Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Let's go back to the future....

Bullock carts have been long forgotten but not in Pradesh, India.

These carts might be outmoded and belong to an era gone by but it is the preferred mode of transport for a school there that is trying to cut down on vehicular emissions for a pollution-free tomorrow. Sandipani Muni, a charitable school in Vrindavan town, which is equipped with modern educational facilities, prefers bullock carts to fuel-driven vehicles for ferrying its students. The school which provides free education for the needy and poor, especially for girls, was set up in 2002 and has been using the bullock cart since then. They also have cycle rickshaws for students that live near the school. One of the downside of this transport is that it is slow but it requires virtually no maintenance as compared to other modes of transport but this fun cart has never been late for school.

I am sure that the students love riding in the cart. If i was a student there, I would be excited and won't miss a class because of the bullock ride :) Plus the bull's dung can be collected and used as natural fertilisers or as fuel :) So it has more than one purpose in life! Cool huh :) Maybe we should have them in Singapore too and I can be the conductor of the cart! hehehe. We can also have horse carriages or carts to ferry us around :) WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

I think it is a good initiative of the school to be environmentally friendly and guide their students in the right direction.. Makes me wanna go there and check out their scene.

Tips of the day: Opt for emails rather than snail mail when you sign up for any newsletter or promos from your favourite product companies.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Let's go sailing on the Plastiki!

The Plastiki is Mr. David de Rothschild's (youngest heir to the fortune of Europe's oldest and most respected banking families) boat made out of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles.

As of today, he has travelled 76 nautical miles which equals to the length of 481,536 plastic bottles. All these plastic bottles are only 0.0080% of what is being thrown away by Americans alone. The entire project aims to focus global awareness on the thoughtless, unnecessary damage plastic inflicts on the world’s oceans and potentially guide people towards more constructive ways to re-use plastic. During the next 90 days the crew, directed by skipper Jo Royle, will travel about 11,000 nautical miles from San Francisco, California to Sydney, Australia.

The so-called Great Pacific Garbage patch is a focal point of the expedition. Ocean currents from North American and Asian shores sweep along floating plastic, funneling it towards the island of trash, which is already larger than France and Germany combined and this is only 50% of all plastic products that end up in the ocean. Imagine if it's 100% of all the plastic products, it can create it's own continent with it's own plastic people :). The patch also has serious implications for pollution such as Polychlorinated Byphenyls (PCB) or DDT and could have serious health impacts if they’re absorbed into fish consumed by people.

This expedition is not trying to tell us that plastic is bad so let's ban it for good but to tell us people to re-use and recycle plastic instead of throwing it away to the dumps. It is a recyclable product so why not just recycle it? It is not much of an effort putting it in the recycling bin. Would you like it if your neighbour litters your home? No right. Well that's what we are doing to the our neighbour, the Ocean. Let's be responsible individuals and recycle. It is not that hard.

Tip of the day: See above! Don’t be Trashy - Recycle!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What did you do during the Earth Hour?

I stayed home and sat in the dark!

I wanted to play hide and seek but my cats were all sleeping (yes, they do know the game) and my baby boy was fast asleep too but he can barely crawl anyway :) I looked out my window and saw that quite a number of my neighbours were sitting in the dark as well. The darkness and silence brought me back to my childhood days when my sisters and I used to play hide and seek (in pitchblack darkness) and had to play our little game without even as much as a squeek! As we did not want our parents to know that we were still playing when we suppose to be in la la land! So what did you do during the Earth Hour? Let us know what you were up to last night ;)

Tip of the day: Planning to wash your car today? Why not bring your car to the nearest drive-through wash in your area. You'll save more water this way than using your hose and doing it yourself. And drive-throughs are way more fun!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Its Earth Hour Today... please do not forget the whole purpose of the Earth Hour. In my previous blog entry, I mentioned to you that Orchard Road is joining in on the Earth Hour and there will be a live music performance, star-gazing and other activities, depending on which mall you're heading to.

