Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recycle Animation

Monday, July 21, 2008


MRCB has just launch an art competition with an environmental theme " Our Environment, Our future". I'm thinking of participating. It is open for all Malaysian, school kids, and OKUs. I think it's going to be great. For more information you can check out the site, or click here

I better start on sketching for ideas.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Recyclables - Cute Video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Energy Saving- It works! Do your tiny bit...for your household bills

Last month I pledged to conserve energy for the betterment of the planet as well as cutting down on my monthly expenses. I concentrated on my electricity and water usage. To read on the post to pledge click here.

This what I did:

1. Turn off all lights and fans that are not in use or when leaving the room.

2. Unplugging electric appliance like hairdryer, rice cooker, washing machine and phone chargers.

3. Set the air-conditioning timer for half of hour sleeping time, let say for 3 hours. But I'd leave the fan on till morning.

4. Iron all that I can within two hours while watching Private Practice and Desperate Housewife back to back.

5. Sleep early and shut off TV all lights!

6. When cooking, allocate a day to blend stuff like chilli, shallots and garlic and store them in a fridge. On other days, chopped or crush, rather than blend.

7. To save water, I run the washing machine on full load but on quick wash. I pretreat stains before washing.

8. Get quick showers.

By doing only those few little things, I already save on my bills by 20%.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Thursday, July 10, 2008


Monday, July 7, 2008

Biodegradable Food Packaging

On previous post, I expressed my surprise about how much we consume and
dispose of waste.And the shocking thing was, our waste mainly come from
our everyday food packaging and mostly,they are non-recyclable and
non-biodegradable. The packaging are mainly made from plastics. You might
think that all plastics can go into the recycle bin. Well, not all
plastics. One example is laminate plastics. Laminate plastics are the
shinny glossy, metallic, or matte material that is used for most food
packaging because of its attractiveness, and it preserve the food better.
According to the manufacturer of a very popular brand that I correspond
with,laminate plastics are nonrecyclable and it is used to pack the
powdered milk, the 3in1 coffee stick pack, the chocolate fortified food,
the cookie wrappers and many more!

Being a beginner at recycling, I felt that all my effort, collecting all
the recyclables plastic bottles,papers and glasses seemed not worth the
time, because the amount of stuff/waste that I dispose everyday are more
than I recycle! But before I let the negativity bring me down, I decided
to do some research on how other people around the world are seeing this

A food company from San Francisco, is the first company
in the United States to start packing and labeling food products using
a 100 percent biodegradable plastic bag. Eric Haeberli & Phineas Hoang
are the founders of the company. They felt the need to come out with
eco-friendly products but find it quite tough to find the suitable
material for packaging. They were surprised ( just like I was) to find
that all the plastic bags that pack dry food products such as cookies,
bread and chips are all packaged in plastic that is not recyclable.
Eventually, the found cellophane bags that are 100% biodegradable.
Cellophane is a natural polymer made from cellulose, a component of
trees and plants, like cottonwood trees.The product can biodegrade
in 28-60 days. But the cellophane bag should not be confused with
the non-natural ones.

Ecopak is a Malaysian made alternative to polystryrene and other toxic
food wares and containers. EcoPak are made from natural oil palm fibres.
It comes in natural fibre color as well. The best thing about Ecopak is
that it is biodegradable and it turns into natural soil fertilizer.
Hence it is eco-friendly.

So that there are manufacturers thats are concern with the environment
and there are alternatives other than plastics. I feel better already.
Hopefully these packaging material would reach to the consumers soon.
With the rise of petroleum price , I wonder how much the production of
the petroleum by-product, especially as plastics will cost? We should
be looking for other alternatives to petroleum as well as plastic.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Early one morning as I headed for my kitchen and grabbed a 3in1 instant coffeemix to have my pick-me-up of the day, I suddenly looked at the empty stickpacks. I wondered , "Are these plastic or aluminium?" I felt the need to categorized it, so that it will be easier for me to recycle. I even noticed other similar packaging that have the silver inner linings and plastic exterior such as my daughter's refillable pack of powdered milk. Also her chocolate fortified drink. Being so curious, I located the company N*****'s website of the popular product and I wrote to them. A few weeks later, I received their reply. Regarding the stickpacks, here what they wrote:
"3in1 stickpacks are not recyclable as we are using laminate
which is lightweight (reduction of waste) and they cannot be recycled
commercially due to unavailability
of commercially viable technology. "

So this means that not everything are recyclable and this 'laminate' kind of packaging will not go to the recycle mill. Therefore, they will end up straight to the landfill and the will deteriorate, like never!!! Wow! What a illuminating fact or should I say, 'a punch in the nose'! I feel so terrible that I am one of the millions who consume these beverages that are packed with the nonrecyclable material! And another thing, the company consumer service said the material is lightweight, so will it reduce waste? I don't think so!

