JC students start campaign to help save the environment.
PLEDGE not to eat red meat and pay less for your food at the hawker centre.
For the past four Mondays, students from Temasek Junior College (TJC) who signed a pledge not to eat red meat have been getting discounts from some of the hawkers at the Bedok South Road hawker centre, opposite the school.
The No Red Meat Monday campaign ends next Monday.
It is the brainchild of Tan Ting Wei, Yeo Jing Wen, Par Qi Ting and Wu Shu Jue, all 17-year-old students from Temasek Academy, TJC's Integrated Programme.
Ting Wei told The New Paper: "There has been very little research done to show how red meat harms the environment, so we wanted to highlight this problem."
The campaign targets beef, mutton and duck as generally, the animals that the meat comes from are deemed harmful to the environment because they release the greenhouse gas methane due to the way they digest food.
(Duck is considered "white" meat, but overall, its meat is darker than that of chicken. )
The four students started the campaign on their own.
Said a TJC spokesman: "It is heartening to know that there is this group of students who care so much about the environment... Hopefully, the campaign (can) raise the awareness of the student population about the need to save the environment."
Indeed, the hardest part of the campaign was geting people to sign the pledge cards, said Jing Wen.
"It took a while for the student body to take notice," he said.
But after some advertising, more than 320 students have signed the pledge cards, exceeding the organisers' target of 250.
Added Jing Wen: "We did a survey and the majority of the students said they would support the campaign if it goes long-term."
The pledge card works on an honour system.
Each Monday, after eating a meal free of red meat, students take their cards to any one of the team members to be stamped.
This stamp entitles them to a discount the next Monday at certain stalls at the Bedok South hawker centre.
Six of the 10 hawkers whom the team approached agreed to give discounts to students with the pledge cards.
Discounts can be anything from 10 per cent off to 50 cents off the regular price, or a larger portion for the price of a smaller one.
Owner of Granny's Pancake, Mr Billy Ng, 45, said he agreed to help the campaign because it would encourage healthy living among students and promote his stall at the same time.
"It's a win-win situation," he said.
Madam Lim Ah Geok, 72, who runs Chai Chee Curry Rice and Bak Kut Teh, said: "I was happy to help them because I love the students."
The campaign, including publicity posters and stickers, cost the team about $2,500.
The cost of the printed items was covered by a grant of about $1,100 from Young Changemakers (a National Youth Council programme).
The four students raised the rest of themoney by selling specially-designed T-shirts at $7 each.
On whether the campaign will be continued beyond five weeks, Ting Wei said the team would discuss it after next week.
"We hope that at the end of five weeks, the students will be responsible enough to continue the initiative without us" she said.
Two students who pledged not to eat red meat on Mondays are Lorenzo Ong and Darren Lim, both 17.
Darren said: "I did it not only to support them (the team), but also because it is important to protect the environment."
Lorenzo said he will continue to cut down his consumption of red meat after the campaign ends.
"The project is very persuasive because it's just a simple choice: eat or don't eat red meat," hesaid.
"It shows how an individual can help to change the world."