The Earth Hour is not about being in or enjoying a party, it's about creating awareness, it is actually about the Earth. We humans have rapidly deteriorated Earth's health and are continuing in doing so without a hint of guilt. Well the majority of us are not doing anything to help heal her or maybe are doing it just to be seen doing it. It's not about jumping on the bandwagon and hitching along for the ride. The people who really care for the Earth are actually hoping that this will catch on as a daily basis, where we incorporate it into our daily lives, not just a yearly ritual or occult.

You might be thinking 'at least people are joining in' but what is the point if it is once a year and people don't make it a habit to save electricity or recycle at the very least? Saving the Earth has to start in the home where you can teach the elder generations and of course our children on simple daily routines that will help Mother Earth and create a better and a more self-sufficient future for our future generation. We need to set them in the right direction so they will continue walking on the right path..

Tip of the day: Why not go a day doing something Earth friendly? Go for a walk in the park, have an eco-friendly picnic, go cycling or roller-blading in East Coast.. Enjoy an Eco-Friendly Saturday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Earth Hour on Orchard Road

Its two more days to Earth Hour.

If you don't know what it is, it is a movement organised by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) to demonstrate that with concerted efforts, mankind can make a difference in the fight against carbon emissions and climate change. More than 10 shopping centres, including new malls such as Ion Orchard, 313@Orchard, Orchard Central and Mandarin Gallery will switch off their facade and other non-essential lights for at least an hour starting from 8.30pm. Mrs Sng Ngoi May, Chairman of the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA), said 'Switching off our lights is a simple act which sends out a powerful message.

During Earth Hour, our malls, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses on Orchard Road will be united with millions around the globe to demonstrate that in our own little ways, we can all make changes to reduce our total energy consumption. Many of the malls will also hold their own related activities and promotions for example, Wisma Atria will be holding a countdown to Earth Hour as well as star-gazing and polaroid picture-pledging, while capital land will hold an Earth Hour Lights-Out party with live performances at Ion Orchard.

I just hope that they will be using renewable energy for their live performances, if not it will defeat the purpose right.. Ms Amy Ho, Managing Director of WWF Singapore, said 'ORBA's pledge to join the Earth Hour switch-off is a resounding statement for Singapore staying true to it's commitment in joining the fight against climate change. We hope that this marks the first step towards longer term collaboration about educating shoppers on sustainable lifestyle and more environmentally friendly consumption practices.' Well I think Orchard Road should change their street lamps to solar-powered ones with the many street lamps and outdoor lightings they have and use. I'm sure they are able to afford it. I believe they can do more than just switching off their lights for an hour once a year.

Tips of the day: You're not suppose to feed your baby from the same food jar so I keep the old jars and instead of buying bowls for him, I reuse the glass jar as my baby's bowl :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Singapore's Green Effort

Thanks to the local building industry's recycling efforts, the Singapore's government has launched a $15 million fund to help these companies adopt more sustainable processes.

Demolition contractors, recyclers, and ready-mixed concrete suppliers can now get a piece of the Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund to introduce and upgrade their recycled building products says Senior Minister of State for National Development for Grace Fu, who was speaking at the opening of a recycling technology project by local company Samwoh Corporation. If need be, the Government may top up the fund in the future. The Building and Construction Authority plans to increase demand for recycled materials by requiring building owners aiming for the top grades of its environmentally friendly building programme to adopt sustainable construction methods. To give users more confidence in using recycled concrete, the Government will require all ready-mixed concrete makers for the Singapore market to be certified according to new standards from October onwards.

Tip of the day: Use a rinse free hand sanitiser as your handwash in your toilet so it'll save water by not having to rinse and paper hand towels cos you don't have to wipe your hands dry. And when its emptied out, remember to throw it into the recycling bin :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eco Event in Singapore

A trade show and conference, where businesses can learn about the latest insights and best practices in the green economy will take place in April 8-10 at the Suntec International Conferenc and Exhibition Centre, Singapore. Its called the Eco World 2010.

