Saturday, May 10, 2008

Greening our lives

Giving a talk at the TICE eco camp later today and just finished the slides! It's been a hectic week but I'm glad I completed all my work. I'm no good to anyone if I can't finish my work.

The theme of the camp is recycling but I thought I'll offer a more holistic overview to recycling and "greening" out lifestyles in general. It sounds cliche to be talking about the 3Rs but I guess it has certain value in it. At least for beginners, it's a start!


newtaraday said...

I have just returned as a participant and found your talk inspiring. But frm my exp in the camp , i found that the event itself is a faux green event and have posted a critique of the event on my blog

Maybe you can share some of your wisdom on what i think.

newtaraday said...

I suppose it is not wrong for us to suspect that smu is trying to serve to increase consumer expenditure given that smu is business school and consumer spending is actually the lifeblood of the business sector. (even if they were not doing it on purposely , cld it be possible they are doing it subconsciously as a result of their education?)

Sunrise may be out of the league , perhaps it wld be possible to have a partnership with one of the Polys which were invloved or a school which has kitchens for their home econs classes

The gifts which were provided were not the corporate gifts which is normally given(which wld have been more of a waste but milo and snacks which were purchased ) so the org com cld either have wrapped it in newspaper or in the original carrier bags provided or even better in a reuable bag ?

as for the grassroots action vs corporate action , what i was refering to was student initiated projects which addresses certain problems and then to send proposals to the corporal partners and not to have projects with primarily consist of begging the corporate sector to change. I wld think that a consumer demand causing corporate movement wld be more effective than a move which is initiated by the corporate sector.

Monkey said...

@newtaraday: well don't be too quick to discount corporate action.

Whether corporations initiate or consumers initiate it, as long as the product available on the market is now "environmentally friendly", that's the most important. Unless the corporation say it's green but it's actually not, then we can complain and criticize. But if the companies are willing to green their product, process and production, why not?! we should encourage them. Don't be too skeptical about companies :)

Re: SMU... well it's true that it's very much ingrained in the CSR movement to achieve long-term profit off being environmental. I don't think it's fair to say SMU because they are a business school. Most of us are susceptible to the consumerist mentality.

I think developing the food idea is good. Who knows you might even be able to get Sunrise to do something environmental :)

And well the gift bags thing is unforgivable then is it? But you know what? I've gone to "green" functions using styrofoam plates. And imagine the number of times i puked blood because my department uses a caterer that uses styrofoam plates and cups. But instead of kicking up a big fuss, I could 1) talk to the admin staff that chooses the caterer and suggest they boycott them and use one that provides better cutlery or 2) bring my own plates and cutlery to buffet. Both are a hassle and make me seem "mafan" to eyes of most people. I try not to be too persistent otherwise people will start ignoring me, calling me fundamentalist or extreme which defeats my own purpose. Once people start to ignore you, you would be redundant to the cause. But no point critiqueing and not doing anything either. Action is most important. If you don't get results straight away, that's ok too. Keep at it at a moderated pace. turn to people for support so you won't burn out and give up. Most importantly, choose your battles wisely :)

newtaraday said...

Yep...I guess i was wrong on tht part. Let hope the corporate agencies and not succintly using their funds to quell the idea of reduction within the green movement.(green shaping ... something like social engineering perhaps)

Btw... as a scholar , you must have been through many of those buffets right? Have you realised that the carbo(rice, noodles etc) is often not eaten .Do you think there shld be some action to reduce the orders for tht?

Monkey said...

@newtaraday i think at the end of the day, the person you need to influence is the person ordering the buffet. now if we can have a buffet with only mini chocolate eclairs, ahahha sure no waste one >: )