However, company N assured that they practice the 3R rule ( Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Here are the list that might be of help.

  • display boxes, cartons and cases used to pack coffee are using recycle material
    and are recyclable.
  • glass bottle for coffee, cap for coffee, tin can,
    aluminium can for drinks are recyclable.
  • To reduce waste, company N promote refillable coffee bag and reuse container .

    After discovering this new and very helpful information, I think that we consumers should be more aware of what we buy. The Malaysian recycle slogan "Think before you throw!" should be replaced with"Think before you buy!"

    Buying something?

    *Think! Consider the material used for packaging. Question yourself: "Can the packaging be recycled?"

    *Think! Consider the sustainability of the packaging. "Can I reuse the packaging for some other sustainable purpose?"

    *Think! Consider the carrying medium for your shopping.
    "Should I reuse plastic bags from previous shopping?"
    " Should I carry along my own shopping basket? "
    "Should I use reusable shopping bag?"

    Back to my stickpack dillemma. Think! Should I consume my 3in1 premix coffee that is oh-so-convenient but yet non-recyclable OR should I just go back to traditional making of coffee-that is to open the lid of the 7 years old glass jar coffee bottle, and to smell the fresh aroma of the beans before making it. That's my pick-me-up already....I'll chose the latter.

    All we need is a change of lifestyle. Take a step back and take a look on how you could change yours.

My little garden lover!

Here is my 3 1/2 year old girl in a pink nyonya kebaya, giving a special pose in my mom's vegetable garden. Right behind her, is a cili padi plant in a poly bag. Thought this photo would be nice in this blog. My girl is an enthusiast when it comes to gardening especially when watering the plants. She gets it from watching Dora the Explorer(Nick Jr). Thanks Dora for giving my kid a head start on environmental awareness.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


If you are looking for ways to feel less guilty of using plastics, here's another alternative from First Choice. I bought these biodegradable garbage bags at Giant. It comes in different sizes.
So now you can throw your 'wet', degradable rubbish inthis plastic to the landfill without any worries!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A letter to the Municipal Council (MPSJ)

As I accumulate all the recyclables that I can, I wondered whether if it would be a lot easier to have a community recycle bins nearby, especially at my apartment area. I also considered the potential of the 'wet' food waste that could be good compost fertilizers. The only problem is space. Having to live in a compact apartment makes my salvation to the environment, almost impossible!!!. So I wrote to MPSJ, thanks to their helpful website. I made a suggestion that there should be some recycle bins at my apartment and there should be a separation between the 'wet' rubbish and the 'dry' ones. If the rubbish are separated, then waste management would be easier to be handled. The 'wet' rubbish could be collected to make compost while the 'dry' ones could be sorted out for recycling. I had that idea when I was watching TV the other day about waste management on a talk show with Aziz Desa. The guest , an officer from waste management company said that if the household waste are mixed together, then it would be very impossible to separate the recyclables from the non-recyclables. Even the 'wet' rubbish could be separated to organics such as food waste from the non-organics like medicine or toxic waste. It sounded so simple, right? So with that suggestion to the municipal council, I waited impatiently for their reply-hoping that maybe they have some sort of program that are already running that I didn't know of. Three days later, I received not e-mail but snail mail from the public relations of MPSJ. The letter was very brief.

It wrote:

"For your information, the council have already provided recycle bins in places nearby your area, like the one near the park. You may send the recyclables to those places. For making compost, you do not need a big area to work with but you can create compost in garden pots or plastic bags."

I was not satisfied by the reply. Yeah, they did answered my queries, but it didn't solve the problem. The recycle bins are a 5km away! I want it to be just below my apartment so that everyone in the neighbourhood could do their part. Another thing is, I am not interested in making compost, I am interested in giving away my fresh organic food waste to some garden nursery or anyone that would want to make compost. Rather than throwing it all away to the landfill and promote toxic gas emissions. By that letter, I was a little disappointed that the council did not show any extra effort on assisting their fellow residents that are offering ways to help the environment. At the same time, I thought maybe there are not enough awareness in the community or in our society. "Where there is demand, there is supply.."Maybe there isn't enough people that are writing to the council about how to take care of the environment. Maybe individual effort is not enough. We need a community.

For you who have read this post, I would really like to hear your opinion. Is there something else that I should do instead?

Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet

Green Watching