Thursday, March 24, 2011

more earth day rant

continuing my rant on earth day...

other than reducing energy usage, we should also focus on reducing the amount of waste we generate each day. (and not just one hour, sorry, another dig at that earth day thingie.)

now, we can't simply reduce the waste our bodies put out (how to shit less? unless we eat less...) but we can at least minimize the impact the waste we put out.

now, let's look at our daily routine. we wake up in the morning, shit/bath, brush our teeth, then go to work, come home, bath, brush our teeth, go to sleep. this is a typical routine no? more or less.

now what happens to all that water that we use when we bath and brush our teeth? all flows to our drains and eventually to our rivers, and the oceans. so far so good.

but what are we putting out? when you brush teeth, you spit out used toothpaste. when you shower, you use shower cream or soap. all this will be washed down our water ways. so what's in these that prompts me to write this?

without even focusing on other ingredients, i'll just talk about one common ingredient found in our toothpaste, soap, shower cream, liquid dish wash, floor cleaner etc --- sodium lauryl sulphate.

this chemical is found in these "cleaners" as they help in lathering and cleaning. it's a CHEMICAL, not found in the natural world. its impact on human bodies is found to confuse the body's system as it mimics the hormone estrogen, a female hormone. click on the above link to learn more.

so what, since no one eats these "cleaners", you may ask? yes, you have a point but like in the case of shower cream, don't tell me none gets absorbed into our bodies?! or tooth paste when you brush your teeth?

and just imagine how much we put out all these "cleaners" into our water ways which is later consumed by all sorts of wildlife and plants, and which in the end, comes back to the water we drink.

so the easiest way to go about this is... not to use products containing such chemicals.

a bar of soap only needs fats/oil plus lye to make. animal fats used to be the choice but nowadays natural soap made from vegetable oils is available easily. the byproduct is glycerine and it's already in the soap. the chemical soup known as "commercial soap" has the glycerine taken out and put into another product called "body lotion".

use bio-degradable, natural dish washing detergent. currently using biohome from lam soon.

use natural tooth paste which doesn't contain sulphate or any of those chemical soup.

i'll share more about these products soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

hari organik 2011

another edition of hari organik is on this saturday, 26th march 2011. if you haven't been to one before, make it a point to visit!

i first learned about the benefits of mulberry (and bought a sampling) at last year's event. met a guy who's doing vermi-composting on a large scale (using worms to compost and using its discards as fertilizer), as well as a lady who's doing pretty well with her organic bakery business!

so not only you learn new stuffs, you meet like minded folks, learn more about the local industry and buy good stuffs at lower prices!

what more can one ask for?!

so see you there!

Monday, March 21, 2011

meat glue

watch this video! this is an industry secret the food industry doesn't want you to know.

low grade and meat scraps can be "glued" together to form a new piece of steak for you.

the meat glue is actually an enzyme called transglutaminase. it's also used in ham, hot dogs, fish ball and even noodles! click on the link to learn more.

Where to cross the border

got this from a friend...

so true!

Subject: Where to cross the border………..

Know where to cross the border...
If You Cross The North Korean Border Illegally
You get 12 years Hard Labour.

If You Cross The Iranian Border Illegally
You Are Detained Indefinitely.

If You Cross The Afghan Border
Illegally, You Get Shot.

If You Cross The Saudi Arabian Border Illegally
You Will Be Jailed.

If You Cross The Chinese Border Illegally
You May Never Be Heard Again.

If You Cross The Venezuelan Border Illegally
You Will Be Branded A Spy And Your Fate Will Be Sealed.

If You Cross The Cuban Border Illegally
You Will Be Thrown Into Political Prison To Rot.

If You Enter Britain Illegally
You Will be Arrested, Prosecuted And Sent To Prison And Deported



MyPR (Permanent Residence / Pemastautin Tetap)
A Driving License,
Voting Rights
Job Reservation,
Special Privilege to be Consider as Bumi,
Credit Cards,
Subsidized Rent Or A Loan To Buy A House,
Free Education,
Free Health Care,
and if you are a clever dickie, you can be a Menteri Besar or even
Prime Minister!

Oh Malaysia, what a great country!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

earth day approaching

it's that time of the year again. with earth day approaching, folks are again talking about switching off their lights for an hour, just to "conserver energy" blah blah blah...

i'm tired of this. i'm sick of this. the first time i've heard of earth day, i wonder "what's the point?". how does switching lights off for one hour bring about a message of conservation, of being environmentally conscientious etc? the argument always go along that "this is a start" etc. so i get the impression that something bigger will be in the works.

but my question is, for how long have we had this earth day thingie? and for how long are we still talking about switching building lights off? can we move on from this? are we building or losing the momentum?

as such, i'll try to blog about how each of us, through little lifestyle changes can have a bigger impact on planet earth rather than this earth day movement. with each of us doing these on a daily basis, we could see a much bigger impact cumulatively. yes, i'm talking about little lifestyle changes rather than one off events like "earth day".

if the aim is to save energy, for folks in tropical countries like malaysia, switch off your air-con.
i'm always amazed when friends are amazed by our electricity bill. for a build up area of 1600+ sq ft, our monthly electricity bill is around rm40. almost everyone i know uses more than this (in the hundreds!), even for smaller build up areas. well, certainly it's not like we are spartans. we still have our refrigerator, tv etc. why heck, add to my weekly use of our oven, almost daily use of soldering iron etc. the biggest factor is... we very rarely switch on our air con.

so if everyone (why heck, even just 10%) does not switch on their air con when they sleep, imagine how much power we could save?!

but you'll ask me, how so in hot humid tropical malaysia? easy. the answer is pretty much right in front of you. ask your parents or grand parents, how did they live when in the past air conditioning wasn't popular?

the problem as i see it is that these days, houses are built with nary a thought for air ventilation. it's already bad that we use thermally inefficient bricks and cements for building our houses (which are suitable for temperate regions), we worsen the situation by omitting ventilation holes common at the upper walls of buildings. also nowadays developers like to use a lot of glass in their buildings. urgh!!!! and the only advice they could give you is to install more air conditioning units!

to cool down your house, think of keeping hot air out and allowing cool air in.

if possible, get a corner or end lot rather than intermediate unit. you have more windows so open them in the mornings/evenings when the air is cooler and close them during the afternoon when the air is warm.
if possible, install windows awnings to shield direct sunlight from entering your home.
if possible, renovate your house to have a balcony or verandah, effectively creating an "air pocket" for thermal insulation.

certainly doable :
install tinted windows or just a tinted film on your windows to cut down direct sunlight.
install those "turbine thingie" at the roof top to improve air ventilation of your house and also mainly to channel out hot air from your attic.
install a fan near the window to pull in the cool night air.
if you live in a double storey house, install an exhaust fan at the highest point (or nearby) of your house to channel out hot air trapped in your house.

if you really need to use an air-con, switch it on for 2-3 hours before sleeping, then switch if off and open the windows wide to allow the cool night air to flow in.

some very simple tips no? try them and trust me, not only are you conserving energy, you'll be saving lots of $$$ in the long run.

if you have more tips, please share here in the comments section.