Sustainability Speaks: Jazzy Refadebby

03 March 2022

4 min read

Jazzy Refadebby

Hi everyone! My name is Jazzy, and I’m a Maybanker from Indonesia. I’ve been a Cahaya Kasih planning manager for the past 8 years now.


Personally, my sustainability vision is to contribute my best efforts to solving Indonesia’s waste problem. But let me start from the very beginning of my journey back in 2019, when I represented my country at Maybank’s Invest ASEAN in Singapore. The main speaker of the conference, Jeff Goodell, who is also the author of ‘The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Reshaping of the Civilised World’, gave a presentation about rising sea levels and its looming threat on humanity. Something he said that stuck with me, was that most people are either unaware about the damage we’ve been doing to the planet, or they are simply in denial.


I thought about that, and I realised that I was, sadly, a bit of both. I hadn’t cared much about my environmental impact, believing that “it’s not that bad! I won’t live to see the end of the world anyway!” But after listening to Mr Goodell, I started to research Sustainability and all things related, paying more attention to the consequences of my actions towards the environment. I learnt that the floods that have been ravaging my country were an indirect result of global warming, caused by rising sea levels and the more extreme weathers we’ve had in recent years. I also have been breathing in severely polluted air for ages! Why haven’t I done something? I decided then that I would start doing my part.


Living sustainably can begin with something as simple as reducing single-use plastic, bringing your own shopping bags on grocery runs, and switching to reusable straws. Eventually, the Indonesian government banned the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and mini marts, which got me into the right habit. I also make it a point to purchase and use only sustainable products, like vegan shampoo and soap, and support brands that uphold Sustainability in their practices.


Sometime last year, I began sorting my garbage to make proper waste management easier. I found out, to my dismay, that waste management is a huge problem in Indonesia. 2015 data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Indonesia showed that nearly 80% of waste generated in the country can be made into compost or recycled, but most of them ended up in landfills, or worse, the sea! My research on this issue then led me to Waste4Change, a non-profit social enterprise that provides waste management consultancy and services. I learnt from their resources to better manage my household wastes, and have been sharing the content with my friends and family through social media, in order to raise awareness about the importance of waste management.


Of course, this is not just on me alone. This is on you, and them, and everyone else. I think it’s time we reject the idea that saving our planet is “someone else’s problem.” We are all responsible for the environmental problems we face today, and yes – maybe not all of us would live to see “the end of the world”, but if we band together, start doing what is right, and reverse the damage on our planet, the world won’t have to end just yet.

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