Earlier this month, on the 10th of April, Bukit Jelutong Green Rangers, a chapter of volunteers under the Bukit Jelutong Residents Association, organised a plant exchange for the residents. The chapter promotes environmental stewardship and sustainable values in the Bukit Jelutong area; it instils the long-lost love of berkebun (Malay for gardening), growing one's own produce and knowledge-sharing. The chapter also encourages the habit of recycling in the neighbourhood, of which the setting up of a community recycling centre makes up one of its important achievements in recent years. The Green Rangers encompass residents of Bukit Jelutong from diverse backgrounds and ages who come together for a shared purpose.
The plant-exchange has been around since 2015, This year's event was an outcome of several postponements last year due to the pandemic. This time around, the initiative was held in collaboration with Majlis Perwakilan Penduduk Zon 19 of Shah Alam Municipality Council (MBSA), which donated 1200 saplings for distribution to the residents. Other plants were contributed by the Green Rangers and residents' themselves, who often look forward to participating in this yearly exchange event. Some of the common plants that were exchanged and given away on that day were Brazillian Spinach, Brinjal, Okra, Chilli, Papaya, Ulam Raja, Dwarf Green Banana, Aloe Vera, Thai Basil and many more.
Hopefully, more neighbourhoods and localities in the Klang Valley could adopt these green practices and take up similar initiatives, learning by this example. On top of inculcating 'semangat kejiranan' (neighbourliness), such initiatives benefit communities through the exchange of knowledge, grassroots empowerment and the awareness that food security can begin at one's home.
Image credit: Shahzad