November 28, 2011

MALAYSIA: Elderly go green to stay active

PENANG, Malaysia / The Star / Metro / November 28, 2011

By Aida Ahmad

BEING an octogenarian does not stop environment-conscious Ang Chui Pek from mowing his lawn and tending to his garden.

The 85-year-old retired school headmaster from SS2 Petaling Jaya believes staying physically and mentally active is important for one’s well-being.

“I cut the grass myself as it keeps me active and is a form of exercise. At the same time, I also cut cost when I do these chores myself.

“My wife and I also compost garbage and use it as fertiliser for our fruit trees,” said Ang, whose household is among the 49 households who took part in Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) Low-Carbon Green Rebate Assessment Scheme.

Ang has turbine ventilators to help regulate the temperature of his house.
Spending time wisely: Ang composts garbage at home and plants his own fruit trees.

The pilot project, which was kicked off by the council in the middle of the year gives applicants rebates of up to RM500 for incorporating energy-efficient methods or follow a green lifestyle.

Six categories — energy, water, household waste management, transport and biodiversity, were taken into account in the scheme.

Ang took part in the programme under the categories of energy, waste management and biodiversity.

Practices such as composting, using a solar water heater or collecting rain water for washing are considered “green”.

MBPJ One-Stop Centre chief Lee Lih Shyan said the programme promoted the green efforts of residents and rewarded those who incorporated energy-efficient equipment in their homes.

“We would also be carrying a similar project next year to reward house owners who live a green lifestyle,” said Lee during a site visit to the applicants’ homes to evaluate their green efforts.

Accompanying Lee was a team of independent consultants each specialising in waste management, energy, transportation, biodiversity and water consumption.

“After visiting the homes, we will have a meeting on Nov 30 to determine the applicants’ entitlement for the rebates,” added Lee.

Independent evaluator specialising in waste management Dr Theng Lee Chong, who accompanied Lee to 12 houses in SS2, said some residents still needed to grasp the overall concept of energy conservation.

“Although there are many who use solar panels, their electricity bill is still high.

“We will need to integrate new criteria next year to ensure the applicants can achieve the overall green concept.

“In terms of waste management, composting needs to be done properly and people need to segregate their rubbish and use environment-friendly products,” said Theng.

SS2B Rukun Tetangga (RT) chairman Lee Kwee Cheng has planted a variety of fruit trees and herbs in her garden.

She also said she used public transport as much as she could and drove a hybrid car.

Copyright © 1995-2011 Star Publications (M) Bhd ____________________________________________________________
Credit: Reports and photographs are property of owners of intellectual rights.
Seniors World Chronicle, a not-for-profit, serves to chronicle and widen their reach.