When we talk about going green, we don’t really associate them with corporation and banks. They print on papers everyday, their pantries are stacked with polystyrene cups after the last office makan event – the examples could go on.
However, Malaysian financial institutions are now taking small steps to lower their wastes. You can see insurers and banks encouraging e-payments and sending notifications via emails instead of snail mails.
Apart from daily operations, they also hold regular talks and green campaigns to heighten awareness on the importance of taking care of the environment.
HSBC Malaysia (“HSBC”) is one of the conscious financial institutions which did just that. On 22 July 2018, HSBC organised its HSBC #IChooseGreen Carnival in an effort to raise awareness and fundraise for important environmental causes. The organisers put in effort to ensure the smallest details are green or low waste. For example, instead of using plastic banners, the backdrop of the event was made of cloth and hand printed by HSBC staffs. Instead of deploying regular food trucks which use plastic cups and polystyrene containers, HSBC invited food trucks which used only paper containers and cups with wooden spatulas.
During the event, HSBC invited NGOs and Companies to be Event Partners where they could set up booths and/or be a part of the programme. Zero Waste Malaysia (ZWM), being a proactive NGO in promoting a cleaner Malaysia was invited as an Event Partner in this meaningful event. Apart from ZWM, NGOs such as WWF, MNS and EcoKnights were invited as well.
There, ZWM conducted two workshops that aligned with the 5R principles (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot) and they are:-
• Refuse Plastic Bag by using Paper Bin Liner
• Reuse Preloved T – shirt 👕/singlets by turning them into Tote Bags
Paper bin liners are fun and useful at the same time. It is the initial small step that a person could take in reducing plastics and waste. All we need are newspapers 📰 and scissors to cut them into squares and then fold them into a basket. Not even one inch of scotch tape is needed.
As for the Tote bag – from – old – clothes idea, it is practical. We all know that feeling where we have many old clothes lying around in the closet. Instead of throwing them away and creating a pile of waste on the landfill, we could upcycle the old t-shirts into tote bags. The transformation requires absolutely no sewing skills and is ready in under fifteen minutes.
Participants had the opportunity to listen to ZWM Founder Aurora Tin’s talk on her zero waste journey and were then kept busy with hands-on sessions where they had to create paper bin liners and tote bags 🛍 on – the – spot at HSBC Cyberjaya office. The paper bin liners were as fun as Origami while many commented that they had an insightful session where they discovered how to transform their cloths into tote bag easily without needing to sew.
Overall, it was time well-spent for the participants while the ZWM volunteers were happy to impart their knowledge in lowering waste in a fun way. As such, ZWM would like to give a hearty 💖 thank you to HSBC for inviting ZWM to be a part of this meaningful event and more importantly, for increasing the awareness of its stakeholders to go green via this event.
To quote Zero Waste Malaysia Founder, Aurora Tin: “Bankers can reduce waste, NGO can reduce waste, marketing experts can reduce waste, hawkers can reduce waste, no matter who you are and where you come from, you can reduce waste from today!
Indeed, it is possible for everyone and every company to go zero waste, or at least to lower waste.