Sunday, June 12, 2011

Malaysian: Green tips to save Earth, money

 Natural products and organic toiletries are some of the items on sale at the Green Heroes Unite campaign.

Natural products and organic toiletries are some of the items on sale at the Green Heroes Unite campaign.

TODAY'S youth are more wired up, plugged in, worldlier and savvier than ever.

In this age of social media, youth today are always connected, one way or another, to the world wide web. With easy access to information and events from around the world, youth today are more exposed to environmental issues than before.

Many youth care deeply about the threats facing the environment and are committed to making a difference. But it's not always easy to know exactly what to do. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

1. When you are done with surfing and instant messaging, turn your computer off. If you shut your machine off before bedtime, you'll save an average of RM250 worth of electricity a year.

If you must leave your computer on, tell it to go into "sleep" or "hibernate" mode, which saves power. Save even more juice by unplugging your computer (or flip the switch on a surge protector) to stop the "phantom load" problem.

2. Put together a cool vintage outfit. Impress your friends with your fab style sense when you show up for a party in a vintage number (you can find gently used clothing for a steal at thrift stores and garage sales).

Go glam by raiding your parents' closet for 1970s and 80s pants, vests and jackets. You would be surprised at how fashionable and cool your parents were back then.

3. Instead of driving with your parent, carpool with your friend. If you and your friends live in the same neighbourhood, one sure way to help the planet is to carpool with your friends. This also helps save petrol and lowers daily emissions that cause global warming.

4. Get involved. Most schools have environment or Earth Day clubs, so give them a chance.

It's a great way to meet nice people and you can learn so much from your peers. Many clubs convince their schools to recycle, start a garden or hold an Earth Day fair.

5. Turn off the lights behind you. Remember that riddle about the tree falling in the forest when no one is around? Well, why leave a light on when no one is around? It's just plain wastage.

Your parents may even bug you about it because they have to pay the energy bills and they know lighting accounts for an average of 11 per cent of that total.

6. Help lose the litter. Littering is a blight on our landscape that chokes wildlife and releases toxic chemicals when it breaks down. Plus it's just plain ugly.

Many neighbourhoods and non-profit organisations hold regular cleanups, so volunteer. It's an easy way to get some exercise while making a difference and meeting new people.

7. Go veggie once a week. The commercial meat industry takes a huge toll on our environment.

In a world where water, land and energy are premiums and limited, making a small cutback in the meat you eat is healthy for the planet as well as your body.

8. Instead of buying bottled water, get a refill. Ever see an empty water bottle tossed by the side of the road?

Less than 20 per cent of those single-use containers make it to the recycling bin. They also waste fuel for shipping -- water is heavy.

Get a cool metal bottle instead and fill it up when you're thirsty and cut down on the expense and waste.

9. Download (legally) the latest album from an eco-friendly star John Mayer, KT Tunstall, Dave Matthews Band and Kanye West.

A number of today's hottest musicians are also going green in big ways by running tour buses on clean-burning biodiesel and recycling all their show waste.

Do your part by buying music online, which cuts out waste from shipping and all those CDs and cases.

10. Ask potential colleges about their eco-practices and/or check out a "Green Collar Career".

College can be the best time of your life, but you don't want to be dragged down by a school that doesn't get your green values.

Fortunately, many colleges are leading the way with exciting recycling and reuse programmes and even eco-friendly dormitories. Whether you seek higher education or not, think about a career that makes a positive difference.

11. Explore local green events and initiatives and be an active participant. Hanging out with friends is one of the fun things to do.

Why not head over to a green event and learn a thing or two about nature and how you can protect her.

For this week, head to Tropicana City Mall for the Green Heroes Unite campaign which ends today. Whether it's organic T-shirts, natural and organic toiletries or eco-friendly stationaries, Green Heroes Unite has something to cater to your taste.

The annual Anugerah Hijau (Green Awards) competition, organised by local non-profit environmental organisation EcoKnights, is another platform that honours youth (between the ages of 14 to 25) who are helping to make green go mainstream through creative projects.

In 2009 and last year, Anugerah Hijau celebrated its awards at the Petaling Jaya City Council's Civic Hall and at the Malaysian Productivity Corporation headquarters. For this year, the competition ended with more youth participating.

The announcement of this year's finalists will be revealed by the third week of the month.

Anugerah Hijau is an EcoKnights' joint social responsibility programme with CIMB Foundation, Shell Sustainable Development Grants, Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC), biohome (Lam Soon Products), Yuber and Spin.

For more information about EcoKnights and the organisation's outreach and social responsibility programmes, log on to their official website at

The green tips above are extracted from

*Taken from NST Online

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