ECO World 2010 aims to promote an environmentally friendly lifestyle through the sharing of knowledge relating to sustainable development solutions. One of the highlights of ECO World 2010 is the two-day trade conference featuring local and regional key opinion leaders, including The Carbon Neutral Company; who will be sharing green business strategies and its best practices for success. Besides the conference, ECO World 2010 will feature innovations and green solutions from the sectors of construction, lifestyle, technology and waste management. Some of the exhibiting companies include: Centre for Livable Cities, Dayen Environment Ltd, ecoWise Holdings Ltd, IBM, LHT Holdings Ltd, Spicers Paper Pte Ltd, Termimesh Singapore, Tetra Pak and The Green Car Company Pte Ltd. There will also be an international pavilion featuring sustainable solutions from Costa Rica, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil and Spain. The rapid economic growth experienced in Asia over the last decades has exerted considerable pressure on the environmental sustainability of the region. It is estimated that almost 55%* of the population in Asia will be living in urban areas by 2030. This translates to an increase in production and consumption of energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as further degradation of scarce resources such as water supplies, forests and agricultural land.

I think this is a good direction that Singapore is taking to promote eco-friendly businesses in Singapore. I just hope that the conference itself will be eco-friendly..

Tip of the day: If you're having a party and plan to buy plastic plates and utensils, remember to buy the eco-friendly ones made out of corn or is biodegradable. If not, just rinse and recycle the disposable plates :) Its not too much work to save the Earth.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Consumers who choose green products to boost their status

Recently research was carried out on a group of 168 college students and what they found out is that some people who go out of their way to buy eco-friendly products do not do it for their concern of the planet but to make themselves appear superior.

Many green products are more expensive but lack some of the features of conventional products but such altruistic behavior may come from a desire to show off one's wealth and environmental consciousness.

One group of students read a story intended to make them aspire towards a high social status, while another group read a different story or no story. Each student was asked to choose between a series of green and conventional products. The products had the same price and brand, but the green option had lower performance and fewer luxury features. Students in the "status" group were more likely to choose the green products as compared to the students in the control group. And the result of another experiment is more interesting. It showed that the status hungry students were less likely to buy green if told they were shopping online rather in a store, that is if no one is watching! (Naughty naughty..) Students in the status-seeking group were also more attracted to green products when those products were more expensive.

Maybe these students have to take a course on climate change in order to take it more seriously and understand that their future wouldn't be as comfortable if no drastic action is taken. I was shocked to find out that there are people out there who are more interested in attaining a higher status in life than concern for the environment. We still have to share the same air no matter what status you are in!

Tip of the day: Throw you recyclables in the designated recycling bin in town instaed of the regular bin :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Let's welcome the ECO-OTO

What is the Eco-Oto?

Well it's a Japanese invention that is to help those that are embarrassed with certain sounds we, as human beings, make while busy in the loo (if you know what I mean heheh).

I know I'm one of the guilty ones that flush occasionally when I think I need to heheh. I know, too much info right but hey it's only natural! Even the most gorgeous people have their moments in the toilet! So this eco-oto is an iphone app that helps you cover up those embarrassing moments in the public toilet by playing a flushing sound so instead of actually flushing or "coughing" away, just press a button on your iphone and it will do the work for you. You can play it for 30, 60, 90 or 120 seconds! This way you will be saving around 6-8 litres of water per flush! It cost only $0.99, a small price to pay for the environment if you are one of those guilty ones that waste water doing the pretend flush :)

If you do not want to waste your money on it then try out our tip of the day and see whether it works for you :)

Tip of the day: Instead of buying the eco-oto iphone app, you could try and record the flushing sound in the comfort of your own toilet as a ringtone and play it whenever you need it. Try it out first and see whether it works ok.. and make sure it is loud enough to cover your toilet musicals!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Using grass to run your car?

No, they are not planning to pluck out grass from the Earth to change it to biofuel.

That wouldn't be environmentally friendly right, using precious land to farm grass. And plus it'll be weird looking at bald patches on the ground. The Carbon Trust is working together with the University of York to research how using microwave technology could turn garden and wood waste into biofuel. The process of using microwave to heat the waste without oxygen is called pyrolysis. The research will look at how this process could be used to produce a biofuel to blend with fossil fuel or as a fuel on its own. The carbon footprint of this new pyrolysis biofuel could potentially save 95% of carbon compared to fossil fuels.

