Recycling Programs the Tzu Chi Way

Updated on June 7, 2018
Good Guy profile image

I like to share information that makes life more joyful and meaningful. My main interests are health and general wellness in body and mind.

Source

Reduce Reuse Recycle

The Taiwan-based Tzu Chi Foundation has been implementing its recycling programs very effectively and successfully, and its programs are rapidly spreading across the world. This article explains how Tzu Chi is so successful in organizing thousands of recycling centers around the world.

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”; this is the international slogan to save the world. Are we doing enough to reduce wastage and pollution to protect Mother Earth? The main culprit causing global warming is pollution. Global warming leads to extreme climate change causing unprecedented draughts, floods, typhoons and tsunamis. Pollution is man-made and therefore controllable. The increase in greenhouse gases which cause global rise in temperature is due to haphazard and uncontrolled human industrial activities. So the target to control pollution is to inculcate responsible industrial activities. At the bottom level of these chained reactions of “production-consumption-pollution” is the disposal of waste materials. It is at this bottom level that the idea of recycling was conceived.

What Is Tzu Chi Foundation

The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation is well-known throughout the world for its fast and effective relief work during major disasters throughout the world. This international relief organization is called “Tzu Chi” for short. Its main mission is to alleviate people's sufferings across the globe irrespective of faiths, beliefs, and what not, without expecting anything in return except smiles. To know more about this incredible organization, please click on the link at the end of this article. As for this article, let us focus on how Tzu Chi is so successful in organizing and operating its thousands of recycling centers worldwide.

How Recycling Programs Started In Tzu Chi

In August 1990, the founder of Tzu Chi, Master Cheng Yen delivered a lecture in Taichung City, Central Taiwan. At the end of that lecture there was a hearty applaud from the audience. Then the Master in her usual amiable manner suggested that the audience help to keep the city clean and unpolluted by using their hands that were clapping, to start doing recycling work to protect Mother Earth. From that appeal by the Master, Tzu Chi has come a long way in these 25 years overseeing and operating recycling programs throughout the world. In Taiwan alone, Tzu Chi now operates more than 5,000 recycling centers, with tens of thousands of workers. And the most outstanding feature of Tzu Chi recycling programs is in the nature of its manpower. At the starting points of the recycling operations at all the Tzu Chi recycling centers, one will witness the great proportion of grassroot elderly volunteers earnestly and enthusiastically concentrating on their work. Yes, all Tzu Chi recycling workers are volunteers, and many are elderlies, even reaching 90 years old! How could this be possible? Unbelievable this may seem, but wait till you read further to understand why such feats are possible.

The Master, The Steering Force

How did Tzu Chi do it in such an astonishing manner? Credit goes to none other than the Founder Master herself. To understand the Master will reveal how Tzu Chi is so successful in everything it does. Master Cheng Yen is the charismatic founder of Tzu Chi. With her signature graceful demeanour and her soft spoken voice, she has been the driving force of Tzu Chi activities since its inception in 1966 in Taiwan, fifty years ago. With her down-to-earth spiritual guidance, millions of her followers have given their full support to her charity work, both in manpower and funding. To know more about her and Tzu Chi, please click on the link at the end of this article.

Tzu Chi Community Recycling Program

In the recycling centers island wide, elderly volunteers use their retirement wisely, to help the Earth and to enjoy the company of one another.
In the recycling centers island wide, elderly volunteers use their retirement wisely, to help the Earth and to enjoy the company of one another. | Source

Products From Recycled Materials

These products sold by Tzu Chi Foundation were all recycled from PET bottles.
These products sold by Tzu Chi Foundation were all recycled from PET bottles.
The blankets are made by the recycled plastic bottles.
The blankets are made by the recycled plastic bottles. | Source

Author Good Guy wearing pants made from 40% recycled material

Author Good Guy wearing pants made from 40% recycled PET bottles.
Author Good Guy wearing pants made from 40% recycled PET bottles. | Source

Recycling The Tzu Chi Way.

All across the world where you see Tzu Chi recycling centers, there is this interesting scenario where all the workers are volunteers and many are elderly. This is specially so in Taiwan, where people past their prime are happily working away daily in the recycling centers voluntarily without pay. These elderly volunteers are responding to the Master’s clarion call to participate in “the fertile ground for spiritual cultivation”. The Master likened recycling work to the Buddhist concept of “rebirth”, turning waste materials into useful products. At the same time reduce wastage and reduce pollution. making the world a greener and a more pleasant place to live in.

