Engineering Students Raised Fund For WWF With Innovative Recycling Arts

Engineering students in KDU innovatively organised the project Little Green World to reduce the impact of glass waste, by turning used empty glassware into beautiful decorative items called terrarium. The organiser with ready-made terrarium on sale, and contributing all proceeds to the World Wide Funds for Nature Malaysia (WWF).
Students of the School of Engineering (SoE) CSR class joyfully contributing proceeds of their charity sales to WWF, with Justin Choo Kam Khuen (standing 6th from right) handover mock cheque to Mr Tan Lim Dick (centre), witness by Dr Hon Wei Min (5th from left) and Ir Cheang Kok Meng (5th from right).  
KDU School of Engineering students recently brought to life the school motto of Mind, Heart and Hand by carrying out charity works with essence of innovation!

In response to current needs, KDU’s educational approach takes on real-world perspective where students from different studies are encouraged to embark on real-life projects that help them develop leadership and interpersonal skills.

Engineers-to-be at KDU are expected to be managers, directors and owners of companies. In these roles, they have a direct impact and influence on people, communities, society and the environment. Engineering students are expected to be aware that their work goes beyond things, and that they should be fully cognizant of such responsibilities.

Under this valuable training component guided by their lecturer Ir Cheang Kok Meng, 25 engineering students from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) class recently carried out a charity terrarium project, which was aptly named The Little Green World.

“The project is focused on the environment, which is an area of major concern to engineers. In this project, the students were required to develop an idea for a project that best reflect the aspirations of Corporate Social Responsibility within the constraints of time and resources of an educational setting,” explained Ir Cheang.

Led by Justin Choo Kam Khuen, the students’ project leader, the class materialised this project in such an innovative way – making terrariums out of empty glassware, conducted a charity sale and contributed the proceeds to the World Wide Funds for Nature Malaysia (WWF). The purpose was to demonstrate the importance of resource conservation in terms of upcycling glass bottles as well as to bring home the point about ecological sustainability. 

“We believe Project Little Green World could reduce the impact of glass waste, by turning used empty glassware into beautiful decorative items called terrarium – a self-sustainable ecosystem sealed within a transparent glass globe or containers,” said Choo.

Choo explained, the motivation came from the need to preserve nature. As glass recycling is often overlooked, one may not fully aware that the carbon footprint produced by a typical 355ml glass container can be just as much as those produced by plastic, due to atmospheric emissions during the melting process.

“Even when the glass products are recycled, it would still be melted and reformed as a new product in the end and the cycle repeats. That is why, to reuse the glass products without reprocessing it is no doubt a better option than recycling or dumping it on landfills. In line with KDU University College’s vision for a green campus, we are motivated to promote recycling through innovation, we call it ‘Up-cycle’ as we turn these glassware into something beautiful,” enthused Choo.

With aims to promote upcycling initiatives and also to raise funds for donations, the students set up Terrarium Sales booth together with a Build-Your-Own-Terrarium (BYOT) event, held from 27 to 29 March, at KDU’s Utropolis Glenmarie campus. Visitors had the opportunity to try their hands at making their own terrarium at one of the many work stations, or purchase one of the many displayed ready-made terrarium on sale.

A simple yet meaningful fund handover ceremony was then held on 12 April, where students handed over the amount raised to WWF’s representative Mr Tan Lim Dick, Digital and Youth Engagement Executive.

The ceremony was also witnessed by Associate Professor Dr Hon Wei Min, Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic, KDU University College.  

Commenting on KDU’s charity move, Tan of WWF commented, “The contribution will all go to our preservation projects. Even though the collected sum is small but it is the intention that counts.” According to Tan, WWF needs RM27 million annually for its operation expenses on various projects of preserving the environment in Malaysia, namely Tun Mustapha Park, Belum-Temenggor and Ulu Muda project.

Throughout this process, students who were involved in The Little Green World were evaluated based on their organisational skills, presentation of the final results, attendance and peer evaluation. Their performance had garnered praises from their lecturer.

“I must say that the students have done very well in all aspects and they have exceeded my expectations.  It just shows that young people are fully capable of delivering excellent results and performance when they are sufficiently motivated, properly guided and nurtured in the right environment,” concluded Ir Cheang.