On Saturday, mum and I went for the sunset mass on Saturday because I had to leave for Brunei on a 06:45 am flight on Sunday. Was supposed to go home for dinner, but a talk on recycling by the Tzu Chi Merit Society caught mum's eye. My church's RCIA group had invited them over to share their experience about their extensive recycling campaigns. Up at their booth, a very nice-looking lady approached us to explain things. She spoke very politely in Mandarin and English. She was extolling five simple steps to reducing one's carbon footprint:
- Go vegetarian
- Reduce the use of air-conditioning
- Reduce the use food packaging
- Carpool or use public transport
- Save water
Simple enough? Next she showed us some instant rice and noodles that they manufacture for international relief efforts. Through DA.AI Technology, they managed to recycle PET bottles into clothing and blankets which are also used to provide warmth for those stricken by disasters. Light and surprisingly soft. Immediate relief as they would call it-- firstly a full belly and secondly, warm clothes. They also use their own food containers and chopsticks to reduce the proliferation of rubbish. These men and women diligently spend their time supporting these green initiatives by having weekly recyclables sorting and collecting activities. Extremely impressive. That night, they showed up in full force, but unfortunately, the audience was very small! Mum and I were like the VIPs there as they kept on taking pictures. Not many other subjects. LOL. Less than thirty I think. It was quite a failure, but they carried on with enthusiasm. Too bad we could not stay till the end as we were super hungry already. On the way out, they even had a small exit interview asking us our opinions on whether it was informative and whether we felt it was weird that a Buddhist society was doing a talk in church. Truth be told, it matters not as we are all extolling the same thing... love and compassion. Love for our fellow man, and of course, the earth.
As a parting gift, one of the women asked me to randomly open a mini book of Buddhist sayings and read the words of wisdom it contained. I do not remember the exact words, but the general meaning was for one not to project our own negative karma on others. :)