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="https://coastalcleanup.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/photo-1.jpg" 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="https://coastalcleanup.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/photo_1_2.jpg" 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! 🙂

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