Inaugural Save That Pen Day to Launch Programme in 40 Schools
Singapore, 5 April 2014 – In conjunction with the National Environment Agency (NEA) Youth for the Environment Day (YED), Save That Pen will be holding an inaugural Save That Pen Day to support 34 schools in rolling out a Save That Pen Programme in their respective campuses. Schools that join the programme will collect used or unwanted pens from their campus community, sort, refill and repackage these pens to be passed on to underprivileged students in Singapore and the region.
For the first time, students from 38 schools in Singapore will come together for a massive “pen-sorting session” at Assumption English School (AES) on Saturday, 5 April 2014. Schools that have pre-registered for the event will start preliminary pen collection drives on their respective campuses and bring the collected pens to AES where they will be taught how to sort, refill and pack the pens for distribution to underprivileged students.
The event is taking place in conjunction with the NEA Youth for the Environment Day, with the support of Programme Partner NEA and Youth Activist Partner Young NTUC. In line with its ongoing support of environmental and educational causes, Pilot Pen Singapore has also agreed to sponsor pen refills to refurbish all refillable Pilot pens collected by schools participating in Save That Pen Day.
Mr. Benjamin Teh, General Manager of Pilot Pen Singapore, said, ”We are glad to be a part of the Save That Pen Programme to raise awareness of environmental sustainability among youths. At Pilot, we take an active approach in community efforts among students as we believe the youths of today can shape the society of tomorrow.”
Save That Pen was started in 2010 by four students in the National University of Singapore (NUS). Focusing on a humble everyday object – the pen, the founders seek to translate the message of environmental and social sustainability into simple everyday actions, keeping in mind the ultimate vision of zero-waste living.
“Save That Pen works as a project because it appeals to groups who care about the underprivileged and the environment, and shows the two should not always be addressed as separate issues. We want to communicate the logic behind sustainability in a simple and relatable manner, and gets lots of people involved through small and straightforward actions,” said Kia Jie Hui, Project Co-Director, Save That Pen, who holds a day job in Forum for the Future, a sustainability non-profit.
With the support of sponsors such as Zebra Pen, NUS Co-op, Uni and long-term Youth Activist Partner Young NTUC, the project has expanded over the years beyond NUS to more than 40 primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across Singapore. Pulling together the inaugural Save That Pen Day is the natural next step in the team’s plans to scale the project, with the ambitious end goal of all schools in Singapore running the Save That Pen Programme independently on their respective campuses.
“When we think about where we can accumulate the most number of unwanted pens, it’s definitely in schools. In a school setting, students generally understand why there is a need to save pens and are eager to see how this project enables them to do so. Last year, after two students publicised the project during an assembly session in our school, the pen bin was filled to the brim with unwanted pens the very next day. Students do have a heart for the environment,” said Mr Ng Shi Han, Project Co-Director, Save That Pen, and a full-time teacher in the Ministry of Education, currently teaching at Assumption English School. To date, almost 40,000 pens have been collected through the project, and over 4,200 pens refurbished, packed and distributed to underprivileged students around the world. Save That Pen has worked with various local and international non-profit organisations to benefit students in Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, to India and Bhutan.