Church of The Divine Mercy (CDM) at Shah Alam held it’s first ever Environment Fair on the 3rd and 4th of August.
This was organised by CDM’s Care For Creation Laudato Si’ Ministry, a recently formed team that serves to lead CDM’s environment-related programmes and activities. To create awareness, the Environment Fair was conceptualised and held in conjunction with Earth Overshoot Day, the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what our Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate in a given year. Since it’s inception in 1970, the date has moved up by two months and this year it fell on July 29, the earliest ever. This means that we are currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate, equivalent to 1.75 Earths.
The Environment Fair featured more than 20 environmental NGOs and green product vendors displaying their important conservation work and selling their environment-friendly produce. Leading environmental organisations such as The Malaysian Nature Society, WWF-Malaysia, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers and Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants showcased their field conservation work, ongoing campaigns and solicited financial and other support from CDM’s parishioners and visitors. Equally important was the participation of local community groups and the sale of their beautiful handicraft especially that from the Bario community in Sarawak, the orang asli from the Peninsula and the Rohingya Women Development Group.
Companies involved in recycling and the reduction of waste generation such as iCycle, EcoBricks, Kloth Cares and those promoting green, healthy and sustainable products such as Kunyit Organic Grocer, Speedy Zero Waste, Tossa, Enerworldwide and Kangen educated the public on sustainable consumerism, among other things. The sale of pre-loved clothes and glass and metal jewellery by Cassie Teo and friends was popular, as was the delicious cakes and cookies by Sister Bertha, Daniel Gomez and Datuk Ann Marianthony. CDM’s own environment team sold metal straw and cutlery sets, organic duck eggs and ran a composting demonstration.
Consistent with the global crisis on plastic pollution and the need to do away with single use plastics, all NGOs and vendors were required to adhere strictly to guidelines that disallowed single use plastics at the fair. Parishioners were informed weeks earlier to bring their own bags and containers.
The feedback received from the vendors, NGOs and patrons of the fair was encouraging – people were glad to see such an event at CDM and the environmental awareness it created. We shall continue to create programmes and activities that can help enliven the message of Pope Francis to care for the environment as defined in his encyclical Laudato Si’.