The Leafmonkey Workshop – Trash Talking: Marine Trash and Us

28 Mar 2014 – ICCS Otters and The Leafmonkey Workshop combined forces to conduct a workshop on marine trash last Friday!

As always, November and Ria ran the workshop smoothly while I was the guest speaker for the night! Other ICCS Otters like Ng Kai Scene, Sean Yap, Suzanne Ou and Yang Yiyong were there too. Three of them were supposed to help as group leaders but the participants were such active contributors that they could relax!

It was a good mix of participants with varying degree of experience and all of whom bore a concern for marine trash issues. As most of the participants are nature savvy, I skimmed the marine life section of the ICCS talk and got into the main issue quickly – plastics. This section deals with a few issues:

  • the effects of trash on marine animals,
  • it’s eventual effects on humans through food chain,
  • our ‘throwaway’ lifestyle which is the main source of marine trash and
  • ways in which an individual could combat this problem.
  • The audience were a great bunch and turned the Q&A into an active discussion amongst all. It ended with the suggestion of a visit to recycling plant to better understand the recycling process, which Yi Han kindly offered to organise.

    Start of Trash Talking talk! Image taken by Suzanne Ou.

    Start of Trash Talking talk. Image taken by Suzanne Ou.

    The very keen and proactive audience of the night! Image taken by Sean Yap.

    The very keen and proactive audience of the night! Image taken by Sean Yap.

    Then we play a game in which participants acted out how they would convey a specific message to public and the audience would guess the message, out of a few options. Everyone threw up creative ideas and the skits by all the groups were hilarious! The most memorable skit was a “four horsemen of trash” in which four people surrounded a member of public and hissed out deadly effects of trash. It was indeed attention-grabbing!

    Four Horsemen of Trash!

    Four Horsemen of Trash!

    <img class="size-full wp-image-4157" src="" alt="The last 'White Turtle', Seannus Yappus. One of the group's presentation
    on how one’s action has impact on marine life.” width=”630″ height=”472″ />
    The last ‘White Turtle’, Seannus Yappus. One of the group’s presentation on how one’s action has impact on marine life.

    Finally we conducted a discussion about current issues related to marine trash, the gaps and possible solutions. It was fascinating listening to the ideas. One was about a “No Cleaners’ Day” to let Singaporeans realise the amount of trash and mess they generate daily, another was cool and sexy green marketing ideas and a narration with the ‘golden rule’ of a story in which the cute protagonist is killed in the end! A cute comic strip drawn by Sean ended with a punch line “But plastic didn’t kill the turtle, you did,” we thought was simple and effective!

    <img class="size-full wp-image-4161" src="" alt="Simple and effective comics that made use of the 'Golden Rule'!
    Comics and image by Sean Yap.” width=”630″ height=”707″ />
    Simple and effective comics that made use of the ‘Golden Rule’! Comics drawn and image taken by Sean Yap.

    The discussion lasted after the air-con was switched off! I was so glad that I was able to share my experience and the knowledge from ICCS and in the process, learn more through these discussion!

    For more info on the content of the workshop, check out the notes taken here. Thanks and good luck to everyone’s endeavour to save our oceans! 🙂

    First Meeting of the ICCS Coordinators – new Zone Captains!

    We held the first meeting of the ICCS Zone Captains last Friday, and it was lovely to welcome new volunteers who have stepped forward to help with operations.

    There are new Zone Captains in East Coast, Tanah Merah and Changi as well as great new support for Pulau Ubin. and South Zones. In the month ahead, Zone Captains will be visiting their sites to check for changes and getting familiar with the site to best advise Organisers, who are registering for Site Allocation for the event in September.

    A warm welcome to Tan Chia Wu, Lai Wei Xuan, Oh Chew Hiang, Jolene Chan, Hannah Leong, Suzanne Ou, Pearlynn Sim and welcome back Lei Lei!

    Next we confirm Site Captains.

    Tally Ho!

    The team:

    1. North East & Changi – Yang Yi Yong, Ng Kai Scene, Tan Chia Wu & Lim Chen Kee
    2. Pulau Ubin – Sean Yap, Lai Wei Xuan, Lei Lei, Oh Chew Hiang & Teo Kah Ming
    3. Tanah Merah – Jolene Chan & Hannah Leong
    4. East Coast – Suzanne Ou & Pearlynn Sim
    5. South – Lim Cheng Puay, Cai Hongxia & Kelly Ong
    6. North West – N. Sivasothi & Adriane Lee
    7. Data, webpage, photos & blog – Arani S, Kenneth Pinto & N. Sivasothi

    2014-03-21 19.18.54 TKM
    Photo by Teo Kah Ming

    2014-03-21 20.41.48

    Registration for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2014 is now open!

    Greetings Organiser!

    Mark the date – Sat 13 Sep 2014!
    We are happy to welcome you back to this meaningful activity which has been conducted by organised volunteer groups in Singapore since 1992. This year in Singapore, we will conduct our cleanups on the morning of the second Saturday, or 13th September 2014.

    The tide that Saturday morning is low (0.80m tide at 7:35 am) so this is a safe and efficient time. While most groups will conduct their cleanup on the 13th of September, you can suggest alternative dates on weekdays or the afternoon low tide on the 13th at non-recreational beaches. We will coordinate to avoid double counting and overlaps.

    You can view a list of available sites at:

    International Coastal Cleanup Singapore: Zones & Sites - Google Maps

    Invitation to register!
    We now invite you the Organiser, to submit your registration at (or use this link) and indicate your preferred sites and dates.

    The ICCS team will meet to conduct Site Allocations Exercises based on the Organiser’s experience with ICCS, earliness of registration, familiarity with the site, volunteer preparation, and site difficulty. The results of these exercises will be announced at the end of April, May, and June.

    Registrations will closed henceforth.

    NYGH @ TM7, 21 Sep 2013

    Workshops for Organisers in July
    These are meant for Organisers and their assistants only. Once again, there will be three small group evening sessions available for you to choose ONE date from Wed 02 Jul, Thu 03 Jul & Fri 04 Jul 2014. The workshop is critical for new organisers or anyone who needs help to conduct a site recce and safety assessment. The workshop is conducted by N. Sivasothi and the Zone Captains at NUS. Indicate your intent to attend now and we will invite you to register for this later.

    Other important dates
    The ICCS Lecture for participants will be conducted on Sat 02 Aug 2014 at NUS. This is meant for volunteers and the public. The session will be conducted by N. Sivasothi at NUS and will be publicised in July.

    The National Day cleanup will be held on Sat 09 Aug 2014.

    If you are interested in a cleanup at ANY OTHER PERIOD, please see Year-Round Coastal Cleanup guidelines at:

    Thank you for your interest in caring for the environment!

    N. Sivasothi
    International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

    Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
    Department of Biological Sciences
    National University of Singapore