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Sin eng-9 - stopping litter


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  • 1. ResearchEducationFinal ReportDone by:Bryan Low (4)Shin Hyon Young (24)Theodore Choo (25)Zhang Yimin (30)7/29/2011
  • 2. ContentsWhy this Design for Change journey? ...................................................................................... 2Background Research .................................................................................................................... 3Preparation for Action Week....................................................................................................... 5Our Action Week .............................................................................................................................. 7Reflections .......................................................................................................................................... 8Appendix .......................................................................................................................................... 10Bibliography.................................................................................................................................... 14
  • 3. Why this Design for Change journey?a) Our team had chosen to take part in this DFC challenge due to the fact thatwe all lacked experience in giving back to the society that had nurtured us foryears and this DFC challenge provided us with the perfect opportunity for givingit a shot, so we decided to undertake this DFC challenge.b) The objectives of this project would be to raise the environmentalawareness of the general people in Singapore so that they would be aware of thefact that Singapore is not exempt from the environmental problems that plaguethe world and that we face several environmental problems of our own. Also, wewould like the people to be aware of what problems we face and take action tosolve them and become environmentally responsible denizens of the world.c) We are campaigning for a change in the ignorance and apathy ofSingaporeans towards environmental matters and their behavior regarding theenvironment. What bothers me is the fact that often, people just ignore rubbishon the floor or the rubbish and recycling bins nearby them just because they findit too troublesome to throw away their litter. Also, people completely ignoreenvironmental problems around us and continue behaving in anenvironmentally irresponsible manner.d) Our project is about stopping litter and raising environmental awarenessin Singapore. We will be looking into excessive littering and ignorance among thegeneral public of environmental problems that we face and the available andproposed solutions to the problems, like the recycling sites around Singapore.We will be carrying out a service by distributing flyers in the Western, Northeastand Central districts of Singapore to inform the people on why they should notlitter. Also, we will be holding a talk in Bryan’s Primary school, Montfort Junior toeducate the students on environmental awareness and why they should notlitter. In addition, we will be publishing a Facebook page and a mass email tospread the word and rally supporters to our cause, as well as send a petition tothe government to suggest measures that could be taken to improve Singapore’senvironmental situation. The people involved would be the general public, ourfellow students and schoolmates in Raffles and our juniors in primary school.The service will be held over Facebook and email, in Montfort Junior primaryschool and in our residential areas.
  • 4. Background Researcha) Our research on the environmental problems in Singapore and ourfindings on the matter, our research on the litter problem in Singapore and ourresearch on the level of environmental awareness in Singaporeans are involvedin this project. The issues involved in this project would be the issue of litteringin Singapore, the issue of global warming and other environmental problems inSingapore as well as the environmental ignorance of Singaporeans.b) Everybody living in Singapore right now will be affected, as well as thefuture inheritors of our nation.c) The situation is actually quite severe, as according to a survey we haddone, the majority of Singaporeans have littered before. In addition to this, ourresearch has shown the Singapore faces “persistent littering”(Tan, Lee, Tan2009), as well as showing that most Singaporeans are unaware that there is alooming climate change crisis and thus have not made any efforts to curb globalwarming. In addition, our preliminary research has further stated, “Illegaldumping and littering have marred coastal landscapes”(Chua 2007) showing theextent of the illegal dumping we face. In fact, even Singaporeans themselvesseem to understand that things are moderately severe, as they have statedduring our recent survey. However, nothing effective seems to have been doneabout it, despite persistent efforts to solve these problems by the governmentand the people, due to the fact that they still exist even now.d) The various solutions for the problem would be, firstly, to educate thepeople. In the case of the litter problem, heavy enforcement and cleansing isalready in place, so the root of the problem is the people, not the government.Also, it has been stated by some Singaporeans that there is a lack of awarenessabout the recycling programs that have existed in Singapore for years. If weeducated the people about these programs, for example, more people would usethem and this would help to reduce the potency of the problem. In addition, ifpeople understand why they should not litter, dump their trash on beaches, orwaste energy, they will not do so, removing the need for further enforcement orcampaigns. In addition to these reasons, the majority of Singaporeans seem tobelieve that this is the way to go, according to our survey. In addition to educating the people, we could of course heap more fineson them, as with heavier penalties, no one would litter due to it being too costlyto pay the fines. However, Singapore has already have enforced this quiteheavily, with limited effectiveness. Despite this, many people still believe thatthis is a viable solution. Furthermore, many people have suggested that we simply install morebins and recycle bins in the country. If we do so, it will be easier to just throwaway one’s trash due to the fact that there are dustbins everywhere, and it willalso be easier to recycle. This would eliminate the laziness and inconveniencefactors and ensure that most people will dispose of their litter appropriately. In
  • 5. addition, many people believe that this is a solution as well, according to oursurvey.e) We arrived at the solutions by surveying various members of the public,analyzing the problems that we noticed during our research using books andInternet resources.
