Friday, March 21, 2014

Estée Lauder Companies' Earth Month 2014 in conjunction with the school holidays.

When I posted some photos of the Estee Lauder Companies' Earth Month 2014 launch in Mid Valley  on my Instagram, I saw one cynical comment on people's pure understanding of campaigns to preserve the environment.

I don't think one should be cynical about whatever little bits of things each of us are doing to help  these kind of campaigns, simply because we get caught up with our hectic lifestyles and every little awareness counts. I mean, it's better than not doing anything about it, right? Even big things start with the smallest of ideas.

And in this campaign, Estee Lauder Companies are working with its corporate partners to help spread the word on their main message - "REDUCE: Adopt Biodegradables. Take away Responsibly".

I'm sure you're asking what that whole phrase means. So, it was a very interesting chat with them folks in Estee Lauder on why they chose this key message and tying it down to the marine life and marine conservation.

Water conservation has always been a huge thing for me as it brings me back to the project I was involved in during my Girl Guides years in school. We did a "Our Water, Our World" project and from this project, I was chosen among some 16 other Girl Guide members in the country to represent the country to the USA who was hosting us as student exchange for this programme, together with the Girl Scouts of USA. It was an amazing experience as all of us, from as young as the junior cadets to those studying in university, got actively involved and given the knowledge on how our water is affected by human activities. That, was more than two decades ago :)

This time, in the modern era with much more complicated issues, I am intrigued at how the campaign is aimed at reducing public's dependency on polystyrene-based packaging by educating and encouraging both consumers and food vendors to choose biodegradable take-away containers which are environmentally friendly. On this note, by supplying all the food court vendors lunch boxes in replacement of polystyrene packaging for food takeaways for 3 days, starting 24 March 2014.

Anything small, can lead to big things and I think since the government has initiated the no-plastic bags Saturdays, I can see more people starting to carry their own recyclable bags and even refusing the plastic bags although provided on days other than Saturdays. It's a start of a habit and one shouldn't discount any efforts. It may take time, but it will happen.

This campaign goes hand in hand with Mid Valley Megamall's theme of "Beautiful Ocean". There's no gimmick here. How lack of dependency on polystyrene food packaging can make a difference to the marine life.

First of all, as I was chatting with them folks in EL, the concept of biodegradable is totally different from recycling. You can bring your own tupperware of food containers every time you tapau food and that is called recycling your containers. But biodegradable items use materials that has the capacity to be broken down by microorganisms. Hence, you won't see its original form after you throw it away. It will deteriorate naturally and would not harm the environment. As you know, every single thing you throw on the ground will eventually end up in the water system, i.e. the river or the lake or the mangrove swamp.

Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic which is usually the preferred choice for packing food due to its light and cheap nature. And due to its popularity it is considered a major environmental problem. Since it is non-biodegradable, landfills are piling up and this is one of the major contributor. As it is lightweight, it floats in the water too and huge amounts of polystyrene products have accumulated along coasts and waterways around the world, making it the main component of marine debris.

Beautiful marine decorations from biodegradable materials and information on it.

Even the journalists who came at the exhibition were impressed with the information on the exhibits. Some of the info can be pretty new to the general public who may not be aware of how things like this is linked to or can effect our water. And I'm saying water in general because it is all a cycle :)

Perhaps this diagram would be the most relevant to depict how it all links and how it affects us in return, slowly but surely (photo sourced, here).

The campaign starts now throughout the first term of the school holidays with the intention to educate its visitors while you are on your shopping rounds with the children. After all, educating the young can promote better habits. Of course, we as adults would need to also lead by example, probably in a small way but that's a good start, I'd say.

It will run until 30 Marh 2014 and exhibition booths are located at the South Court, Ground Floor of Mid Valley Megamall (opposite the entrance of Metrojaya).

I'm also thrilled to note that Origins is spearheading the campaign for the Estee Lauder Companies. True to its commitment in reducing pollution, lowering wastage, utilising alternate fuel in the form of wind-powered plants (bet you didn't know that, huh?) and making packaging choices with the least environmental impact, Origins will collect cosmetic empties to reduce the amount of materials sent to landfills. As a reward for your contribution towards the success of this effort, any three full-sized cosmetic empties of any brand will award you with a sample of Origins products. 

I applaud this effort and hope that other brands carried under EL should have similar practise just as how I'd give credit to MAC, its sister company.

Some of the samples available and probably a good way to discover their products too.

With "Beautiful Ocean" as its theme, Mid Valley Megamall is also working towards engaging shoppers in activities that create awareness on the importance of marine life, marine habitat and sustainable seafood.

Shark Savers, a not for profit organisation founded by divers are also there among other corporate partners.

The school holiday starts tomorrow, so enjoy ;)

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