The responsibility of the protection of mother earth, be it known, is not exclusive to industries alone. Each inhabitant has his own share of responsibility, whether we like it or not. Little measures, if done by many, would end up as a good tool for environment protection.
Here's my 10 hit list on how I help preserve mother earth.
1. Segregate - in France, they have this colour coding system which guaranties effective waste elimination. Green for bottles (vert pour les verres - easy to remember, right? Vert (green) and verres (bottles) have the same pronounciation), yellow for recyclable wastes such as plastics and papers, and gray for other domestic wastes. Each household is of course equipped with their own garbage bins which are furnished by the city or communal government.
2. Recycle - check the packages. If there's this recycle sign, then do it. Batteries for example, which don't fit with the green, yellow and gray segregation, could be eliminated by bringing them to the nearest electronics store where a bin is stationed for this purpose.
3. Re-use – problem with old stuffs monopolizing your drawers, cabinets and closets? Check if you could give them on charity agencies that could eventually send them to people in need. It may not serve you anymore, and elimination might not be the best solution yet.
4. Sell – vide-grenier: a day when French people empty their attics and resell those old / unused / unwanted stuffs which long been sleeping in their grenier. There are always those who seek what others wouldn’t want anymore: antique stuffs, stamp collections, old coins, old books, old maps, old rocking chair, old plates, old cups…vide-grenier is just about anything!
5. Reduce fuel consumption - there are a lot of ways to limit fuel consumption and at the same time prevent throwing those bucks out of the window.
a. 19°C - it's the temperature best adapted to the human body. So if you're experiencing winter now, stop exaggerating, reduce that temperature and wear your pull-over now!
According to experts, an average of 21°C inside the house means energy optimisation. A meagre 1°C increase would mean 6% energy consumption, would you believe that? Here's a good temperature distribution for you:
Living room: 20°C
Bedroom: between 18°C and 20°C
Halls and corridors: 17°C
b. Programmable thermostats - keeps temperature uniform inside the house. The best way is to manage the system:
Start heating an hour before waking up
Stop heating an hour before sleeping
Stop heating when you're out (mine stops at 7:30am and restarts at 5:30pm)
d. Turn off the television and other electronic paraphernalias when not in use. Leaving them on standby mode is not the best solution as it still consumes electricity. Leaving a television on standby mode the whole evening, for example represents 2 hours of actual utilisation. Multiply those extra hours now with 30 to get your monthly extra charges for nothing.
e. Switch off those lamps - if not in use, better switch it off dude.
f. Take public transportation. If possible, take those public transportations. They are there to serve you. Not only you reduce your gas consumption a.k.a. budget, you also help limit gas pollution.
g. Take those bicycles out. Don’t you think it’s time for you to transform those fats into muscles? Here’s one practical solution for you.
h. Walk. If your destination is really near, please don’t bother to take that car key, walk! For a healthy lifestyle, an hour of leisure walking do wonders.
i. When you buy a vehicle, please take note of fuel consumption too. Don’t forget to have your vehicles controlled to ensure proper functioning, thus correct consumption.
j. Drive correctly. Yep, have you heard about economic driving? Be noted that each time you try to speed up, that translates to higher fuel combustion.
6. Plant a tree – for obvious reasons, right?
7. Product lifetime – as you must have noticed, product lifetime has decreased considerably nowadays, especially electronic appliances. Is it to accelerate the rate of consumption? Frenchguy has an old clock from his gradmom which is more than 100 years now. Every little part of it still works, to the enchantment of everybody in the family of course. I’ve got a decorative clock which I bought barely 2 years ago, it’s dead! When you buy, do you consider design and/or quality? Think about it.
8. Don’t throw anywhere – there’s a place for each waste, remember? Once upon a time, a friend of mine told me that he was charged with P500 fine for littering (a cigarette butt) at Buendia St, Makati. Everybody has got to learn their lessons, he learned it the hard way.
9. Preserve water – it’s one of our natural resources which is in real danger due to pollution and abundant use. I don’t want to propose flushing every 2 peepees because that would naturally cause air pollution, but get that economizer thing where you’ve got 2 buttons, one for half the volume, and another one for full volume. Do I have to elaborate in which cases you’ll have to use such button?
10. Stop farting – no kidding! A study showed that cows produce methane when they fart. Holy cow! Uh-oh, not me…
I must have forgotten some, or do things not listed which eventually go in this same purpose. One thing is for sure, I do my share, and I hope, you do too..