Anyone is able to contribute to recycling activities. Who doesn’t know how to separate pieces of paper or flattening plastic bottles? Now the senior volunteers not only can contribute their effort to save the world, they have also gathered together as social units to keep themselves busy and happy. As the Master repeatedly reminds all volunteers that “recycling work helps the body to be healthy, and the mind to be happy”. In fact, the Taiwanese dialect for recycle is "huan po" which means "turn into treasure"! Hence, there is this wonderful saying in Tzu Chi: “Turn garbage into gold, and gold into loving heart.”

Another beneficial program behind Tzu Chi recycling activities is to help depressed people find solace and fellowship. There are numerous stories of how Tzu Chi volunteers were able to rehabilitate depressed people through participating in its recycling activities. These people were either recovering from serious illnesses or going through difficult personal problems. Through recycling activities, these people have been able to recover from their depression and start living a happier life again.

The recycling centers in a way, have become the best nursing homes for these elderly volunteers as well as rehabilitating centers for recuperating sick or depressed patients! From here, these “special” volunteers can experience their positive contributions to society, reinforcing their sense of usefulness in life and enjoying friendly fellowship while keeping themselves busy.

Tzu Chi's Award Winning Beds for Disaster Relief

Source

What Has Tzu Chi Achieved In Its Recycling Programs

Tzu Chi recycling activities are enormous in terms of material volume as well as returns in financial term. It is also on a global scale. Let us examine two major aspects of Tzu Chi recycling programs.

First, is the scale of its operations. Tzu Chi recycling programs are now carried out in thousands of recycling centers throughout the world. Tzu Chi has expanded downstream into turning recycling materials into useful products, mostly channelled through disaster reliefs. It even sells its recycled products through its own “Da Ai” stores throughout Taiwan. Given time, it is sure to expand globally. By the way, “Da Ai” in Mandarin Chinese means “Great Love”. The most well-known of all Da Ais is the Da Ai Tv Broadcasting Services of Tzu Chi, transmitting world news and activities of Tzu Chi via satellites across the world, 24 hours a day. In fact, a substantial amount of the proceeds earned through recycling activities is channelled into Da Ai Tv to support its operations.

The second aspect is the production and distribution of useful products from these recycled waste materials. The most significant achievement in Tzu Chi recycling programs is the ability to turn these recycling waste materials into very useful products. Plastic bottles are given “new rebirths” into products that are not only useful but also life-saving as well. End-products manufactured from these recycling materials include blankets, foldable beds, chairs, thermal underwear, t-shirts, jackets, pants, bed sheets, and medical gowns,which are all very relevent to disaster relief work. And best of all, the production of the ubiquitous blue and white uniforms for the Tzu Chi volunteers. There are other products as well such as socks, shoes, bags, suits, bowls and chopsticks, and toys too.

Most of these recycled end-products are for the relief programs where they are distributed to disaster areas worldwide. Just imagine, thousands of blankets and foldable beds being distributed throughout the disaster areas worldwide! And all these originated from “waste” materials, mostly from PET bottles!

At my local Tzu Chi recycle center.
At my local Tzu Chi recycle center. | Source

What You And I Can Do To Contribute To Save Mother Earth

A single bee by itself is virtually useless. But when a million bees come together, it is a world of a difference! When I help in the local Tzu Chi recycling center, I know I am one of the millions contributing my little effort to save Mother Earth. Together we can do it. So let’s start doing our little part to save Mother Earth. Below are four photos showing me busy helping out in my local Tzu Chi recycling center in Penang, Malaysia.

These photos showed me at the station of "greatest" challenge; the first station where raw "wastes and rubbish" were first sorted out, dirty and messy. That's why I was with gloves and wearing a face mask.

That's me at the local Tzu Chi recycling center.

Source
Source
Source
Source

Tzu Chi Foundation's Products Made From Recycled Bottles

Wonders Of Tzu Chi Recycling Program (The Penang Story, My Home Island)

More About Tzu Chi Foundation

Now that you understand how Tzu Chi can be so successful in its recycling programs, you may want to know more about this remarkable organization and its founder, Master Cheng Yen. Please read my article "Tzu Chi Foundation : Master Cheng Yen".

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)