The trust also announced the creation of a new consortium of British businesses led by Axion Energy, which will aim to enhance existing pyrolysis technology to produce biofuels created from organic waste materials en masse. The consortium aims to produce its first biofuel from a pilot plant in 2014 and estimates that this will save seven million tonnes of carbon, the equivalent to the annual emissions of three million cars. If this research goes through then it will be great for Singapore with the many grass cutting days they have here, which is done every other week. Wakes my son up from his sleep and makes my kitties scurry for safety!

Tip of the day: If you have a cold, go old skool and use a handkerchief instead of disposable tissues :) Maybe you'll start a new fashion statement!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's!

Hello everyone! How's your day been so far? I bet you guys can't wait for the work day to be over so you can head down to the nearest bar and enjoy a huge cold one!

I would definitely gulp down a nice cold draught (moms' are allowed a drink or two ok) but I have to stay home and look after my lil boy. So before you head out and order your first drink, think about how eco friendly the beers really are. Unfortunately the beer industry is not so eco friendly with my no.1 favourite not even making the Greentopia list of eco beers, so as an eco conscious consumer, you can order a locally brewed beer instead of an imported one so less pollution is caused by transportation. Or you can head down to a micro-brewery here. Paulaner Brauhaus and Brewerkz brews their own signature ales so just have a go at it. You just might love the taste. Drink your ale draught from a tap so you'll also save on the packaging. Plus it'll definitely taste better! Unfortunately, the local bars here are not environmentally friendly and they should start soon so as not to be left behind. Maybe I should be the one who has the 1st eco bar in Singapore :) I'll probably be behind the bar hehehe. Or if you know of any such eco bar in Singapore, do let us know :) I'm gonna stop short of my rantings and naggings today to let you enjoy St. Paddy's Day so have fun and have Gaia on your mind..

Tips of the day: Its hidden in the articles above :) and remember to walk or take the public transport to your destinations!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are gas stations slowly vanishing?

With the rise in eco-cars, this is exactly what is happening in Japan. The gas stations there are going bust.

More than 2000 gas stations have been closing down annually in recent years but this figure might increase with more Japanese opting for green cars that run on less fuel or no fuel at all.

The Federation of Petroleum Product Dealers Associations (Zensekiren) estimates that if eco-friendly vehicles account for half of new car purchases and 20% of all vehicles in fiscal 2020, annual demand for for gasoline will plunge to 40.88 million kiloliters, down 29% from fiscal 2008, while demand for light fuel oil will fall 15% to 28.66 million kiloliters. And if eco-friendly vehicles such as electric and gas-electric hybrid cars catch on even more than Zensekiren expects, filling stations could face an even bleaker future.

What the Japanese are worried about is how it will affect the remote villages there. These villagers rely on the gas stations for their supply of kerosene and fuel for their farm equipments. But if there is still a demand for gas stations in the villagers then what is the problem, why would they go bankrupt? If they are losing business from passing cars which are eco-friendly, then they should have revamped and cater to the needs of the eco cars right. Installing chargers for them or repairing green cars perhaps? I think its a good thing for Japan that most of the people are buying eco cars. And they should look at the bright side, with the supply of oil decreasing and prices going up, they don't need to be so independent on it. They can use their precious oil for other purposes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

News, news and more news

I read some of the top eco news today n stumbled upon an article titled "IPCC rainforest eco-trastophe claim confirmed bunk" in the Tehran Times.

It says that the UN body came under attack for suggesting that 40% of the Amazonian rainforests (dubbed the "lungs of the planet" by some for their ability to turn CO2 into oxygen, and also seen as vital for their bio-diversity grounds) might disappear imminently. This disaster would be triggered, according to the IPCC's assessment, by a relatively slight drop in rainfall of the sort to be expected in a warming world. Scientists have made their research and now it appears that such conditions have already occurred, and the Amazonian jungles were unaffected. How long do they think the rainforest will survive when there's a constant decrease in supply of water? Do they think the rainforest will last forever? Even our regular home plants need a certain amount of water to survive.

