I remember reading in the papers a while back about Asha Gill and Fay Khoo's new series of books called The Eco Kids. It's about this bunch of kids who 'travel fair and wide on their magic flying bicycles across continents to the North pole, and over the oceans' to see how man has messed-up nature.
Yeah. I laughed too.
But the thing is, I was thinking about it again a little while back, and you know what came to mind? Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
I guess with all the goings-on of Form Five, I've been feeling a little nostalgic for my childhood. Anyway, I looked it up on Wikipedia, and here's what I read:
Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, is awakened from a long sleep by human activity threatening ecosystems, taking place across the globe. Realizing that the damage is extensive, Gaia sends five magic rings, each with the power to control an element of nature and one controlling an extra element, heart, to five chosen youths across the globe: Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from North America, Linka from Soviet Union (changed to Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union's collapse), Gi from Asia and Ma-Ti from South America.
Gaia uses her "Planet Vision" to discover where the most devastating destruction is occurring and sends the Planeteers to help solve the problem. In situations that the Planeteers cannot resolve alone, they can combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, a magical entity who possesses all of their powers magnified. In order to summon Captain Planet, the Planeteers must activate their powers in a specific order, preceded by the phrase "Let our powers combine;" (followed by all of the Planeteers cheering "GO PLANET!")
Oh, wow. I'm sorry for laughing, Ms. Gill and Ms. Khoo.
I used to be a huge fan of Captain Planet, okay. I even still remember part of the theme song: Cap-tain Pla-net, he's our he-ro! Gonna take po-llution down to ze-ro! It must have had a rather big impact on me, because I clearly remember giving the minister of the church we used to attend a very stern reprimand for not recycling his plastic juice bottle once he was done with it.
The Captain Planet theme song, DDR-style:
It just goes to show you how impressionable young kids are. I was probably in kindergarten or younger when I started religiously watching Captain Planet on Cartoon network; The Eco Kids series are targeting children aged four to nine. Until now, I still collect any recyclable trash I have to be recycled, and my family does the same. We go to the TREES recycling centre in Taman Jaya every now and then, car boot filled to the brim with paper, plastics, and aluminum. (Apparently, they don't take glass anymore since it's hard to be recycled or something. Anyone know where we can bring our glass bottles and jars?)
Not to sound preachy or anything, but I now realise the importance of parents monitoring their children's TV shows and websites. When you're that young, you just take in anything, good or bad. Someone else has to do the filtering for you, 'cause you're not yet able to do it yourself.
I'm glad my parents did that for my sister and me. Imagine if we'd grown up watching, I don't know, some stupid reality show instead. MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen or something. We wouldn't have brains anymore.
Oh, fun fact: Gi, who has the power to control water, is supposed to be from either Malaysia or Japan!