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Building ecological citizens

PURAK, Papar – About 130 people signed up for the Season of Creation celebration held at Pace Bene Retreat Centre on 17 Sept 2018.

The first-ever Archdiocesan level celebration was organized by the newly formed Creation Justice Commission (CJC) in conjunction with the global annual Season of Creation which ran from 01 Sept to  04 Oct 2018.

The participants, who came from various parishes in the archdiocese, as well as the Franciscan Sisters, enjoyed the environmental awareness presentations by speakers from Sabah Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and practical activities by Kivatu Nature Farm, Penampang.

It was a day of gathering knowledge and awareness on the earth’s condition through talks as well as practical knowledge on organic composting. At the same time, it was a day of prayer and action to protect creation.

Daisy Aloysius, Assistant Director of Development from EPD, expounded on Climate Change where she said the phenomenon has caused changes around the world, particularly global warming, and has affected decision-making by policy makers worldwide.

The cause of global warming is carbon dioxide;  Malaysia, for example, has made a significant decision to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 45 percent by 2030, said Aloysius.

Responding to the commission’s objective to build ecological citizens and green living pathways, Aloysius enlightened the people with a list of ‘green’ steps to care for our common home.

These small steps can go a long way: switch to energy saving light bulb; turn off electrical power when not in use; reduce emission of carbon monoxide by choosing to walk, bike or taking public transport instead of driving personal cars; recycle – glass, paper, fabric, and metal; say a firm no to usage of plastic bag; reduce usage of papers, for example, print on double-sided or not at all; avoid wasting food by buying only what you need; and create green living area.

Professor Dr Justin Sentian from UMS, who is also a member of CJC, said the choice is ours whether to care for this common home or not; which we risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life if we do not. But if we do, then, fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions and ways of living.

The participants enjoyed the practical presentation by Kivatu Nature Farm, which was led by Phillip Lasimbang and his sister, Maria, together with two students from College Guas Koposizon, a college run by the Lasimbangs.

Among other home-made products which they have produced, they showed the attendees how to make home-made turmeric pills and salted eggs for personal consumption, thus reducing spending of money externally.

Kivatu Nature Farm also taught the participants how to produce organic fertilizers through the composting process of ‘bokashi’ mixed with vegetable waste. Some enthusiastic participants received a portion of ‘bokashi’ mix to make their own organic fertilizers at home.

The event concluded with a prayer and a song to honour God Creator. Linda Edward


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