Ok, so what if the Amazon can survive with a decrease amount of water. Good for them right. But what about the animals that depend on the water to survive? Are we suppose to just let them dehydrate and die? They are already fighting for space because of deforestation, thanks to us greedy humans who can never be satisfied, and now they have to fight for an important element which is necessary for any living organism to survive, water. The rich nations aren't the ones who will be affected by it first-hand, but the poor nations will be affected first. It's just sad that there are people out there who wants to prove those that are trying to do good for Mother Earth wrong. And why? Because of greed and money? Are these scientists implying that it is alright for the world to live with less water, a hotter climate (which they said is already happening now) and a more polluted world? That's the message I got from reading the article.

Tip of the day: Please buy only recycled paper and be proactive in recycling. It truly does help.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Sustainable Dinner

Hello everyone! How is your Saturday going so far? Mine is just gonna be a chilled out Saturday (I hope).

So I had a really enjoyable Friday night, thanks to the company I had and plus, I attended an event held at the United World College by Dover Rd, which was put together by the students there. The theme was "Sustainable Dinner" and Green Cleaners were invited to attend and put up a stall there to raise awareness of eco-friendly cleaning alternatives. There were a few other stalls up, all concerning the environment and of course our fellow friends, the animals, that we share the Earth with.

It was my first ever event that I attended which was held in a school and I must say they did a very good job at it. Natural products, e.g leaves and plants, were used as the main decor, vegetarian food was served and we were encouraged to eat with our hands, which in some Asian culture is a very natural thing to do and environmentally friendly as well. You just need to wash your hands and thats it. No utensils required. And no, it is not a barbaric thing to do. It is making use of what you already have as a tool. But of course this is mainly for rice dishes.

I really thought it was nice that the teachers are emphasizing on the need to be mindful of the environment and the animals to their students because I, for one, strongly believe that we should start teaching children at a young age and they in turn can educate their parents on it and make their parents change their ways especially in recycling, eating organic food, supporting organic farmers and using Earth friendly products.

It's always easy changing an "old" mind when children are the ones educating the older generation. It's amazing how children can influence and change an adult mind. Even I became much more concerned once I became a mom, because as a parent you need to know what goes in your baby's lil tummy and plus they just love putting things into their mouth and of course you what to make sure that whatever it is, it'll be safe for your lil one; as we all know that they are highly sensitive individuals.

I think it's time the local schools make themselves more involved in educating students on environmental concerns because it will (or it has) affect each and every one of us once we all are no longer in denial....

Tip of the day: If you're still using the old flush system where there is only the full flush available, you can put a big plastic bottle (with water inside to weigh it down) and put it inside the flush tank, so it will refill with half the amount of water thinking that it is full.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How quitting the soda will be good for the environment

So what is in a can of soda? Lets have a breakdown of it and use my dearest friend, the diet coke, as an example.

These highly addictive drinks are made up of soy and corn which is two of the biggest GM crops so it's likely that the soda companies are using these Genetically Modified crops. The artificial sweeteners used is not only polluting our bodies but may be contaminating our drinking water since sewage treatment plants don't seem to be effective at removing them from waste water. This study was done by German researchers. The bottles are not so innocent as well.

Only 25% is made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and the rest of the 75% is made from fossil fuel based plastic and these bottled water industry uses 17 million barrels of oil a year to produce its plastic bottles. Naughty naughty. The more you should carry your own water bottle which you can reuse over and over again. The can is made from half virgin aluminum which is an abundant resource but unfortunately is environmentally destructive to mine. The aluminum industry uses as much electricity as the entire African continent! and a ton of toxic chemicals is left behind for every ton of metal produced, The can lining contains packaging additive bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic chemical that's been linked to cancer, sexual development abnormalities, and heart disease, among other serious health conditions, and is present in most plastic.

A Health Canada study last year found BPA levels in soda to be below what's been deemed a "safe limit," but other studies have found even extremely low doses of the chemical to spur cancer cell growth in test animals. Plus they are planning to ban the use of BPA in baby's bottle and products. Diet coke is made from 99% waterwhich coca cola is proud of, but all the water has to come from somewhere and guess where it all comes from. From areas severely afflicted by water shortages, most notably drought-stricken India, and continuing their bottling operations there. And don't forget the energy cost of manufacturing, distribution and refrigeration. The equipment used in retail outlets just to refrigerate its drinks account for over 70% of the company's carbon emissions!

