With the arrival of Earth Day on April 22, environmental protection activities were held across Taiwan to raise awareness.

Family Activity

Kaohsiung's Oyster Recycling Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. To mark Earth Day, volunteers invited residents to experience recycling on April 15.  Many volunteers, young and old, participated in order to pass on environmental awareness.

Tzu Chi volunteers recycle plastic bags. They cannot make much money from it – but it shows their determination to protect the earth.

On a beautiful day with blue skies and greenery everywhere, what attracted the entire Liu family to sort recycled goods? They were removing labels from plastic bags.

 All the Liu family and other families sorted recycled goods on April 15, 2023. In the photos, the Liu family is cutting labels from plastic bags. (Image from Da Ai TV)

Elementary school student Yi-Yang Liu (劉奕暘 in red) said: "To protect the earth, we need to remove the labels."

Elementary school student Yun-Huan Liu (劉昀嬛 in pink) said: "Because the materials of the labels are different, after removing the labels, we can put this plastic bag into the recycling bin."

They carefully cut and sorted the bags.

Their mother, Ya-Feng Zheng (鄭雅鳳) praised the work of the center: "Different colors and white ones should be separated. Tzu Chi Foundation has done a good job, and they are very meticulous."

Their father, Yu-Ming Liu (劉于銘) agreed with the Foundation's approach: "Plastic is almost 100% recyclable, but the downside is that too few people know about it. If Tzu Chi can promote it, more future generations can learn about it."

Start from Young Age

Environmental education should start from a young age, through teaching children not to litter. Even though the midterm was approaching, students at a school in Taiwan continue to prioritize environmental protection.

In the VHS tape disassembly area, student Yong-Xin Hou (侯詠馨) explained: "Exams are important, but environmental protection is even more important."

The VHS tapes are difficult to disassemble; this requires a lot of effort. Hou and her mother worked together to remove carefully each component.

Student Yong-Xin Hou (侯詠馨, middle) and her mother Wan-Hui Huang (黃婉惠; in blue) worked together to carefully disassemble each component of VHS tapes. (Image from Da Ai TV) 

Hou’s mother Wan-Hui Huang (黃婉惠) explained that the VHS tapes were from her youth, and she taught the children how to disassemble them properly. She emphasized the importance of putting effort into recycling each day's waste and turning it into something useful. By coming to the recycling station, the children can learn to reduce the amount of waste they produce in the future.

Even the school principal joined in; she bent down to learn from a young student how to sort paper waste properly. Principal Chen Li-Jun (陳麗鈞)of Kou Liao Elementary School commented that the most important part of this activity was not only to encourage adults to protect the environment but also to empower children to practice environmental conservation in their daily lives.

Principal Chen Li-Jun (陳麗鈞) learnt from a young student (in red) how to sort paper waste properly. (Image from Da Ai TV) 

Tzu Chi volunteer Hui-Ling Liu (劉慧玲) encouraged everyone to do good deeds, not only to protect the environment but also to donate spare change to help Syrian refugees in Türkiye. After 10 years of operation, the Oyster Recycling Center, near a fishing village, has made significant progress in promoting environmental protection and leaving a colorful imprint while it safeguards the beautiful earth.

A Jing Si Aphorism says: “The purpose of recycling resources is to promote and educate everyone to appreciate and value the blessings we have.”

Join Tzu Chi. Let us cherish the Earth and our blessings.

Kaohsiung report by Yi-Xuan Wu, Rui-Ping Cheng, Ming-He Lin, and You-Zhang Ye