Every year, 12 Malaysian students are selected to participate in the program to create greater youth involvement in environmental issues around the world. This is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), underwritten in part by the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Program, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG. Students in colleges and universities are challenged to implement their environmental related projects for local impact. After submitting her proposal in February 2013 and her successful pitch in April 2013, Kai Song from Taylor’s College was the youngest among other envoys selected in 2013 for this program.
50 Shades of Green was a tree-planting initiative which aimed to instill love towards the environment and its important function as the 'green lungs' of the earth with an application in the college community. The students were asked to nurture a plant from its sapling, watch it transform into a healthy plant, and then transplant it to a public area Subang Jaya, Malaysia. Advice and support was provided by the Malaysian environmental organization TrEES.
Each participant was given a tree planting kit, which included a recycled plastic container collected from beverage outlets such as Chatime, Starbucks and Gongcha as his/her “pot”, a packet of soil, and a young sapling of an indigenous species. In this project the ones we distributed were Money Plant, Purple Heart, Palm Tree, Cordyline Terminalis and Bougainvillea. They were selected as they propagate using stem and root, which proved to be more effective as they would be ready to be transferred at the end of 3 months. With publicity via posters - on recycled paper! - social media sites, as well as presentations during moral lessons, the project attracted more than 250 participants and the 160 tree planting kits prepared were distributed quickly. Having nurtured their plants until roots were well established by theend of August 2013, the participants were able to transfer their plants to areas just outside Taylor's College. The close proximity enabled them to witness their plants further develop, eliciting a senses of satisfaction. Through understandable with such novices some plants died, nevertheless more than 80 plants were successfully transplanted, exceeded the 50-plants target.
The project manager, Kai Song received the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Award
and the project was featured in SEC Honours, an award that honors the Best Clubs and Societies in Malaysia, in which Taylor’s College Eco Lovers Club
was crowned the best environmental club in Malaysia. New projects are always in the works. Interested students can find further information on this important community group through their Facebook