Hello Yiyang, could you first tell us how your journey with PM.Haze began?
Everything started when I met Yi Han at a youth environmental camp. He inspired me with his vision of PM.Haze. The first PM.Haze event that I participated in was the “Stop the Haze” exhibition in 2014 at VivoCity. Since then, I have been volunteering regularly with PM.Haze.
Why do you choose to fight the Haze?
Haze is an issue that we all experience in Singapore. So, it is easier to get people to be concerned and do something about it. This is unlike other environmental issues like sea level rise, where we cannot really feel the impact.
How do you contribute?
I contribute to PM.Haze mainly by volunteering for ad-hoc outreach events. I attract people to our booths to raise awareness on the issue of haze and what they can do to help stop it. My memorable experiences are always with young adults or children. It is really satisfying to know that the next generation is now aware of the issue because of our efforts.
Do you personally benefit from it?
I have learnt much more about the haze issue, though it is so complex that I am constantly learning. I have also improved my marketing skills. Usually, I do not start conversations with strangers. But, because I believe so much in this cause, and because we have such attractive materials at our booths (e.g. animal stickers, palm oil fruits, containers of peat), I have gained confidence in starting a conversation with a stranger about the haze. I have also learnt how far I can push the message before people become disengaged.
Do you face any difficulties?
The main difficulty for me is time commitment. As I am working full time, it does take effort to volunteer regularly. Although I am not doing as much as I want to, I contribute as much as I can.
If PM.Haze were an animal, what would it be?
Definitely an Orang Utan! Whenever I see pictures of baby Orang Utans hugging on to their mothers in a burning forest, I regain my motivation to fight to stop the haze.
What would you say to someone who hesitates in joining PM.Haze?
Come and give it a try! In PM.Haze, you can make a real difference. Even though we may think that an individual can only make a small difference, but at PM.Haze, you can really amplify your impact. If we reach out to only 5 people at outreach events, and these 5 people reach out to others in their social circle, the message would have spread itself far and wide!
Where do you see PM.Haze in the future?
I hope PM.Haze can attract more volunteers, and continue to expand its circle of influence to businesses, suppliers and NGOs. In the long run, as the saying goes, the ultimate goal would be to shut down, as there should be no more haze in future!
Thank you Yiyang.