Our first post comes after our meeting with two amazing people, who set up their own business in Malaysia to help children, households and companies to better understand climate change and find easy ways to act now.
The call to action
After working for a few years in the corporate sector, Nisha Firdaus and Ly Mun Loo were struck by the increasing disconnect between people and their environment: “Why is that people do not realize that we need to change our habits to lower our ecological footprint, while plethora of information is available to all?”
“Indeed the Ais Batu Campur (ABC) is one of the favorite desserts of the children (and many adults!) in Malaysia and has a secret ingredient of Atapchi, the fruit of the wild wetland palm tree. This tree is increasingly rare due to clear cutting of forests—where it is replaced by more productive mono crops. Guess what will happen once all these trees will have disappeared?
“It is true that officially 60% of Malaysia is covered by forest, but only when one considers specific agriculture palm tree species as forest. It raises some critics amongst most experts; 60% of the original Malaysian tropical rain forest does not exist anymore.”
This is why Nisha Firdaus and Ly Mun Loo created Ecocentric Transitions in 2011, with the aim of expanding the awareness of the need for sustainable development and ecofriendly daily attitudes, as well as community values.
Ecocentric Transitions activities and business model
Ecocentric Transitions has developed its actions around 2 main activities: workshops and consulting, the latter financing the former, as well as the fixed costs of the structure.
While conducting workshops for children, youth, corporate or urban communities, Ecocentric Transitions educates and gives practical and easy tips to change habits and become more eco-responsible through interactive and creative activities. For example, “instead of planting ornamental trees in your garden, we encourage planting fruit trees, fragrant plants and simple vegetable gardens to encourage self-sufficiency.”
Nisha and Ly Mun are convinced that major and sustainable changes will only be achieved through education.
The consulting activity is more focused on company needs – with a strong focus on sustainable landscape design. For instance, Ecocentric Transitions has worked with a real estate developer to create a garden of fruit trees and edible plants within a new residential area. Such projects usually take up to 6 months to complete. Ecocentric Transitions would need 2 consulting missions and 10 workshops per year to turn to profit.
What is their dream?
To start up an eco-village, of course! It would allow them to organize training, workshops and make further experiments on an even larger scale.
Listening to Nisha Firdaus and Ly Mun Loo, it appears that our roots are never too far away…Indeed, it is not too late to get back to our community values and to let environment occupy a bigger part in our lives…and this alone might be the first step to adopting a more responsible attitude towards our environment. So why not start today doing one thing for someone and taking a deep breath while looking at the sky and the beautiful clouds?