Forum: Do more to get young children interested in the environment

A little boy throwing an empty plastic bottle into the trash bin. PHOTO: ST FILE

While initiatives to reduce plastic use are a step in the right direction (Over 270 F&B outlets won't give out plastic straws from July 1, June 3), more needs to be done. The long-term solution to Singapore's waste problem would be to not just find better alternatives to plastic, but also to reduce waste in general.

Further research will lead to better environmentally friendly alternatives.

A stronger public-private partnership is needed in research. Such partnerships not only support private businesses' projects through government funding, but also help bridge efforts between the private and public sectors.

The integration of environmental education in Singapore's education system gives me hope that our education system will produce a generation that is motivated and equipped to solve environmental challenges.

Educational outreach programmes will give younger children more platforms to learn about the potential of technology in tackling environmental challenges.

First, schools can invite civil organisations to conduct enrichment workshops in a fun and interactive manner to engage students and allow them to develop a curiosity for learning.

Armed with the knowledge, students should then be encouraged to take part in competitions. One such competition is the Environmental Challenge for Schools (ECS), where students work on a project to create sustainable solutions to local environmental challenges using technology.

Second, schools can arrange visits to environmental management events. Events like the Clean and Green Singapore Carnival aim to inspire Singaporeans to care for the environment. The carnival last year showcased several projects by student groups who took part in ECS.

Students will be more motivated to solve environmental issues if they have been nurtured to care for the environment from a young age. Justin Peh Zhi Qian

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