  • 6. Preparation for Action Week Our action plan, in essence, was to distribute flyers to members of thepublic, put up a webpage for people to show their support for our cause and toprovide information to them on the subject in future. Also, we would send a massemail, return to Bryan’s Primary school for a talk, and if possible, send a petitionto the National Environmental Agency.a) On the subject of work allocation, we needed to create a presentation forthe students, design and give out flyers, create a website, draft a petition andcreate and send a mass email. Bryan and Yimin were responsible for creating andediting our presentation to the students in Bryan’s Montfort Junior School. As forthe flyers, everyone was responsible to distributing them; however Yimin andTheodore were responsible for designing and editing them, with Bryan alsodoing a bit of editing. As for the webpage, Bryan was responsible for creating it,and the mass email was designed and first sent out by Yimin, though everyonealso sent them out. Bryan drafted the petition.b) Our timeline of tasks was rather unusual, as due to our schedules and theschedules of the primary school, our action plan occurred on staggered days.However, it was something like this: On the 1st day, we gave out flyers, doing sofor the 2nd and 3rd day. Our website was released on the 4th day and the emailwas drafted and sent on the 5th day. On the 6th day, we went to Montfort Juniorand gave a presentation to the primary 2 students there. Finally, on the 7th andlast day, we sent out a letter of appeal to Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister forEnvironment to enlist the help of the government in increasing the number ofbins so people would not litter just because there are no bins around to throwtheir litter away and also to educate people to increase their environmentalawareness.c) As for resource management, we did not need any funding, except formoney to print the flyers. Our expenses due to printing were the cost ofapproximately 12-18 pages per person, depending on how much they did. As formanpower, we did not have to utilize any more people other than out four-manteam, the only exception being during the talk, where we had to mobilize the aidof some teachers to solve technical issues and organize the students.d) In the area of risk management, we minimized our risk of failure bydistributing our emails to those who we knew personally first andrecommending the site to those we knew personally. As for the flyers, weattempted to minimize risk by providing an address for people to contact us;however otherwise there was not much that we could do. No risk was involvedin the talk, other than wording our proposal well.e) The people involved would be members of the general public, Primary 2students, fellow Rafflesians and other acquaintances or former schoolmates ofours, as well as the involved personnel at the National Environmental Agency.
  • 7. f) We did a survey at Jurong East MRT some time ago, however our successthere was limited, due to the exceeding rush of most people that prevented usfrom doing our survey with them. So, we only managed to get about 20 entriesthere. To overcome this problem, we chose to survey our friends and family,allowing us to reach the target 50 respondents. However, due to timeconstraints, we were unable to conduct an interview. We observed that thesurvey seemed to take a while to complete and that we could perhaps havestreamlined it further. Also, we observed that we were not so confident in givingout surveys, with one member of the public noting this. Also, the area we choseobtained its foot traffic through commuters, which were mostly in a hurry andunable to answer our survey.
