Oct 15, 2007

Blog Action Day 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day


I feel that the environment-friendly things I do in my small, humble, life are tiny compared to the environmental chaos around me. Sometimes I doubt whether I really can make a difference because every evening the news programs bear witness that the planet isn't changing... it HAS changed. A variety of "weird" natural disasters taking place in all corners of the world flash across the TV screen and I wonder if my full recycle bin will take a load off Earth and if my energy efficient light bulbs will help stop draining our planet's resources. I feel guilty that I brought my children into a world where I can't guarantee them clean air and sufficient water. I shudder at the thought that their children will look at picture books with forests, while attending school in oxygen tents, asking their teachers what all that green looks like.

At work

As a network admin at my workplace, I keep nagging users to shut down their computers, screens and printers instead of leaving them on stand-by, not to print stuff aimlessly without thinking about wasting paper, toner and electricity. I ask them to place used paper in the printers' trays to get maximum use by printing on the clean, unprinted side of the sheet. Sometimes I feel that I am making more enemies than a point because well... we, Greeks, take a long time to condition ourselves to a new way of doing things. Recycling and conserving Mother Earth's resources has not -yet- become second nature to us and it seems most people are interested in the present, not the future (Proposal: Greek Orthodox doctrine should add reincarnation as a possible afterlife... then most Greeks would be concerned about what kind of world they'd land back in again).

Doing our small part

At home, we have a solar-powered water heater, most of the appliances are class A energy efficient, we have switched to energy-saving light bulbs, we recycle everything from the jam jar to the cereal box, we only shower with water-saving handheld shower heads that you can turn off and on while showering. We are particularly proud of how much toilet water we save because I have placed plastic bowls in the bathroom sinks (directly under the faucets) that collect all the "dirty" water instead of letting it go down the drain. The water from these plastic bowls is used to flush the toilets instead of using clear water. We are also more alert -consumer wise- buying less therefore making less garbage and ensuring what we buy is recyclable. I use a large, re-usable IKEA shopping bag for my groceries instead of placing them in small plastic bags each time.


On this Blog Action Day I would like to send out the idea of re-fillable, re-usable containers for a variety of products. Take for example your fabric softener. Every time you run out you buy another bottle of softener (some of us recycle the old, some don't). Wouldn't it be eco-friendlier for the consumer to go to the store with their empty container, go to the aisle with the barrel of softener, place the container under the tap and just re-fill the container with softener? Huh? Wouldn't this be a neat idea? This could apply to a variety of products (liquid detergents, powder detergents, juices, maybe even milk). If you are an important fabric softener CEO reading my humble blog, please feel free to exploit this idea... Just help relieve the Earth from more plastic bottles and boolsheet.