The residents associations that took part came with pretty impressive ideas to not only beautify their neighbourhood but also turn the areas into green and sustainable communities.
In Shah Alam, a total of 67 residents associations, village development and security committees and joint management bodies have taken part in the Mini ZeeBee competition since 2014.
This year, 27 groups participated and were judged on their landscaping, community garden, recycling and energy-saving practices.
I don’t know if it is the competition or encouragement from MBSA zone representatives, but every year, more and more residents groups put in a lot of effort.
At the convention, I met residents of Taman Setia Warisan U6, Shah Alam, who had an interesting start on how their neighbourhood came to be.
Not only did they band together to build 196 houses left abandoned for 20 years, they also pooled their skills as wiremen, plumbers and contractors.
They also found ways to be sustainable and profitable by selling produce from their community garden as well as the recycled waste and through making and putting up recycled items such as swan-shaped flower pots for sale.
Their neighbourhood has been beautified using tyres that were transformed into cartoon figures while garden trolleys were made out of metal containers.
Committee member Iskandar Rahmad said about 100 residents helped beautify the neighbourhood. They also make their own fertiliser, rear catfish and produce alkaline water for sale.
StarMetro also reported that they came up with a cheap and sustainable way of cleaning up individual sewage tanks by using homemade plant fertilisers.
Residents of Pangsapuri Seri Palma are not only sprucing up their common area but are planning to set up an online page to sell chairs made from old containers with seat lining made from cut-up instant noodle plastics.
Mothers and their children from this apartment also turned old banners into recycled bags and planted their own vegetables.
A resident group in Section 20, Shah Alam, has roped in retirees, working adults and youths to tend to their community garden.
Everything is shared equally and they grow more than 30 types of plants and vegetables and also have a herb garden.
However, their bestseller is the Roselle plant, which is turned into jam and juice.
With their produce, they can make about RM400 a month and the funds go towards buying kitchen and gardening equipment and other necessities.
Though not all of them are familiar with farming and planting trees, these urbanites have educated themselves to make their projects work.
It takes a small group of residents to make a difference and they have certainly proved that a little goes a long way.
I must commend those who have made a significant difference to their neighbourhoods and the zone leaders from MBSA who not only encouraged but assisted the residents when needed.
These residents groups are a role model for others in becoming a sustainable and green community.
Residents groups that are interested to start their own projects or even a small community garden should engage with their local councils.
Through their efforts, they can also help their councils make their cities and towns greener.