  • 8. Our Action Weeka) During the action week, we gave out flyers informing people on why theyshould not litter, with a short reference to the recycling bins in Singapore, toresidential areas in Jurong and Lorong Chuan. Also, we sent out a mass email toclassmates and former schoolmates in our contacts with identical text to ourflyer, to disseminate this info to our classmates. Also, we created a FacebookPage with a short info section to rally support and subscribe people to futureinformation broadcasts from us. In addition to all this, we travelled to Bryan’sprimary school and gave a talk on the environment, why we should stop doingenvironmentally inconsiderate things, our environmental problems and somesolutions recommended by us. Finally, we sent a petition to Minister ofEnvironment Dr. Balakrishnan to enlist his help in raising the environmentalawareness of people in Singapore, as well as to stop litter and solve theenvironmental problems we face.b) During day one, two, and three of our action week, each individualmember of our group gave out the flyers we designed in their own residentialareas, namely Jurong and Lorong Chuan.(Refer to the appendix for the flyer) Onthe fourth day we created a Facebook page to raise publicity for our cause andeducate the people. (Refer to the appendix for the webpage). On the fifth day, wecomposed an email and sent it to everyone whom we knew and asked him or herto help spread the message by forwarding it to everyone whom they knew. Onthe sixth day, we went to Bryan’s primary school, Montfort Junior, and gave apresentation to some of the primary twos there. (Refer to appendix for picturesof the talk). On the seventh and final day, we sent a letter of appeal to Dr. VivianBalakrishnan, the Minister for Environment to enlist the help of the governmentin increasing the number of bins so people would not litter just because there areno bins around to throw their litter away and also to educate people to increasetheir environmental awareness. (Refer to the appendix for the letter).c) We think that our action may have impacted society in some way andeducated and convinced some members of the public not to litter as when weasked the primary twos at Montfort junior whether they enjoyed thepresentation and whether they learnt anything from it, they all screamed yesexcitedly.
  • 9. Reflections Our objective of informing the public was met partially, as we managed todisseminate information about the environment and why we should not litter to5 primary school classes, as well as our classmates via email. However, due tothe lack of responses for the flyers provided, our public information campaigncould be considered a failure. Also, we received a dismal amount of responses onour website, even after promoting it numerous times to our classmates andfriends, so our website’s objective to rally support for our cause could beconsidered to have failed as well.1. I think that our team has displayed the “I can” attitude a lot during ourDesign for Change journey. Even when we were struggling to meet somedeadlines, we remained optimistic and put in our best and managed to meet ourdeadlines. Also, even when we were faced with problems, instead of giving up,we searched for alternative solutions and managed to find the answer.2. Our team’s strengths would be our cohesiveness and team spirit. We didnot have any arguments and found it easy to come to an agreement on a certainissue. Also, we had a lot of commitment, with every member appearing on time ifpossible and we were fairly productive during our meetings and stipulatedResearch Education periods, being able to finish a fair amount of our work inthem. However, our team had some weaknesses. For one, when at home, wesometimes slacked off and procrastinated, creating some delay. Also, there was alack of planning, especially on the leader’s part, at times. Also, we weresometimes dry of innovative ideas and found it hard at times to think of creativesolutions to our problems.3. We encountered various challenges and difficulties in the process of ourDesign For Change Journey. For one, we had to think of creative solutions to ourproblems, and we found that hard at times, as we were not used to thinkinglaterally. Also, we found it hard to get a meeting at times, as our schedules wereall different and we ended up with a very limited time frame to do our work dueto the various commitments we all had. In addition to this, we also had to dealwith distances, as two of our group mates lived in Jurong and the others lived inthe Bishan-Marymount area. Thus, during the talk that we held, Theodore wasnot able to come due to the extreme distance involved. Also, we wouldprocrastinate at times and thus get bogged down for weeks and waste valuabletime. For example, we did not do anything for the whole holiday and thus gotseverely sidetracked.4. We have learnt a lot from this project. For one, we have learnt that weneed to manage our time well to meet our deadlines. If we fail to do so, we willnot be able to complete our task on time. Also, we learnt how to think out of thebox and we realized that there is more than one solution to a given problem andwe just have to find it. In addition to this, we discovered that we were not verygood planners or hard workers at times and had to learn to plan well and workhard in order to prevent delays, like in this project. Also, I learnt that wesometimes handle problems in an angry manner and failed to keep a cool head,
  • 10. which we needed to solve problems or did not want to take the initiative to dothings, which was necessary for us to seize opportunities and succeed.Furthermore, we were sometimes scared of giving out surveys or talks andneeded to be more confident. In actuality, we discovered that my life experienceswere not too different from these people, as our project was aimed at people justlike us. We have grown a lot during this project as well, as we have learnt torealize our ideas, as well as handle problems with maturity and take theinitiative to do things. The things that are stopping us from picking up the habitsare laziness and not daring to do certain things, as well as lack of initiative. Forexample, sometimes we are too lazy and do not follow through with the projector finish it on time. In addition, our group is fearful of giving out surveys or talks.We do not really think that we have the makings of a good social worker yet, aswe are not selfless or committed enough. Also, we are sometimes unable toempathize with the plight of other people. This will have to be improved on inthe future.5. There are many improvements that we could be making. For one, wecould be less lazy and more committed as if any group member was lazy orforgot to do his part, the whole group would be delayed. Also, we could plan ourschedule better and make sure that we stick to it, so that we do not get delayedor sidetracked by too much. Also, we could learn to be more confident whendoing surveys and giving talks as we often feel apprehension when it comes todoing this type of task. In addition, we could have procrastinated less so that wewould have completed our work faster. Also, we have to be more creative andinnovative so that we can create ideas that are fresh and this would help increasethe idea’s popularity. Finally, we have to learn to handle problems calmly andkeep a cool head in order to make the right decisions.