I'm sure there are other greener ways to curb your soda cravings.. Treat yourself to a fountain-dispensed glass of soda at a restaurant or purchase your own home soda maker (yes there is such an invention, its the Sodastream :) )

Tip of the day: From what I've written, I hope you can cut down on your soda drinks and soon ban it from your life forever :) It will not only help the environment but also your health....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

China's farmer lawmaker gives another green idea....

So a Chinese lawmaker came up with another eco-friendly idea for his fellow countryman to adopt (he helped in the ban of plastic bags in China) and the new proposal is that their ID card hold their important informations on one side instead of two.

You might be wondering how this is going to be good for the environment. Well, in his argument, there are plenty of occasions that an Identity Card needs to be photocopied front and back as that's where the information is stored. If you have all the information stored on one side of it then you'll only have to photocopy it once, so you'll only use the photocopy machine once. He also proposed charging customers when they use disposable appliances in hotels. Well it's another small step towards the ultimate green goal but maybe we can scan and email it instead of photocopying whenever possible. Well he's so pro on the environment that he gives out bamboo bags and handkerchiefs at the annual sessions. Sweet. Singapore should start charging on their plastic bags at the supermarkets.

Tip of the day: Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. I mean, come on lah, we are living in a tropical island right so make use of it. Plus your clothes will have a fresher smell to it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Counting down to Earth Hour - Less is More?

New Delhi will join 91 other countries in switching off their lights on the 27th of March at 830pm across the globe.

The Capital managed to save 700 megawatts (MW) during last year's Earth Hour. Monuments, government buildings, residential and commercial establishments switched off non-essential lights for an hour to save energy. Because of the success of last year's Earth Hour, Delhi's government decided to hold their own Earth Hour on the last Friday of every month. So when they started doing it monthly, the popularity of it dropped. With the enthusiasm dipping both for the campaign strength and the public response,the government has decided to keep it simple, and annual.

Hmmmmm.. so people, what do you guys think about "Delhi's experiment"? Are people doing the Earth Hour cos it's cool? Or do you think they really care? I mean, if it's non-essential lights, it's non-essential right? So why is it hard for people to actually save electricity every day? Is it like a chore to them? I understand the need for street lamps but buildings? Maybe for starters they slowly cut down the electricity usage by a quarter then half and so on. You know, like cold turkey hehe..Don't people miss the darkness of night? I know I do..

Tip of the day: REMEMBER TO OFF THE MAIN SWITCH WHEN NOT IN USE AND WHEN LEAVING THE HOUSE. Don't just wait for Earth Hour, start now..

Monday, March 8, 2010

Still arguing over Climate Change

Why is it so hard for people to accept that we humans are to be blamed for the mess we've caused? Isn't it typical of us human to not accept blame or push it to someone else?

So there's a new article that came out today stating that human impact on the climate change is more clearer. The Met, Britain's national weather service, says a new review of 110 research papers written and researched during the last 3 years shows "evidence has strengthened for human influence on climate" according to a BBC news report.

What makes the new review by the Met more credible, according to its authors, is the broad view it takes of the world's weather and it's eco-systems. A separate research has shown that Methane is possibly a bigger threat to the Earth's delicate environment than previously thought. Methane, which is a potent global warming gas, is bubbling out of the Arctic ice faster than expected, thanks to a warming climate. This was reported in Friday's edition of the journal Science. "The amount of methane coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world's oceans" said Natalie Shakhova, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center and co-author.

Concerns about global warming have centered on rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but scientists note that methane can be 30 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. But this DOES NOT mean that we can use this to our advantage and continue our increase in carbon dioxide ok people! Maybe the skeptics should sit in a room full of smog and see whether they can last in there and come out feeling good..

Tip of the day: Instead of using a treadmill, go out and jog in the park. Rather than breathing in used and recycled air in the gym, enjoy the air, which is cleaned up naturally by the plants, in the park :) You'll save as well :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I found this article that might help non-believers change their minds

IT IS an ''increasingly remote possibility'' that human activity is not the main cause of climate change, concludes a review of more than 100 scientific studies that have tracked observed changes in the Earth's climate system.

