The environment has been a hot topic lately, and in the wake of the largely criticised United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December, the ability of global leaders to successfully deal with the problem of climate change has been increasingly in doubt.

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For the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) led by world-renown Chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall, the focal point has never been with the current leaders, but the youth who will lead tomorrow’s world and help solve environmental issues. It makes its business to educate and instill conservation values in the youth so that they’ll go on to make good decisions in future.

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It’s with this mentality that The Green Bazaarrr took off on Jan 16 at Old School, organised by Greenworks comprising final-year Business Studies (Marketing) students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute Singapore (JGIS) and as part of their final project.

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Boasting 41 stalls selling everything from clothes to food to environmentally-friendly bags, the bazaar attracted about 350 people (according to organiser’s estimates) and aimed to create awareness among the youth and raise funds for JGIS. Approximately $1,000 has been raised according to bazaar organisers.

“We settled on setting up a flea market as our main target audience are the youths,” said Tan Shun Li, Greenworks Student Representative.

“Since youths can be easily influenced and reached out to, we hope that they will be the ones spreading the message to all their friends and family. Through word of mouth, we hope that more people will recognise and support the message that JGIS wishes to spread,” she added.

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On hand to deliver some environmental tips like using reusable shopping bags and turning the air-conditioning down to 18 degrees Celsius was MediaCorp Green Ambassador and winner of last year’s MediaCorp Gaia Life Challenge Jaclyn Ng, who set up a booth to display her own line of e-Bags (Eco-Friendly & Chic Reusable Bags).

Jaclyn said, “I believe that the youths are very important in fighting for this cause because sooner or later we are all going to grow old and it’s really our younger generation that has a very important part to play to ensure that their earth is still a place to live in. The future is in our children’s hands so together we have to fight for it.”

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JGIS Board Member Tay Kae Fong also agreed that the youth are the ones who need to be invigorated and motivated to create change.

“We think that engaging the youth as a segment has far-reaching consequences and that’s not just in terms of the fact that they’ll be leaders of tomorrow, but also the fact that the reason for hope, and Jane has this book called Reason For Hope, that the youth will bring with them the energy and passion to change and to reject limiting beliefs that we can’t do anything,” he said.

Interestingly, Kae Fong, who is a brand consultant by profession, told UrbanWire that all of JGIS’ board members are volunteers with day jobs and are among over 800 volunteers that the organisation has.

“The message we want to send is that we need to do something, there is reason for hope and we need to take ownership and do something,” he adds. “There’s nothing too big or too small. Even a bazaar like this, sure the money that comes out is one thing, but the fact that this is done, the fact that people will think about it and the awareness will slowly but surely build up, that’s what we want.”

So it really comes down to one question: What are you doing for the environment?