Let’s Go Green! (One baby step at a time)

July 5th, 2007   •   20 comments   

P1030544
Save our world by bagging and recycling

We have all read, heard and sweated enough to know that the world is dying. At an alarming rate.

All manner of freakish weather phenomena has been happening around the world. Sea levels are rising in Southeast Asian islands, floods are becoming more common, and temperatures are rising not only during summer but all year round. Habitats and livelihoods of entire island communities were decimated while fishing stocks of favourite sushi fishes (bluefin tuna) are now severely depleted.
The last straw which broke the camel’s back was when I read that glacial levels in the Himalayas have receded by as much as a few km! Even almighty Mount Everest is not spared from our shameful shenanigans!

OK, enough bitching. Here’s what my family (led by my astute wife Tina) is going to do to save our world for posterity.

1) Recycle paper, plastic, metal and other products using the yellow plastic bags which are left outside our homes (see above).

2) Give our old clothes which are still in good condition to the karang guni (rag and bone) men or to homes.

3) Use canvas bags when shopping for groceries so that less environmentally damaging plastic bags are used.

4) Switch off the lights, fans, air conditioners, computers and other household applicances when not in use.

5) Use water saving thimbles to reduce the amount of water used for washing.

6) Spend more time outdoors to enjoy God’s green earth and mother nature before its all gone.

7) For myself, I have been taking the bus to and from work for about a year-and-a-half already. When commuting short distances, I either walk or take the bus instead of taxis.

8) Carpool as much as possible whenever we are going out during weekends.

We haven’t gone so far as plant a tree yet like Naomi Campbell did because we can’t find a plot of soil in our flat yet…

What are you doing to save our world?

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20 comments

  1. BeeLee
    posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 5:10 AM

    I used to choose paper bag when I do my groceries in California .. by the way, I have tagged you in my latest post, do check it out ya 🙂

  2. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 3:57 AM

    Good one for the everyday citizen.

    Besides trash, I find fossil fuel based transportation a major problem too. Being a small country, I wish there were designated bike lanes in Singapore so more of us could cycle around. For me, I get to campus on an electric board while I’m in the States.

  3. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 4:00 AM

    I’ve bought the NTUC “green” bag, partly because it has a “Tree” on it! Nowadays, I carry it now and then (if I remember) when I go shopping. And often, I tell shopkeepers to keep or take back the plastic bags that they are about to give me.

    Other areas: Have tried to cut down electricity usage, increase recycle, etc. Still, haha! Didn’t realise that my taking public transport can help the environment! Would love to plant a tree, being who I’m supposed to be! 😉

  4. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 4:56 AM

    I miss the cycling days. I have been going to school for 12 years on bikes 😀

    One thing about the plastic bag though: I need them to collect my trashes, how am I getting around with my canvas bag?

    if there is cheap paper based solution on the shopping bag, that would be indeed cool

  5. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 9:34 AM

    kevin,

    True true. Fossil fuels aren’t going to be sustainable for the long term, and the human race is desperate to find alternatives. I think one of the main reasons why cycling isn’t as popular here is because its so darn HOT here… Phew… Maybe architecture could be more earth friendly too, and take advantage of natural winds and shade?

  6. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    clappingtrees,

    Glad to hear that you are already on the “green” bandwagon. The plastic bags are a major paradigm shift for us, and we still have to remind ourselves to bring the canvas bags out when shopping for groceries.

  7. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    peter,

    Haha… I have been struggling with that dilemma for a while. However, I read that we throw away a lot more plastic bags then we have use for!

    One solution is to use every single container, packaging and receptable for your thrash. This can be an empty milk carton (cut open the end), plastic packaging for candies/snacks, instant noodles packets, etc. Most new clothes also come in plastic wrap and that can be used too.

    Of course, for non leaking thrash, you can also use old newspapers, magazines and lecture notes (oops).

    There you have it! Go ye and change the world….

