Similarly, Earth Hour has come and gone (I was out for a meal so technically my lights were switched off). While the bandwagon was brimming with green groupies, after more than two weeks, where are we now?The point is that grand gestures are easy to embrace – cool, too, when they come with enough do-gooder publicity. But how many of us are even thinking about switching off our electricity for an hour every day or every week after that? Thought so.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
We May Not Be Green Yet, But We Are Heading There
There has been some comments on the Earth Hour bandwagon like the following quote from the Star, but what I want to do is to comment on what the writer has wrote on the little people who care who actually make going green happen.
The writer has basically asserted that from her exposure that ''that green causes .... are generally targeted at those who can afford to go green and spend time thinking about it. “For those who are struggling to earn a living, it is unfortunately a non-issue.”" This is based on her experience that when she returned from abroad, her exposure to garbage separation there amounts to nothing locally as she believes that all the garbage would still go to a single bag and will later unceremoniously dumped together into the landfill.
What she does not realise is that in Malaysia, it is exactly the opposite as it is these poor people who are the little people who actually help in recycling our society's waste in a big way. I am not talking about the metal thieves who help recycle our metal gates and gratings and such but I wonder if she really has not seen these little people with a piece of long metal that is hooked at the end to help them hook the drink cans out of garbage bins and longkangs. Or she has not seen how our enterprising garbagemen who has taken the initiative to separate the garbage themselves to sell to the recycling centres as shown by the photos here, or our own landfill scavengers who brave thrash landslides and methane blasts to separate the garbage at site, with some lucky ones finding the occasionally missing gold jewelry as a jackpot sometimes, something I know from personal experience when I was doing a project at some of the landfills. This not even taking into account the ubiquitous old newspapermen doing the rounds that is not only limited to newspaper nowadays but other junk too.
And the reason for these recycling enterprise? Its just cold hard cash as it is really true that there is money in garbage. So never mind if we still do not practise formal garbage separation via coloured thrash bins or sacks. As long we try to separate the recyclables from our trash and keeping them separately until they can be thrown away together later on, we would have done our own little bit to help the environment by helping those who actually are doing the recycling bit make the job a little bit easier. You really don't need to wait to go brown, blue and green to go green.