Danni Rais 


 Danni Rais

 Political and Humanitarian Activist


Getting the Green Light for a Sustainable Future
By Danni Rais

1. The best takeaway from the session was what I learnt from each of the panelists, especially as each of them are already involved in environmental activities or programs, based mostly from their own passion (unlike me, having been invited as a layman in environmental issues!)

2. Aurora Tin started Zero Waste Malaysia, and since last year, she and husband has reduced their carbon footprint and waste to an absolute minimal. She said that she used to be very pro-environmental friendly, until she realised that while reading away the articles, she would have already gone through plenty of snacks which then led to alot of waste (think of the wrapper for each snack). Now, she has a jar that she has kept over time (a year?) in which she puts in her waste (it’s ridiculously small, and I am quite sure we would fill it up within an hour, no problem). She advocates for changes in our lifestyle, and uses straws as an example – say no to straws a day, and you would have saved 365 straws a year.

3. Gurmit Singh was the fascinating panelist to say the least. Chairman for CETDEM (Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia), he’s been practicing sustainable living since the 70’s. Very passionate about his message to Malaysians, he is convinced we are all not doing enough to change the world, and the younger generation needs to be more bothered as it is them that will be living in this world in the future. Lives without aircon in his home, and only uses a fan.

4. Angelia Chin-Sharpe was an interesting character. Her daily job is actually a high-stress corporate job as CEO and Country Head of BNP Paribas Asset Wealth Management in Malaysia. She’s also VP and co-founder of PINK (Parents’ International Welfare Association KL), and they have embarked on the Lost Food Project, in which they go around to pasars and markets to collect any food that would otherwise be wasted (she argues that most of the food they collect is perfectly good for us to eat at home), and they turn that into food to be distributed to the homeless by partnering through various organisations.

5. Tun Jeanne Abdullah of Landskap Malaysia which she set up, over the years she’s been going to schools to teach children the importance of the rainforest, as she feels that our children are not educated enough in this department. They literally go around planting seeds so that children of the future are aware how to plant, and her next step is to rebuild forests.

6. I do actually think that more can be done with regards to a sustainable future and for each citizen to be environmentally friendly. I advocated for us to educate the public at large, and that they would not know the importance of green living until they realise for themselves the impact of our daily lives on the environment. However, the results of which will not be significant enough as we were holding the talk in English, when in actual fact we ought to be speaking in different mediums to ensure that the message is carried to the masses. I also suggested that we begin by living within our means – no waste. I used the kampung way of life as an example, in that the folks in the kampung actually live according to what is needed, with any extras to be sold for profit to support their family. Finally, I said there was no point for us to work independently, and they have all agreed to meet up some day for coffee to discuss how we can work together in ensuring the future is more sustainable for the younger generation.