Our very own Eco Warriors! Meet Kevin Lee and Adrian Kho, two Temasek Polytechnic students with a fierce determination to do their part for the environment. Their conservation efforts have not gone unnoticed and they have been shortlisted to be part of the prestigious Bayer Young Environmental Envoy that will travel to Germany in November for a study trip along with other young environmentalists from all over the world.
The two third-year Chemical Engineering students managed to stand out from the crowd with their individual projects. Still wondering what their projects were about? Read on!
Adrian’s project will see him make building components from recycled material. This ceramic-like material can be used for purposes such as building interlocking blocks and paving pathways. Kevin on the other hand, has come up with the concept of replacing costly building materials such as sand and gravel, with recycled wood and horticultural waste. So what then is the end product of their projects? Well, it’s cost-effective building materials that reduce pollution and emission of greenhouse gases.
The two well-spoken students however have not had it easy in their quest to become eco warriors. They had to go through a long drawn-out process prior to even being shortlisted for Bayer’s Young Environmental Envoy. They first had to submit a formal application with Bayer, before facing a gruelling interview with judges. Following the interview, the two of them were required to consistently work hard on their individual projects, to enhance their chances of being included in the envoy that will head to Germany in November.
As part of their projects, the duo were also required to participate in outreach activities to raise environmental awareness amongst youngsters in Singapore. When asked to elaborate more about how they engaged the youth in Singapore, Kevin and Adrian obliged with a big smile.
“A green composite workshop held with students from Loyang Secondary School allowed me to showcase our efforts to save the environment. Coasters which were made from the recycled plastic, were given to the students to design them. Through this, we could engage the youth and draw on their artistic talents” remarked Adrian, when asked about his youth outreach initiatives.
Kevin, on the other hand, adopted a more hands-on approach in his outreach initiatives. “We gave students a first-hand experience of how to turn the raw wood into processed matter. We used the facilities in TP and collected the raw materials from Bedok reservoir” said Kevin.
Whilst their individual projects have gained them recognition from their peers and members of public alike, it has not always been smooth sailing. The pair faced a range of difficulties throughout their various projects. Adrian was quick to add that balancing his projects and the workload from the Bayer competition, was difficult as they both had their own tight deadlines.
Kevin also had his fair share of difficulties too. Their projects had put them in the media spotlight and Kevin admitted to feeling overwhelmed by all the media attention. He felt he had to put in extra effort to improve his presentation skills to ensure he was better understood by the media.
Despite facing difficulties, both of them persevered and remain hopeful of heading to Germany as part of the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy. “To be given the chance to head to Germany out of the entire cohort would be a great privilege,” revealed Kevin.
“The envoy would enable us to pool our ideas together and strengthen each of our projects,” shared Adrian. Brimming with optimism and a youthful vigour, we really do hope that Kevin and Adrian get the chance to head to Germany.
As our interview with the two of them winds down, we discuss the future of environmentalism in Singapore. Our two impassioned environmentalists agreed in unison that Singaporeans are not doing enough to protect the environment. “Singaporeans should have an open mind towards recycling and not be sceptical about it,” remarked Kevin.
Adrian focused on making recycling more fun. “We should make environmental efforts fun and try to make the topic more interesting through games”. With the passion that our two eco warriors have displayed, I am sure they will help change the attitude Singaporeans have towards the environment.
So, Kevin and Adrian have taken the brave fight to save the environment and keep Mother Nature smiling. The question is, are we all ready to do our parts? I certainly feel inspired by the duo and I hope you feel the same!