Caring for the World We Live In

This is something close to our hearts and it is perhaps an underlying philosophy of Redbox Studio.

Instead of e-commerce, websites and web marketing, let’s digress a bit and talk about something that concerns you and me though we hardly think about it.

Our environment. The world we live in.

Today is World Environment Day, as established by the United Nations General Assembly. Of course we don’t need a specific day to remind us to be more eco-conscious of what we do and how we live. But it’s good to dedicate a day to constantly remind ourselves if we have been doing enough.

Eco-conscious initiatives aren’t something you do because there’s a mass gotong-royong campaign, or love our river campaign or etc going on. It has to be a lifestyle where you make conscious decisions about what you buy, what you use, what you wear, what you eat, what you drive and more. It sounds difficult but over time, it gets easier as you start thinking first before buying or doing something that may harm the environment.

You don’t have to pledge to the world you’re doing this and that – you know it when you’re doing something good for the environment. At times, it could be something as simple as choosing to eat locally grown fruits like durian, papaya or bananas instead of buying strawberries, kiwi fruits or apples.

For Krista and myself, we have some daily practices we live by:

1. If we do ‘tar pau’ or take-away food, we always bring along a tiffin carrier. Yes, it isn’t very hip. It is very bothersome sometimes. But the bottomline is, we save on using throwaway plastic bags and we know we won’t be ingesting some plastic particles with our food, especially when we buy hot food. Initially it’s quite uncomfortable carrying a tiffin carrier to pack food, but you’ll get used to it.

2. We say no to plastic bags whenever we shop, particularly if the item we buy is small enough to dump into our own cloth or cotton bags. We have a number of jute bags which we use for shopping so we can say no to plastic bags from supermarket check out counters!

3. We shop at the local market and try to eat local fruits as much as possible. Especially fruits such as papayas and bananas. Eating imported fruits means the fruits are no longer as fresh and it takes up much more fuel to ship these fruits to us, the consumers. And of course, most fruits are sprayed with pesticides. Don’t believe me? Try putting an apple out for 2 weeks. The apple won’t go bad at all!

4. Besides, we try always keep our paper, plastic and glass for recycling. Recycling is easy as the Petronas station nearby has the familiar recycling bins (but I have one grouse: the bins are too small!). Every 2 months, we’d cart our recyclables to the nearest recycling centre; we used to go to the one at Sg Nibong until the nearby Petronas installed the recycling bins recently.

You can also send your unwanted household items (perhaps some old books or clothes) to a charity home such as Salvation Army or Tzu Chi so that they can sell these recyclables. Another good way is to donate your old clothes or organise a jumble sale with friends – what you don’t want anymore is probably what another person is just hankering for!

5. And of course, there’s no better way to create a greener earth than planting a tree or shrub. Most people don’t have the luxury of a garden these days because of apartment living BUT you can still have a few pots of plants and herbs on your balcony. The easiest to plant is the ubiquitous Devil’s Ivy or what everyone calls money plant, a hardy creeper which grows and grows. It’s a great way to brighten up the apartment too with live plants.

I always believe we can start small, and start with ourselves if we care for this earth we live on. All it takes is a little conscious effort and soon it will be part of your lifestyle.

In this aspect, we’ve been honoured to meet two Malaysians who are truly green. Don and Mylene are good friends of ours and they’ve been a positive influence on us, particularly in terms of green issues.

This retired couple travel across Malaysia to give free talks and teach how Malaysians can start simple yet effective recycling projects.

They have taught countless factories and residents’ associations to recycle, and more importantly, use the money earned for charitable causes. Learn more about them, or invite them to give a talk by going to their website.

So go ahead, make a pledge to do something for Mother Earth today! Learn more green tips at Friends of the Earth website or how to compost your kitchen leftovers at Don and Mylene’s website.

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