Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Aid

Yesterday we went down to Bodhiraja Buddhist Society at No. 9 Geylang Lorong 30 (many thanks to Ricky for the lift!) with our small gift towards the Sri Lanka civil war refugees.

There is a big box placed in the front yard of the BBS with a poster of the donation drive pasted on it. I peered inside and there was still nothing in the box. If you remember, please do make a trip down either to the foundation or the Sri Lanka High Commissioner with your aid donations.

Bodhiraja Buddhist Society: 6747 8066

Monday, April 27, 2009

Aid For Sri Lankan War Refugees

The Sri Bodhiraja Foundation in Sri Lanka is coordinating an aid relief effort for the more than 100,000 refugees of the civil war in Northen Sri Lanka.

This on-going war in Northern part of Sri Lanka has left thousands of refugees fleeing their homes and are now staying in camps, many without shelter, food and medical care.

Please kindly refer to the poster for appeal on donation for dried foodstuff (noodles, biscuits, cereals etc.)and medicine (antibiotics, pain killers, surgical items, dressings etc.).

Please send your donated items to Bodhiraja Buddhist Society or the Sri Lankan High Commission.

Bodhiraja Buddhist Society
No. 9 Lorong 30 Geylang Road

Sri Lankan High Commission
Goldhill Plaza, 51 Newton Road, #13-07

Please contact Shu Yin (9152 7512) or Ven. Gunasiri (6747 8066) for more information.

See news and pictures on Sri Lanka civil war.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gift for Mongolian Adopted Child

Our Mongolian adopted child is turning 10 in May 2009!

We have prepared a birthday package for him, consisting of a gift card, stickers, bright balloons and a puzzle book.

We hope Demuul will like what we prepared for him, and that he and his family will be well and happy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earth Creations 20% Sale!

Celebrate Earth Day in April with EC clay-dyed organic cotton tee sale!

Sale period: 30 March - 30 April 2009

All Earth Creations' tees (including babies' and children's tees and onesies) are on 20% sale.

Applicable to online orders only.

Free delivery applies.

Recycle Your Old Books @ NLB (25 April 2009)

Be a green reader!

11 - 24 April 2009, 11am to 8pm:

ring your used books to any Public Library 11am to 8pm and get a book exchange coupon indicating one-for-one exchange for the books accepted.

On 25 April, used books are accepted only at the National Library Building.

25 April 2009

Bring your coupon to The Plaza, National Library Building, to redeem for used books dropped off by other book lovers.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Each person can exchange up to a maximum of 30 used books. There is no age limit for participation.

2. What is accepted:

- Children's and adults' fiction and non-fiction books (eg. cookbooks, travel guides and romance novels) in any of the four official languages.

- Used library books bought from previous Library Book Sales.

3. What is not accepted:

Textbooks, magazines and audio-visual materials.

4. Used books for exchange should be in relatively good physical condition.

5. Only coupons issued with a Book Exchange stamp are valid.

6. Coupons issued are transferable. You may pass them on to your family members or friends to help you redeem.

7. Lost coupons are not replaceable.

8. Plastic/carrier bags and delivery service will not be provided on Sat, 25 April. You are advised to bring your own carrier bags and/or arrange for transportation of books redeemed.

For enquiries, please call NLB Helpdesk at 6332 3255 or email:

Download the poster (PDF, 3.8Mb)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Green Carnival at Kent Ridge Hall

We participated in Kent Ridge Hall's Green Carnival on 25 March 2009.

Thanks to Wei Jian, Chris and all other students of the Environment Committee in their organisation and assistance rendered, as well as supporters of BGO for their green purchase!

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Babies Items Update!

New items updated include:

Babies Accessories - Mittens & Booties, Swaddle Blankets, Bibs, Bunting, Sun Hats, Scull Hats

Toys - Flat Cat, Square Dolls, Vintage Monkey

Mums - Nursing Tops & Pads

Gift Sets - Wash Cloth Bouquets, Baby Bundle Offers

Sales - Layette sets

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Tokyo

Recently I was asked by a reporter how do I maintain a green lifestyle. I did not take me long to think that amongst other environmentally conscious activities, practising vegetarian, or even eating less meat, is a good green effort. By not eating meat, we reduce the impact of livestock on the environment. Water pollution, over-grazing, loss of biodiversity and contribution to the carbon cycle due to processing and transportation of animal products are some of the impact of increasing livestock.

Having lived in Japan for a year, I realised the difficulty in getting vegetarian food in the country, as most stocks are prepared using bonito (a smaller relative of the tuna), and some kind of meat is almost always present in the meals on the menu. This is because Japanese restaurants are usually not familiar with vegetarian food. For a long time, fish has been an important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. How to cook fish has always been a test of Japanese chefs' professional skills.

Ironically, Japan is home to the one of the most exquisite vegan cuisine called Shojin Ryori 精进料理, a kind of Zen Buddhism cuisine. You can read more about this in this article:

This article is found in a website which also lists some vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Tokyo. I am glad to have found this website and would like to recommend this to you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

State Of The Planet With David Attenborough

I was watching BBC's Science and Nature documentary show State of The Planet (produced by Rupert Barrington, hosted by Sir David Attenborough) and felt compelled to blog about this very informative and educational documentary series.

