Monday, August 8, 2011

Thank You, Japan Homes

I know the first part of the green credo is Reduce, but I've had to buy this plastic garbage bin from Japan Homes (only PhP 88) for the kitchen because the people in the house do not care for the previous Selecta ice cream tub I've put there.  Too icky opening and closing it.

This one has an easy flip top and a wide enough mouth for even the largest chunk of garbage you shoot in.  Actually the label on the plastic bin says it's a rice box, but duh it can only hold 2 kilos and the lid isn't even airtight.  So I say it's a garbage bin. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Coca-Cola Eco-Friendly Billboard

Here's how Coca-Cola demonstrates its corporate social responsibility: by erecting a humongous 60 feet by 60- feet billboard with hundreds of Fukien tea plants planted in recycled Coke bottles--good for soaking all that carbon dioxide along EDSA.  These trusty plants reportedly can absorb as much as 13 pounds of CO2 per year.


 Thus, you've got Coca-Cola's ubiquitous trademark bottle and also some clean and greening along the way.  This billboard comes to us from a partnership between Coca-Cola Philippines and the World Wildlife Fund.

You can be sure they're not going to take this billboard down any time soon, like those guys in the provocative Bench undies.  (Maybe if they had dressed the Azkal guys in air pollutant-absorbent Fukien tea plants, they'd still be up there.)

* * *

Anyway, Pepsi, we're waiting for your move.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Much Too Eco-Friendly At a Cost

What  I don't get is why products purporting to be eco-friendly cost a bomb.

Stabilo, for instance, has environment-friendly color pencils--from the wood used to the recycled cardboard packaging--but they cost twice as much as the regular color pencils also by Stabilo.  

Surely no one in their right mind would think their coloring will be vastly improved by pick the eco-friendly version.

And then there's 3M's bamboo kitchen cloth.  It's 60% bamboo and 40% cotton.  The result: a nice expensive dishcloth for your high-class, supposedly eco-friendly kitchen.  At the 3M website, the cloth sells for 2.99 British pounds.  Or $4.77.  At the store I went to it's for PhP 270, with a markup of at least a dollar.  Arrgh.

Does the 3M bamboo kitchen cloth magically clean?  It'd better be at its price.  Thank you but I'd rather buy my dishcloths for PhP 5 apiece.

Hmmm.  Didn't know being eco-friendly comes with such a high price tag.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rainwater Everywhere!

We complain and complain about typhoons causing floods.  But there's another side to a nasty downpour we can all contribute from.  Free rainwater!

If you still haven't been collecting all that rainwater that's been pouring from the skies these past three days, it's not yet too late.  Get those pails and buckets and barrels out.  Not only do you cut down on water usage and water that will have to be treated in plants, you also save on water bills.

1. Rainwater is good for your plants!  Fresh from the sky, it's devoid of harmful chemicals most tap water is laced with to make it potable.  Plants actually thrive and love rainwater.

2. Rainwater is just the thing for household cleaning.  Clean your car with it.  Scrub grimy windows, walls, etc.  You can even wash the dogs.  Take advantage of all these free water from the sky and come out of it neat and clean at the end of the day.

3. Rainwater is perfect for toilet flushing.  It's silly to flush all that perfectly good drinking water down the toilet.  Rainwater is perfect for this job.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So I Just Accidentally Killed My Earthworms

 This is how it happened.

Just this evening as I was about to pour water on the worm bin's pan (kinda like a moat, to repel the ants), I notice some worms have escaped outside.  This was strange because they've never done that before.  I like to think they're cozy all burrowed up in the ice cream tub.

Probably it was the too-wet beddings.  I've sprinkled too much water the other day.  And the slabs of papaya skins are still there, just rotting. So I shred some newspapers and stuff them in at the bottom, hoping the paper would somehow miraculously absorb the wet all of a sudden,  I also give the pile a good turn to air it out.  I think the worms are happy now.

That's when I notice the smell.  Maybe methane, or something equally poisonous.  I shouldn't have put too much food than they can handle.  Anyway, the newspapers are all there and should do the job.

So I put the screen back on top just so there won't be any fugitive worms again.  And then I take a bath, because geez, I've been handling dozens of worms.

When I get back to the room, all the worms are as stiff as a pencil, not a squirm from any of them.  Great, I just locked them in and asphyxiated them all while I was busy lathering my hair with conditioner.  Must remember earthworms breathe through their skin.  If I myself was feeling woozy from all that methane gas, how much more they?

I can't believe I'm this sad about worms.  Earthworms!

And to think it's only been three months since I fished them out of the vermicompost area at our local park.  (I practically had to help myself to them because the worm guy was selling them for scads.)

Sure they aren't as visibly cheerful as a pet dog, but still I think I've taken good care of them for the last three months, until well this latest massacre.  There are three survivors I think, but I'm not so sure.

I myself am having trouble breathing right now.  

So caveat: beware of the too-rotten worm bin.  Don't overfeed the worms.  And be quick at the shower.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why I Keep Buying Eco Books I Have No Plans of Giving Away

1. Bought another eco-book: the no-nonsensically titled How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Joanna Yarrow.  

2. I like the illustrations, done in the manner of public signs.  Some of the teeny-weeny-sized font are like meant for insects though and in my mind I keep pressing CTRL + just to increase font size.

3. Did not travel a hundred kilometers this time just to find said book unlike the other eco-book purchase last month.  Although come to think of it, really has no use for book anymore since am already espousing the eco-virtues of the book. Must give it as a gift to someone who might need a change of heart, although I don't think I can bear to part with the book.

4. This is the big question: why do I keep buying eco books I have no plans of giving away, since I already know most of what's in there?  Maybe I'll just disseminate through word of mouth.

5. It occurs to me most of the eco books in print (or at least the ones I get my hands on) are meant for First World countries.  That's why there's the reference to dishwashers and water heaters and vacuum cleaners and radiators, etc.  

6. In a third world country such as the Philippines, we wash the dishes by hand, we take baths in cold tap water, we sweep the floor with our handy dandy broom (absolutely no house in the country is without one), and in the tropics, radiators are unheard of.  For air-conditioning, we troop to the nearest mall to get that free cool atmosphere.  

7. Also, our foremost public transportation is the jeepney which never leaves the terminal unless every possible passenger has been crammed inside.  So you see, we make every drop of fossil fuel count.   

8. Sure, the country's waste management sucks, but at least the inherent poverty prevents people from certain indulgences and over-conveniences that take a toll on Mother Nature.  Let's see wealthy nations forgo any of their electrical gadgets and other conveniences they're used to relying heavily on.

9. So must give this book now to a foreigner friend from a First World country, but I don't think so.

10. Also, am not sure if compost is heating up well.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

More and More | Margaret Atwood

More and more frequently the edges
of me dissolve and I become
a wish to assimilate the world, including
you, if possible through the skin
like a cool plant's tricks with oxygen
and live by a harmless green burning.

I would not consume
you or ever
finish, you would still be there
surrounding me, complete
as the air.

Unfortunately I don't have leaves.
Instead I have eyes
and teeth and other non-green
things which rule out osmosis.

So be careful, I mean it,
I give you fair warning:

This kind of hunger draws
everything into its own
space; nor can we
talk it all over, have a calm
rational discussion.

There is no reason for this, only
a starved dog's logic about bones.