Healthy and green environment is very important for the quality of life. This thought was in the minds of several housewives and elderlies from St. Barnabas Parish, who started an environmental friendly group called Darling Pamulang in 2008. ‘Darling’ stands for ‘Sadar Lingkungan’, the Indonesian words for ‘environmental awareness’, while Pamulang is a subdistrict in South Tangerang, a regency 20 km away from Jakarta, Indonesia. They found an abandoned land that belongs to the Jakarta Archdiocese in their neighbourhood and obtained a permission for planting. Now, the abondoned land of 1.3 Ha (13,000 m2) has been transformed into a garden, a site for educating local people and young pupils on how to manage and reuse domestic-waste, to plant organic vegetables, and to breed chickens and fishes. The group voluntarily provides free workshops every Wednesday for people of all faiths and educate them about the economic value of domestic-wastes. Processing the wastes can help the environment and produce extra income. Inorganic waste can be transformed into beautiful artworks, while organic waste can be composted into green land fertilizer. Groups doing such works are called ‘Bank Sampah’, which literally means ‘Waste Banks’, where instead of saving money, the clients are saving domestic-wastes. Darling Pamulang finances its own operation by selling the organic vegetables that they planted, chickens, and fishes that they breeded greenly in the garden, and artworks and fertilizers that they produced from domestic-wastes. On May 10 2015, South Tangerang Mayor, Mrs. Airin Rahmi Diany inaugurated the Communication Forum for Waste Bank (in Indonesian: FORKAS, Forum Komunikasi Bank Sampah) of South Tangerang and chose Darling Pamulang Garden as its head quarter. This forum becomes an interaction media for waste bank groups across South Tangerang to collaborate, share experiences, solve problems, and learn new knowledges on handling domestic-waste.
However, when night comes, parts of the garden become so dark. An area of 1.3 Ha is quite large and difficult to be completely covered by lighting. There are pools, bumps, and sharp downhills which are dark and hence not safe during the evening. Adding new lamps will add financial burden to the monthly electricity bill of this voluntary and non-profit group. To help this group, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Dept. of Industrial Engineering of Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) managed to make use of the abundant sunlight in tropical countries like Indonesia to produce a bill-free lighting system. They designed, built, and installed a solar powered lighting for a section of the garden, i.e. near the fish pool. With this, the garden gets extra lighting without additional monthly electricity bill. The lighting system uses 50 Wp monocrystalline silicon solar panel, a PWM solar charge controller, a dry sealed lead-acid battery, an inverter, and a 9 W LED lamp widely available in local markets. The system is programmed to light-on automatically after sunset for 12 hours and light-off automatically after time-out or sunrise.
In addition to that, the Departments also arranged a workshop on June 25 2015 to educate the Darling Pamulang group and other waste bank groups in the region on solar powered lighting system: how to design, build, and maintain it. Of course one LED lamp of 9 W is somewhat not sufficient for such a big garden, but at least it can be a model for education and future development. Waste management, organic planting, breeding, and solar powered lighting are small initiatives for promoting a better environment in Indonesia.
Henri P. Uranus got his Ph.D. in integrated photonics from University of Twente, The Netherlands in 2005. From 2005 – 2008, he was a post-doctoral researcher in Integrated Optical MicroSystems group, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Twente, working on integrated-optical photonic sensor. From 2008, he is a lecturer in Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Pelita Harapan, Indonesia. Presently, he is the head of the department. Since 2013 he is also the VP Elect of The Indonesian Optical Society. His research interests are in modeling of photonics, especially for fiber and integrated optical devices.