Monday, October 15, 2007

Green Thinking for the Average Joe: Another environmental blog

I say the more, the merrier. What am I referring to? Environmental blogs. We cannot have too many of them (meaning, the more, the merrier). Our suffering Mother Earth, or what I often refer to as our only spaceship earth still without no lifeboat. She needs all the help she can get.

So I am pleasantly encouraged to learn of the existence of Eco Joes: Green Thinking for the Average Joe, another environmental blog. It says for the average joe, the ones that need convincing, something drastic need to be done.

From the topics in the Categories, I see that Eco Joes have covered many topics, Let us focus on a few. There is the recycle Category which at the time of publishing, have only one post "Recycle Your Cell Phone For Money And The Environment". I wish the title of that post could be "Reuse Your Cell Phone For Money And The Environment". Why? Because Reuse was what promted the creation of this blog. Because I think the familiar symbol for recyle with 3 arrows represents the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse and recyle, I believe in order of importance with recycle filling the last (therefore least desirable) spot.

It is much better to reduce the amount of waste that we generate, for example by cutting down on beautiful packaging. I was very happy when I asked my daughter what was that she was taking out (to the car), and she answered it is a present. But why now gift wrap paper? No need, she said. That is one answer I loved. A present minus the trims. For there is just too much unnecessary packaging we get these days, genereting huge amount of avoidable waste. What to know my feelings about presents? Surf over to My first grandchild at his grandfather's 58th birthday. I can't smile for the camera. If I try, I always end up with a very artificial smile. On that occassion, I ended up not with a smile, but got caught on photos with a genuine laugh. Those photos enabled me to crop out my mugshot with a rare laughing face I could use for profile photos like the one for my now main blog Blogger Tips and Tricks. But my laugh would have been even heartier if they had not use any gift wrap paper. Just wondering, is it ever possible to persuade people to reduce or stop the practice of wrapping up presents with gift wrapping paper which often ends up in the recycle bins or the dumpsite. Or at least try to Reuse the gift wrap paper by carefully unwrapping the gift without tearing it so that it can be reused again when you need to gift wrap a present. I do that.

Why am I talking so much about Reuse. If you want to know, read the profile in this blog or surf over to Envirocard. Unfortunately, except for usable throwaway or repairable Cell Phones can't be reused. I reread that post. In my opinion, it should be retitled "Reuse Your Cell Phone For Money And The Environment", for it is not talking about sending the hand phones to be recyled into something, but to be sold for a song or donated away for someone else to use. That is Reuse, not recyle. To me, there is a huge difference between the two terms.

Hey, looks like I am not as observant as I should be as a former Boy Scout. there is a reusing Category and I see 2 articles there! In my opinion, the post "Recycle Your Cell Phone For Money And The Environment" should get its title changed and placed in this Category instead. By the way, I see almost the same statement "Lots of chemicals have to be used to recycle paper bags" as the one I made in my profile for this blog, except I said a lot more.

What else can we find on that environmental blog? One more of interest to me is the bike Category. that also have only one post - "Use Bikes Instead of Cars In College". Why bike? Along with walking, it is one of the most environmentally friendly form of transport. I bought a Peugeot lightweight racing bike from a flea market when I was in Geneva for the Geneva International Invention Exhibition to cycle around Geneva during my stay there. I even stayed at a caravan beside the beautiful Geneva lake instead of one of those expensive hotels nearer to town and nearer to the Exhibition Hall. I had a good time staying beside the Geneva lake although it involves cycling great distance. But cycling is very safe in Geneva. Not only do I get to see Geneva touring on the bike, I saved enough on public transport to pay for the cost of the bike.

I like the bike so much that at the end of the exhibition, I unassembled it, packed the components up and flew it back to Malaysia. Unfortunately, Malaysia is not so conducive to cycling around with the hot weather and the unfriendly motor vehicles. I eventually freecycled it away via Freecycle Petaling Jaya.

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