The research will strengthen the case for human-induced climate change against the viewpoints of sceptics who argue the observed changes in the Earth's climate can largely be explained by natural variability.

Climate scientists and the UN's climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have come under intense pressure in recent months after the panel was forced to admit it had made two errors in its fourth assessment report, published in 2007. Asked whether his study was specifically scheduled as a fightback, Peter Stott, who led the review for Britain's Meteorological Office, said the paper was drafted a year ago.

But he added: "I hope people will look at that evidence and make up their minds." Scientists matched computer models of possible causes of climate change, both human-led and otherwise, to measured changes in factors such as air and sea temperature, Arctic sea ice cover and global rainfall patterns. This technique, called optimal detection, showed clear fingerprints of human-induced global warming, Dr Stott said. The review, published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, finds the natural causes of climate variation, including changing energy output from the sun and volcanic eruptions, cannot alone explain the observed changes.

''There hasn't been an increase in solar output for the last 50 years and solar output would not have caused the cooling of the higher atmosphere and the warming of the lower atmosphere we have seen,'' the review said.

Evidence that the climate system is changing goes beyond measured air temperatures, with much in the fresh body of facts relating to the oceans. ''Over 80 per cent of the heat that's trapped in the climate system as a result of the greenhouse gases is exported into the ocean and we can see that happening,'' Dr Stott said.

Arctic sea ice is also retreating: the summer minimum of sea ice is declining at a rate of 600,000 square kilometres a decade. Rainfall is increasing in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere and in large parts of the southern hemisphere, while in the tropics and sub-tropics there are decreases. ''The already wet regions are getting wetter and the dry regions are getting drier,'' Dr Stott said.
If the observed climate change were entirely due to solar activity, the Earth's atmosphere would have warmed more evenly, and the troposphere and stratosphere would have been affected.


Tip of the Day: For mums :) Reuse the jar of your baby food. You can use it to store your self-made pureed fruits for your baby :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Don't you feel it or see it?

I read an article online that a survey done on 1001 adults (in the U.K) showed people who are sceptical on the climate change is on the rise.

25% of the people who took part in the poll said that they did not believe that climate change is happening, that is an increase of 10%. 75% said that climate change was happening, a drop from 83%, and 26% of those said that they believe its happening and is mainly caused by us human beings. More people are sceptical about man's contribution to climate change than firm believers. One in three of the 75% even say that living in warming world has been exaggerated.

Has the truth really been stretched? Has Mother Nature not given us enough signs that we are slowly causing her death? Do you think that what we've been doing on Earth, which is all for our own convenience, a natural process? As they say, Ignorance Is Bliss.

Tip of the Day: I want a nice, healthy environment for my son and grandkids (if ever and still a long long way to go). Don't you?
Maybe we should all sit back and think whether we humans are causing the death of the world or not..

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Heard of Eco-friendly burial?

Planning a burial and and want to do it in a greener way? Well that is what the pro-green Canadians are doing now.

The funeral and burial businesses in Canada are catching up on the green bug and Smith's Funeral Homes, which operates four funeral homes, last year became Canada's first such business to be certified by the U.S.-based Green Burial Council, an independent, non-profit organization that encourages eco-friendly end-of-life practices. Traditional funerals and burials are anything but environmentally friendly.

A typical cemetery buries 4,500 litres of formaldehyde-based embalming fluid, 97 tonnes of steel, 2,000 tonnes of concrete and 56,000 board feet of tropical hardwood in every acre of space. Add to that the tonnes of cut flowers and carbon emissions from mourners' vehicles. And if you think cremation reduces your carbon footprint, think again. It's estimated a single cremation uses 92 cubic metres of natural gas, enough to supply the average Canadian home for 12.5 days, and releases 0.8 to 5.9 grams of mercury. A cemetery that is worth emulating is Greensprings, in Ithaca, N.Y., where plots are hand-dug and graves are not marked by large headstones carted from miles away but by trees or shrubs, or flat stones or plaques, for those who wish to mark a specific plot at all.

I think its nice that instead of a cement statue, you plant a tree in its place, you know, you give life from a life.. It adds a bit of a romance to death..

