5 Easy Ways to Green Your Lifestyle

This is my 250th post since 2005. ;-)

And today is also World Environment Day.

On reflection, I think I am a good environmentalist. Nic and I have made the environment one of those causes that we support heartily.

JOIN MNS & MAKE YOUR MONEY WORK

Starting last year, I became an MNS member so that I could channel some money towards Mother Nature especially to safekeep what we currently have. I’ve also learnt so much from the monthly MNS newsletters.

This morning, I read about bats in the June MNS newsletter (I have a tendency to read while having breakfast). Pahang is one of the best places on earth to see a variety of bats (which are mammals by the way). We have about 65 species of bats. The other place which comes close with some 50 species is the French Guyana. See the things you learn about Malaysia when you support a local cause? I encourage you to join as an MNS member – if only to know that your money is going towards saving endangered animals. Do good for only RM6 a day. I am sure your latte costs much more than that.

BE A MAD RECYCLER

Other than that, we recycle much of what is usually rubbish or trash, yes, even in the office (no paper goes to waste). I’ve carted loads of plastic, paper and tins to the Sungai Nibong Rukun Tetangga pondok in the past 3 years.

I always tell Nic, “Imagine there’s only 2 of us and we have this much of recyclables. What if it’s a family of 5?” It’s sometimes scary to think of what goes into our landfills. Of course people don’t know until they live next to a stinking landfill. Singapore, I read, has a major problem finding land for their trash so they just reclaimed more land from the sea to use as landfill! Or some people are still unclear of what to recycle. This might give you an idea.

IT’S $, NOT TRASH

Like Don says, it’s not trash. It’s money that you’re throwing away. Recyclables are worth something. So be fiendish about recycling. I even recycle tiny paper tags (that come with clothes) and bits of receipts.

Three weeks ago, I bought a basket from Tesco so I could use it for carrying vegetables that I buy at the Lip Sin market. I think it’s time I stopped getting plastic bags (Mrs Gan, my fishmonger, tells me that plastic bags are so expensive now that oil prices are rocketing – she loves me more because I help her save on plastic bags).

Most people don’t think twice about accepting plastic bags when buying food but I usually say no thanks. I carry my own bag to shop and refuse plastic bags. Try it.

ADAMANTLY REFUSE TO USE PLASTIC BAGS

It takes some forethought but after a while, saying “No need plastic bags” is like saying thank you. (One good thing about Petronas’ Kedai Mesra is that you don’t get plastic bags any more when you buy small items like sweets or bread. I support that!)

RUN FROM CHEAP CHINA STUFF

The other thing is that I’ve given up on buying cheap made in China electrical goods because they’ll just break down in a year’s time and then I end up with more junk! (Damn Chinese quality control…or bloody lack of!) So either I save like mad to buy a more expensive and less likely to kaput item or I don’t buy at all. This buy-and-throw consumerism culture has to stop. And it starts with me.

DON’T MAKE PLEDGES YOU CAN’T KEEP

I read about people making pledges in The Star. That’s all well and good but nothing happens until we make those pledges work. Making pledges isn’t just a PR thing. It’s about really making that pledge happen. It’s about changing our lifestyles bit by bit and living everyday green instead of just that one day in a year we get all greened up and mushy inside about the earth we live on.

Like that ad says, we all live on an island we cannot leave.

Share with me some of your green tips for a greener lifestyle. Or do you think our world is beyond saving? Or we should all stop this population explosion? Is it hopeful or hopeless?

0 replies
  1. Mayakirana
    Mayakirana says:

    Yes, Vern. I was stuck in that crazy jam for 15 minutes before realizing that I could bypass all those mad people and turn into my apartment as there’s a little bit of road that was not occupied. I think if everyone thought properly – idling your car in the midst of a jam, which inched forward a foot every 5 minutes was basically also a waste of petrol! Anyway, good idea on the Prius.I am so glad I drive a fuel-efficient car….

    Reply
  2. Vern
    Vern says:

    I think it all boils down to square one. Petrol would probably finish while waiting for your turn at the petrol kiosk. And then it’ll be used up by the time you’ve braved through the jam and got home! My parents couldn’t be bothered to fuel up, but I was caught in the jam with my friends when we were heading out for dinner. Geram!

    Reply
  3. matrianklw
    matrianklw says:

    I think the earth is still up for saving if we all change our lifestyles. As your tips show, it’s not about making a pledge or a campaign to change for the better, instead, it’s the little efforts and everyday habits that makes a difference. And as you said, if there were that much recyclables from a family of 2, what else a family of 5 like mine? Oh yes, we’ve been recycling too and the amount we collect is almost scary! We’ve also been using shopping bags instead of conventional plastic or paper bags lately. Nonetheless, kudos to the tips! Looking forward to practice most of them!

    Reply
  4. u-jean
    u-jean says:

    I wonder what are the probabilities of a person keeping to their pledge. I’ve always thought they were nonsense.
    Will abstain from bathing the whole day la…
    Will abstain from flushing the toilet la…

    Reply
  5. Vern
    Vern says:

    Hahaha! Yu Jean! This reminded me of the joke of Samy Vellu that Nat once told us… the one about conserving water? “Kita mesti jimat air! Jangan buang air besar!!” LOL!

    Reply
  6. Maya
    Maya says:

    Hi matrianklw: Yeah, imagine if everyone did their bit. How green the world would be and we wouldn’t need to specially inaugurate a day for the environment. I am so glad I am not alone in my eco-quest. If only the world had more people like you and your family! ;-) Where do you go to recycle? I can’t be bothered with the recycling cans in the Petronas station here because they’re way too small to insert any real recyclable. Having greenie friends like Don and Mylene keeps us accountable too because guilt of not doing the right thing is terrible.

    Hi u-jean: Well, yah, that’s my point. A pledge is useless. Make it a habit. Speaking of showering, tutup the shower when you soap yourself. Tutup the tap when you brush your teeth. Use water (that’s used for soaking vege) to water your plants or wash your drains. For a quick beauty tip, use the water that comes from washing your rice to wash your face. That’s one way to have smoother skin PLUS recycle rice water…haha.

    Hi Vern: That was a good one. Reminds me of a priest joke a priest friend told me. This happened in some boondocks where the priest had to speak Malay although he was trained in English. When it came time for the parishioners to come forward to get their blessing (the priest needed to sprinkle holy water on them), he said,” Mari ke depan semua. Saya akan buang air!” LOL!!!!!

    Reply

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  1. [...] to Don and Mylene’s passionate talks for a while now (and now that we’ve become more green and eco-friendly), it’s always great as a [...]

  2. [...] and I have stopped using plastic bags for some time now because it’s truly bad for the environment. You see, I think we aren’t idiots but [...]

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