Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Media Coverage: By using milk cartons to fix roofs, Vietnamese teens seek to cut waste

SINGAPORE — Tapping the increased demand for milk in Vietnam, 18-year-old Dang Minh Hang proposed using empty milk cartons to patch leaking roofs for the poor in her country — a move she hopes would provide a solution to the problems of overflowing landfills and leaking roofs long endured by those living in the country’s rural areas.

“Roofs in rural areas are (made from) zinc, alabaster slabs or attap. Those are not durable,” said Ms Dang.
“So the best solution for patching leaking roofs is Tetra Pak (cartons), which have an aluminum coating, thus making them waterproof.”
The proposal, presented at the inaugural Actions for Earth: Global Youth Summit, clinched Ms Dang and her team, Once Upon A Cow, the top prize in the senior category of the City Developments Limited (CDL) — Actions for Earth Award.
Held in Singapore from Jan 15 to 18, more than 398 student delegates, aged 12 to 21, attended the summit, which was organized by the Hemispheres Foundation. Participants came from 13 countries, including Singapore, Australia and Indonesia.
As part of the summit, which focused on discussing ways to minimize waste, students visited eco-projects such as the NEWater plant and Marina Barrage.
On the last day, participants presented proposals on how to reduce waste in their home country. The proposals were assessed on criteria such as ecological impact, sustainability of resources and execution.
One of the finalists, 14-year-old Taif Alrahbi from Oman, said the site visits were an eye-opener. “We don’t have such things in our country,” she said of the visit to the NEWater plant.
Ms Maddy Casey-Ashton, 17, whose team won first prize in the junior category, said the summit was a good platform for youth to prove they can be environmental change-makers. “With the cash money, we can now make the first step to implement our project,” she said. MOHD AZHAR AZIZ


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