In this series that I watched, David Attenborough investigates the main causes of human acitivities that cause damage to our planet and what we can do about it.

In summary, the five main causes are:

1. Over Harvesting

Human beings' overly efficient methods of gaining resources for our own survival has resulted in over harvesting of earth's precious resources, both on land and in the sea.

Trees are fell today ten times more than new ones can grow. Rare wild species are taken for luxury food. At least 70% of world's important fish stock are over-exploited already.

Just over the last 30 years, one third of the world's resources have been used up. There is an estimate that if the world's population keeps using resources the way it does today, in 50 years' time, we would need another planet Earth to sustain.

2. Introduction of Alien Species.

Animals and plants introduced to places they have never been before are called alien species. Alien species often tip the local ecological balance with excessive numbers of a particular species that can result in over-grazing as well as the extinction of local species. This problem is especially exacerbated in small oceanic islands, like Hawaii. In the present day, there are very few native birds and vegetation left in Hawaii.

One example is the introduction of giant African snails in Hawaii to satiate the demands for large snails for consumption. The alien African snails however, being larger and with a bigger appetite, soon caused vegetation to suffer. To combat the problem, yet another alien snail, the killer snails from Florida, were introduced in the hope of controlling the number of African snails. The killer snails however, prefers hunting down the smaller local snails instead and this resulted in the dwindling numbers and species of local snails in Hawaii.

3. Destruction of Habitats.

This is probably by far the most destructive of all human activities on the planet. By taking over land for the use of living and urbanisation, man is taking away the natural habitats of animals and plants.

It is human nature to source for shelter from the harsh environment and make living comfortable. The problem started however when man's destruction of habitats progressed at an unprecedented speed that leaves the animals and plants little time and room to shift habitat or reproduce.

4. Islandisation.

Islandisation refers to islands of vegetation that are often the result of destruction of habitats which breaks up large natural forests. Even national parks and nature reserves are islands.

When a large forest is fragmented, the individual plots are unable to support as many species of animals and plants as the original large area. Generally, species are lost when islandisation happens. This is especially so if the animals or plants are localised. Even for national parks and nature reserves, species could be lost over time if they remain too small.

5. Pollution.

Pollution is generally a localised problem. However, pollution of the atmosphere for instance, that is the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is a problem that affects the whole world.

Carbon dioxide is a green gas and traps heat. As more and more carbon dioxide is released, more and more heat is trapped in the atmosphere. This results in global warming that already causes sea level to rise by 10-20 cm. Low lying areas are drowned. Natural disastors like hurricanes gain intensity.

Other than human beings, species most affected by pollution are sea creatures as water spreads pollution easier than on land.

The state of our planet is in dire condition today due to the fact that destructive human activities as listed above are carried out at an unprecedent speed. If these were to continue, while the planet will not be extinct in our lifetime, our future generations will inherit a less colourful, less vibrant, biologically improverished planet.

So what are the steps that we can take to halt the pace of destruction?

Looking at the main causes of problems above, we have to be more conscientious in conservation, sensitive to biological diversity and utilise clean energy. All these can start with education.

I wish to see that Singapore's recycling program can be more robust. Children should learn and do more conservation works like recycling, much like the Japanese children in schools. Bottles and newspapers are collected regularly. Used milk packets are used to make handy stationery boxes for teachers as gifts.

Japanese children are educated from young to learn and appreciate the flora and fauna, as well as insects and animals in their natural environment. It is not uncommon to find teachers and children planting and sharing sweet potatoes in schools, and students making excursions and sketching trips in nature parks.

For more facts and figures on the above environmental causes, please view the BBC website on State of The planet:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our Nine-Month Old Tree At Henderson

Sweng and I were down at the Henderson Waves one December morning and soaked in the cool weather (thanks to the early morning rain) and nice scenery.

We were totally enchanted by the beauty of nature that surrounded us.

We strolled along the bridges, pausing now and then to enjoy the scenery and attempt some shots on our phones.

And just when our extravagant walk was about to come to an end, standing on a bridge near Lock Road, we saw a familiar scene.

Yes! Nestled among other young trees on a green field below was the young tree BGO planted in April 2008. We had forgotten to bring along our camera when we planted it last year through Garden City Fund, and now I just had to take a long shot at it.

We were very happy to see the trees growing well and the area much greener than when we first came for the tree-planting.

Ah..... it was a nice morning walk.

Tree Planting at ACRES

We are happy and extremely excited to learn that we are going to have our very own wildlife rescue centre in Singapore soon.

ACRES or Animal Concerns Research and Education Society started to build the 2-hectare ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre (AWRC) in 2007 at Sungei Tengah Agrotech Park. It is now partially opened. It will be the first wildlife rescue centre that helps to save and improve the lives of captive animals.

BGO has committed to tree-planting at the AWRC in Dec last year, with the support of Tribal DDB Singapore. The picture below shows a raintree planted outside a classroom at the AWRC.

Thank you Louis from ACRES and Samantha from Tribal DDB!

AWRC is needing more funds and other donations in kind. Do log on to their website to find out how you can help to support the centre.