As Malaysia’s pioneer Eco-Mall, 1 Utama has set the bar high for going green and preserving the environment since 1995. I’m pretty sure most of you have been to 1 Utama, right? Have you checked out their Rainforest and aquarium yet? An excellent example of the ecosystem in harmony, it’s never too late to learn about our environment, and partake in 1 Utama’s campaign to save it!
Going Green Within 1 Utama
Besides outdoor efforts with plants and animals, did you know that 1 Utama has also taken steps to reduce energy consumption for their daily operations? Check out these pictures to learn more about how they do it! From recycling rainwater to collection used devices, there’s so much to be done!
Bringing Nature to the City
1 Utama’s award-winning Rainforest was unveiled back in 2004, spanning four storeys. Today, the Rainforest houses more than 100 species of forest trees and is home to many koi fish, tortoises, birds, and insects. Not only that, but there is also a 70-foot waterfall, a suspension bridge, as well as a huge aquarium featuring local freshwater and river fish. The Rainforest was meticulously constructed after years of in-depth research, and they keep it as natural as possible through an open sky atrium. Measuring 40 x 20 m, the atrium allows sunlight, water and air into the Rainforest. Furthermore, the Rainforest also doubles as an alfresco dining zone for those who enjoy dining in a natural setting.
Feed the Fishes at 1 Utama
Perhaps 1 Utama’s most well-known environmental-friendly effort is their Feed-the-Fish campaign. Launched together with their Rainforest, the Feed-the-Fish campaign is highly successful, and their longest-running community project. Here’s how it works. 1 Utama sponsors and packages fish food for sale daily at the Feed-the-Fish on the LG floor. Visitors then buy a container of fish food at RM 1 each. The money collected from the sale of fish food is donated annually to a charity partner. This way, visitors get to engage with nature, the fishes are well-fed, and it’s all for a good cause! In 2009, 1 Utama launched another sister campaign called Recycle-A-Bottle to complement Feed-the-Fish. Collection bins were set up throughout the mall, so that visitors could conveniently drop off their plastic bottles. After that, the bottles are sent for recycling, and the funds collected are donated as well.
Saving the Dolphins
For 2018, 1 Utama has decided to collaborate with MareCet, a non-profit NGO that focuses primarily on dolphin research. MareCet was only established formally in 2012, and already they have made great strides by expanding from one project to three. Besides conducting dolphin research in Langkawi and Matang, they also study dugongs and their habitats in Johor. However, Dr. Louisa Ponnampalam, co-founder and chairperson of MareCet, believes that we can always do more. Currently, they are in the midst of training the next generation of dolphin researchers, but they hope to gain financial stability, procure an office space, and keep MareCet running full-time.
“MareCet fully believes in the power of collaborations and thus in partnership with 1 Utama, we hope to raise awareness and gather support in addressing our planet’s most pressing marine conservation issues. We are thankful of the proceeds which will help to continue our research on marine mammals in Malaysia’s waters, marine conservation initiatives and advocating for improved management of our nation’s marine resources,” said Dr. Louisa.
On 12th July 2018, a RM 12,000 cheque was handed over to MareCet by 1 Utama. (To check out the full story, click here.) Previous Feed-the-Fish beneficiaries include Sabah’s Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Malaysian Nature Society, HOPE (Help Our Penyu), Zoo Negara, and WWF Malaysia. So far, 1 Utama has donated a total of RM 192,000.
1 Utama’s Best-Kept Secret
In fact, the Rainforest is not the only place where you can find nature within the mall. Did you know that they also have a Secret Garden located on their rooftop? The Secret Garden is one of the largest rooftop gardens in the world, and houses more than 600 species of plants specially grown with biochar. Boasting 30,000 square feet, the garden is now a national tourist attraction, and you can even have your wedding photos taken there! However, it is only accessible on weekends and public holidays from 10 am to 10 pm. There is no admission fee, and free guided tours are organised monthly. Perfectly Instagrammable, visit with your friends and family this weekend!