Tip of the day: Buy items which sells a refillable version to it e.g dishwashing liquids, so you can refill the bottle and just recycle the plastic bag. Of cos it is better to buy organic or eco-friendly products, but it is another step to take to go green :)

If U.K can do it, why can't we?

The U.K government has plans to upgrade 7 MILLION homes in Britain to be more energy efficient by 2020, cutting carbon-dioxide emissions and reducing fuel bills.

The “eco-upgrades” include installing smart meters, which allow customers to monitor and reduce their energy use, in all homes by 2020 and cut carbon emissions from home by 29 percent by then. It also aims for insulation in all possible lofts and cavity walls by 2015. Research has shown that more than a quarter of carbon emissions come from homes so it is necessary for people to make the improvements that will lead them to smarter use of energy. Home owners, private landlords and tenants will receive help to achieve this.

I think this is a good move as they will definitely save on their electricity bill, which always increases every other month! and plus we are running out of the black gold aka oil. If they are able to make the move, why is it so difficult for other countries to follow suit? Are they worried that the power supply companies are gonna be upset as there'll be less usage, hence less profit for them? I'm sure it is achievable e.g they can change the street lamps to solar powered ones for starters so less electricity would be used in the country. Is the Earth not important enough for us to save it? What about their fellow country men? I guess money is more important to them. What do you think?

Tip of the day: Buy your own solar powered lamp! Charge it by the window or wherever the sun hits most and use it at night :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Strike the Lottery and buy an Eco Home!!

Well thats what the new millionaires, Nigel Page and Justine Laycock did (if you haven't heard, they are the ones that scooped up the 56 million dollar pound!).

The home is now almost completely carbon neutral and runs on just 10 per cent of the energy a normal household needs. The 400-year-old dairy farm buildings are completely airtight and feature a "solar park" where heat from the sun is captured in 20 panels. The energy is stored in rocks in the ground and distributed to underfloor heating in the house and the swimming pool. The buildings also have a very low humidity level to stop dust mites, smells and condensation. The state-of-the-art household sits in the rolling countryside with landscaped gardens, a massage room, a limestone steam room with a vaulted ceiling and a sauna. I do not understand why they need both a steam room and a sauna when they have the same purpose. hmmmm. The more the merrier i guess.

Well at least they thought of the environment when splurging on a luxury home. And they were nice enough to give away their old house to their long time maid, plus a car too! What would you do if you had millions of dollars? I wish I could own an eco home but for now the only thing I can do is switch my light bulb to energy saving ones, use less water and do my part in recycling! :)

Tip of the day: Turn the main water valve so the flow of water would be less when you switch on the taps in your house as people have a habit to turn the tap to full blast accidentally, wasting alot of water....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oil on the Po

The Po river, Italy's longest river and known as the lifeline of their agriculture, was deliberately polluted 2 days ago by what the president of the Monza province described as "eco-terrorrists".

The oil-spill, several kilometres long, moved downstream with the Lambro river from Villasanta, crossed the town of Monza, passed by the Milan area and then flowed into the Po. That sounds like a very long way down. The spill involved at least 260,000 gallons of oil made up of diesel and home-heating oil, both known to be heavy and extremely sticky. Despite efforts to contain the slick with absorbent pads and the closure of the hydraulic locks, the oil seeped from the Lambro into the Po. Inhabitants in the region were advised not to drink tap water as it is contaminated.

I cannot imagine the amount of anger and sadness felt by the affected people. How selfish can a person be to cause an oil-spill on water, which is one of the most important source for human lives. We are already depleting our water and food resources and yet there are people out there who would destroy the necessities of life because of them being upset lil brats and wanting to get their message across!

What about the innocent animals or fish that depend on the river for their survival! And of cos the government himself seemed more concerned about how it would affect the country's GDP as it accounts for 40% of Italy's GDP. I would give the perpetrator a good spanking and make him have a taste of his own medicine if it was up to me. This news reallly p****d me off!

My heart goes out to those affected by the oil-spills and of course the lives lost in Chile....

Tips of the Day: Teach your kids young on the importance of recycling and not to be wasteful. Bring them along when you're throwing your recycling away so it'll make it a habit for them.