  • 11. Appendix1. Our flyer Raising Environmental awareness and Stopping Litter in Singapore. A student initiative by raffles institution students: Bryan Low Shin Hyon Young Theodore Choo Zhang Yimin This is a picture of a rubbish dump. This is what Singapore may look like if we continue to ignore the many rubbish bins set up and litter wherever we want. Do we want to live in such an undesirable condition? So, please thrash the misconception that you can simply throw your rubbish on the ground and someone else will pick it up and clean up after you. On the contrary, people will get the wrong idea that littering is okay and follow your actions blindly. It is not. Once people start thinking that way it will not be long before Singapore starts looking like a rubbish dump. For a cleaner living environment tomorrow, stash your trash and do not litter. Thank you. Picture from Any queries? Please contact Our webpage:
  • 12. 3. Pictures of our talk at Montfort Junior:
  • 13. 5. Our letter of appeal:Dear Dr. Balakrishnan,We are students from Class 2E of Raffles Institution working on a project onenvironmental awareness and stopping litter in Singapore, entitled “Stoppinglitter and raising environmental awareness in Singapore”. We felt that wewanted to make a change in Singapore’s environmental solution and had decidedto write to you due to your expertise on the matter, resources and manpower.Not having much first hand information, we conducted a survey to find out a bitmore about environmental awareness and littering in the public. In the course ofour search for information, we found out that many of the respondents wantedmore recycling bins and dustbins in the country and felt that this measure wouldreduce our current environmental problems. In addition, the respondents feltthat heavier fines would help solve this problem as well. Finally, they also feltthat we had to put in more effort to educate the people. (Attached in this emailare our survey questions, findings and analysis.) Therefore, after finding outabout the viewpoint of some members of the public, we were inspired to do ourpart to change things.So, could you please consider installing more recycling bins and dustbins,imposing heavier penalties and finding new and more engaging ways to educatethe people about the need to keep our environment litter-free so that we canmove one step closer to our collective dream of a clean, green Singapore?Thank you for your time.Regards,Bryan LowH/P: 92230303Email: bryanlow66@gmail.comShin Hyon YoungEmail: mcvain77@gmail.comTheodore ChooEmail: tb1234567890@gmail.comZhang YiminEmail:
  • 14. BibliographyEeKiam Chua (2007). Singapore : Simply Green. Singapore: Distributed byHorizon Books.Neil Humphreys (2008). Complete notes from Singapore . Singapore: MarshallCavendish Editions .Tan Yong Soon, Lee Tung Jean, Karean Tan (2009). Clean, green and blue:Singapores journey towards environmental and water sustainability. Singapore:Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Johan Tell,BillMcKibben (2008). 100 ways to save the world. San Francisco, CA:Gold St. Press.MuhammedIrfan. (Unknown Year of Publication). The importance of ourenvironment and its conservation - a knol by Natasha Santiago.Available: - a unit of knowledge: share what you know, publishyour expertise.. Last accessed 15th July 2011.Franz Prrez. (Unknown Year of Publication). Switzerland’s internationalenvironmental policy: An active, reliable and constructive partner.Available: Last accessed 21th July 2011.