Green champion now a comic character

Her passion for conserving the environment has been acknowledged.

Tharshini Miniandi, the vice-president of ITE College East’s Green Ambassadors Club, is now a Bookworm comic character.

The 19-year-old has been promoting clean and green habits among her college mates in an unassuming way. She is happy that her efforts have been commemorated with her illustration in a story.

The Bookworm comics, popular among children in the 1980s and 1990s, was relaunched last month to a new generation of youths by the National Environmental Campaign as part of its Clean and Green Singapore initiative.

Every three weeks, a story about the environment is released in the form of a post containing five comic panels. This campaign kicked off on Sept 8 with Tharshini.

The story featuring her begins with Sam Seng and Mimi eating at a hawker centre. The uncleared food scraps, bottles and trays turn into frightening creatures.

Tharshini wakes up a terrified Sam Seng, who then understands that he had a nightmare.

She then proceeds to remind him of the importance of clearing up and disposing food waste after eating.

Tharshini’s interest in environmental conservation and science was nurtured by her parents.

“When I was in primary school, my father suffered a heart attack and my mother has respiratory issues,” she said.

“Since then, I became more interested in learning the sciences.”

The second year Higher Nitec Biotechnology student added that her parents instilled in her habits such as recycling and reducing plastic use.

As vice-president of the Green Ambassadors Club, she organises environmental activities and talks to teachers and students who visit about the school’s efforts to achieve sustainability. While she is happy about Singapore’s Green Plan, which outlines the nation’s environmental strategy till 2030, and the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, she would like the public to be more conscientious about the environment.

“I hope we can collectively reduce plastic use as a nation,” said Tharshini. “Plastic waste is extremely difficult to remove and only six per cent of all plastic waste can be effectively recycled. I urge people to take the long-term view and reduce plastic waste.”