebook (we will contact you via private message if we need your details). If you are sending a photo via email, please include your name, age, address and contact number in your email.
(7) Entries will be graded based on their adherence to the principles of the 3Rs (reducing, reusing and recycling), energy efficiency, other environmental merits and creativity.
(8) The closing date for this challenge is 15 January 2013.
(9) The top 3 entries will be announced in the MNS newsletter and Green Living Facebook page at the end of January 2013. Prizewinners will be contacted to collect their prizes.