On December 8th, 2012, National Youth Commission held the final round of “2012Youth Action Community Involvement Project” at Wen-Yin Gallery in the NTUPES in Taichung. Twenty supreme teams selected out of forty nationwide sponsored groups would make final briefs on that day. The “Eco Warrior” team, co-directed by NTU Student Activity Division and Leadership Development Program, was honored with the third place by its “The Shen-Keng Oil-To-Soap Community Reformation Project”.
The project itself was a continuous one, following “NTU Da-Shen-Gong Project” initiated a year ago and being subsidized by National Youth Commission into the second year. The core concept of the project was to make the sustainable development of community by promoting environmental and ecological conservation. The initial idea of Eco Warrior came from the renowned Shen-Keng stinky tofu and the neighboring Jing-Mei Stream. Team members worried that the oil used to fry stinky tofu, if not processed and disposed into the stream, would do severe harm to the environment.
Eco Warrior applied the basic science learned in high school on the used oil, turning the oil into soaps, endowing Shen-Keng with the value of waste oil recycling. During the past year, Eco Warrior had walked throughout the Shen-Keng community to cooperate with the local Community Development Association and promote used oil soaps together. At first, the team consulted with The Homemaker’s Union and Foundation about the techniques of soap making. After doing experiments for several times to verify, they started to promote the soaps in Shen-Keng community. Addition to inviting more than thirty volunteers of The Community Development Association to make soaps together, they led more than one hundred local residents to do the same on their own. Furthermore, they also held a grand funfair at the Children’s Park on Shen-Keng Old Street in July, 2011, introducing the idea to the tourists. Thus, the project had gained vast local feedback, attracting many to join.
Subsequently, Eco Warrior launched “The Shen-Keng Oil-To-Soap Community Reformation Project” as being subsidized again by National Youth Commission. Equipped with mass production technique of used oil soaps gained from the former year experience and with the references of successful cases in Chiba, Japan, the team hoped to turn Shen-Keng into an environmental-friendly and sustainable city that was renowned for not only stinky tofu but also the soaps, making it a new industry in Shen-Keng.
During the execution, along with soap making, Eco Warrior worked with local neighbors, communities, farmers’ association and the old street in holding the environmental protection themed innovation competition as to recruit enthusiastic local youths.
Not to mention that the team deepened its connection with local units such as elementary and high schools by joining school anniversaries. They even invented the slogan of “One Household One Soap, No More Detergent!” for the residents to promote environmental protection. Apart from all of these, they also held related lectures at Shen-Keng District Office from June to September, 2012, receiving popular responses.
Additionally, Eco Warrior had also organized an one-day ecological trip in the city, which helped many locals and visitors had a better understanding of Shen-Keng and developed a sense of identification.
“The Shen-Keng Oil-To-Soap Community Reformation Project” had been carried out completely by November, 2012. However, the promotion of used oil soaps still requires more participants and action. The enthusiasm in the place will continuously contribute to the development of community and future Shen-Keng stories are yet to be written.