Monday, March 30, 2009
Earth Hour 2009 : Make it A Regular Habit and Some Tips for Cheapskates Like ME
Earth Hour 2009 was last Saturday, March 28. This global event organized by WWF or the World Wide Fund for Nature requests all people of the earth - whether households or businesses or governments - to turn off their lights and non-essential household appliances for one hour. One hour means a lot. This is your personal vote and statement that you want to actively participate in, and do something about climate change.
I am happy to report that the Philippines topped the Earth Hour participation as 647 cities and towns or over 15 million Filipinos were estimated to have joined in the hour-long lights-off at 8:30 - 9:30 PM local time. This was followed by Greece with 484 cities and towns participating, and Australia with 309. (source: Inquirer.net)
This report is not surprising. Philippines, being in a tropical country, is one of the most affected by climate change. For the past several years now, we have noticed drastic changes in our weather. Either it is too wet and our streets become flooded, or too hot and dry, that our lands become parched. These conditions are not the same conditions during my childhood. Fishing and harvests have been affected the most, of course.
The Earth Hour event will be held annually on the last Saturday of March. But I think all of us should make Earth Hour a regular habit. Make this everyday instead of just annually. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off all non-essential electricity-consuming appliances when not in use. This simple act will not only save the earth, but also your wallet.
Since this is a food blog, let me list down some things we can do in our kitchens, to help save the earth, save energy and save some money as well:
1. Eat at home, with meals that you cook yourself. It is cheaper than eating out. You save gas and money. Most of all, home-cooked meals are more hygienic, more nutritious and delicious! If you say you do not have time, there are so many dishes that can be prepared in just 15 to 30 minutes. Check out this blog and many other delicious food blogs in the net for recipes.
2. Eat real food. When you go to the market or to the grocery, Check out the fresh produce, not the canned or pre-packaged 'manufactured' foods. Recent health studies have shown that processed meats, and processed food, which are loaded with preservatives, are not exactly good for us.
3. Eat the produce of the season. They are fresher and cheaper. And while you're at it,
4. Bring your own shopping "bag." When I was young, my lola (grandmother) would always bring a bayong (bag made from buri mat) to the market. Nowadays, we use disposable plastic bags that pollute our lands! Eco-friendly shopping bags are slowly becoming fashionable now, so go out, buy one and use it!
5. Have your own backyard garden, as much as possible. I do not have space in my house for a real garden, but I have lined up our small balcony with pots of herbs and plants. Of course I have killed several plants in the process (due to my inexperience and not-so-green thumb) but I persist. Why? because I know that these plants will add the much needed fresh oxygen to my home, plus, I can use my small harvest for my cooking!
6. Choose products with minimal packaging. Don't you just hate it when you have to peel off several layers of plastic or cardboard or styrofoam just to get your product? Plus it is a waste of resources! With food, we can buy in bulk to save on packaging. It is cheaper as well. Just separate into portions before freezing and thaw when needeed.
7. Recycle, recycle and recycle. There will always be new uses for everything. For example, the plastic grocery bag can be reused as a trash bag. The empty milk can can be reused as a flower pot. You would have less trash plus you will be saving money as well. Be creative! The internet has lots of available tips if you have time to browse. And of course, eat your left-overs, or transform your left-overs into a new dish!
8. Save water. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. Turn off the water when you are soaping. You waste less and you will also have less water bill.
Actually, there are a lot more things you can do to save energy, save the resources of our earth. You have to do your part. This is the only planet - the only home we have.