More and more Malaysians are becoming consciously aware on how to take care of the environment. The recent flash floods have acted as a wake up call for people to become more environmentally conscious.
As a way of promoting a greener lifestyle, a restaurant run by hearing-impaired workers at Damansara Perdana is offering a free potted plant with every meal purchase.
How did the initiative start?
Deaf in Business (DIB) Restaurant owner Dr Allen Teh told WORLD OF BUZZ that the campaign is a result of a collaboration between DIB and the Plant Swag Facebook Group.
Plant Swag stands for plant swapping and gifting.
“Their founder, Evangeline Lim, likes our space in DIB and the fact that we have a beautiful garden terrace, so we agreed to partner with her.”
“Most of the plants come from their members and also partly from our own DIB garden,” he added.
Meanwhile, Evangeline Lim told us that the idea came about after she had wanted to address the challenges of assisting members to continue sharing plants with others.
“At that time, there was also a lot of news about small businesses closing down. It was disheartening to hear.”
How it has impacted small businesses?
Teh added that initially, they had received a few new customers who were part of the Plant Swag Facebook group.
However, interest in the restaurant blew up after 2 TikTokers had made videos promoting the restaurant and the project.
“It exploded and suddenly our sales doubled with a lot of first time visitors. Not sure how long this viral effect will last, but we will keep praying.”
He added that the challenge is now that his staff are coping with extra workload. “Our DIB staff have been on profit sharing since 2021, and thus they shall be rewarded with the additional revenue.”
Meanwhile, Lim said that prior to the initiative, Saturdays for the DIB restaurant were one of their quietest days.
“Nowadays, Saturdays are one of their craziest days. There are diners even during off-peak hours (which is a big improvement from before). The plants on our full shelves are quick to be adopted even in 1 day.”
The importance of such initiatives
Teh believes that there should be more of such initiatives.
He also mentioned that the initiative begun in December 2021 and will go on for a whole year. “But I suspect that it can carry on indefinitely since most people like plants and like the idea of giving and also receiving.”
“It is a wonderful project for the community. DIB has become a regular meeting place for many plant lovers, and those who champion a greener world. On top of that, DIB is blessed with more customers,” he added.
Lim says, “As a Sustainability Advocate, I believe it is everyone’s responsibility as a resident of the Earth, to protect our Earth. This is why our #PlantSwagCafe shelves is a beautiful community initiative.”
She mentioned that the Facebook group was initially ran by herself and one friend.
“Today, we have a volunteer team of around 16 people at our events. Subsequently from zero members we have grown to 4,100 members over 2 years. We all came together for a cause. To share, nurture, and encourage the green community,” she said.
“I hope this will inspire people to think outside the box more, and I hope to see more conscious green movements. We hope to expand the #PlantSwagCafe to collaborate with other small F&B neighborhood businesses.”
Lim urged interested small neighborhood businesses to contact her on her Lady of Leisure social media channels to discuss.
“I hope that in this year, we can achieve at least 2 more locations so we can serve the greater communities around,” she added.
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