  8. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 9:39 AM

    beelee,

    Hmmm…I wonder if Californians are more environmentally friendly than us? You do have lovely expanses of nature though…

    Let me check out the tag… 😉

  9. Liv
    posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 10:58 AM

    Hey Walter, good to know that you are doing your bid!

    I try to spread the green msg where I can – to friends, acquaintances, ALL co-workers (via email updates – ask Ben haha!),and family! I even dig through the trash sometimes to make sure nobody is committing an eco-crime (you heard it first here – my friends don’t know this haha).

    Apart from recycling, and nagging/policing everyone, I truly try my darndest not to take a single plastic bag – lugging along a recyclable bag whenever I go shopping. I pride myself on saving 62.5g carbon each time I refuse a bag haha!

    Recently published was The Green Book – I’m still trying to get my hands on a copy. I find myself in a conundrum somewhat, because if I order it from Amazon, I would be contributing to the carbon emissions for the journey here!

    For the more extreme, one can offset their carbon footprint http://www.carbonfootprint.com/offset_shop.html . I promise I will contribute when I get a fulltime job!

  10. posted on Jul 06, 2007 at 4:11 PM

    I switch off the computer monitor if I have to be away from the computer for more than 5 minutes.

    I switch off fans when not is use.

    Looks like I can do more…

  11. posted on Jul 07, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    liv,

    Wow! Didn’t know that you are such an ardent green activist! Great to know that you have even calculated the amount of carbon saved per plastic bag.

    I was just talking to my wife about the concept of environmental footprint and how switching from your old gas guzzling car to a new hybrid car may actually be more damaging to the environment because of the amount of energy consumed in making a new car!

    The best way to reduce our environmental impact is to minimise waste and use whatever we have until they are totally unusable. A case in point is to wear your shoes until there are holes in them. Of course, while this may make one a friend of Gaia, it may also reduce one’s chic factor…. haha

  12. posted on Jul 07, 2007 at 10:46 AM

    oceanskies,

    Those are good starting points. The other would be switching on air conditioners only when somebody is in the room. However, this has been very difficult for me personally too, as I tend to get warm very easily.

  13. posted on Jul 08, 2007 at 4:01 PM

    Please consider adding the one.org banner to your blog…

  14. posted on Jul 10, 2007 at 12:08 AM

    james,

    Thanks for visiting. Will check out what the banner is about.

  15. posted on Jul 10, 2007 at 12:09 AM

    natasshea,

    Hehe…. we certainly loved the snake very much.. Good thing it behaved itself and didn’t bite any of us!

  16. posted on Jul 10, 2007 at 8:03 AM

    woah brudder Walter, that is quite abit you are doing man..I am really ashamed of not doing enough man..keke..

    – I do drive an OPC car tho..keep emissions down,
    – recycle occassionally…must do it more often,
    – I use water thimbles…should also reduce my showers by a minute,
    – use reusable bags..

    think I should use a portable ashtray too..hmm..oh oh..if you ever find a place to plant ’em trees..lemme know yah? Need to shake off them carbon footprints…;)

  17. posted on Jul 11, 2007 at 1:50 AM

    jason,

    No probs. I think we can all start somewhere and every baby step counts. I read with interest the flak which Live Earth Concerts have been receiving in terms of generating huge waste. At first, I was also amongst the naysayers, but I slowly realised that the attention generated was actually good for environmental causes. The means may not be right but the ends are worthy of support, and their approach of going on baby steps at at time may be more sustainable than expecting people to suddenly live an ascetic life as a hermit on mountains without electricity!

  18. posted on Jul 12, 2007 at 2:37 AM

    actually ah..I was quite upset with it but then again..its a good lesson to learn also…but the Live Earth Concert is a good start..now more people are aware of it and its up to them to act on it..I agree man..baby steps..we have to start somewhere yeah? 😉

  19. posted on Jul 14, 2007 at 1:39 PM

    We recycle, carry our own shopping bags, take public transport, turn off appliances and lights when not in use, changed all our bulbs to energy efficient ones, and a new thing I hadn’t thought of before: now I will buy digital music instead of CDs – no production and transportation costs involved.

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