GOING green used to describe the process of changing one’s lifestyle by protecting and safeguarding the environment and the planet. The term is now often used in relation to green building and green technology.
In a nutshell, going green means reducing our carbon emissions or footprint. We not only help the environment but also ourselves.
But what exactly are we doing to go green?
Are we reducing our electricity and water consumption? Are we using public transport and conserving energy in our home and office?
Are we supporting recycling efforts and are willing to protect and safeguard green spaces?
In Japan, before buying an electrical appliance, the first question the Japanese would ask is the “star” rating of the equipment in terms of its energy efficiency.
In Malaysia, it seems that price matters more than anything else. When buying new vehicles, very few inquire about the vehicle’s fuel efficiency before making a decision on the car.
In construction, how many property developers design their building to boost energy efficiency?
More and more people are supporting green efforts but their actions do not go far enough.
Take, for instance, the planting of trees.
The mere planting of trees is pointless if the trees are left on their own after the tree-planting ceremony is over.
Many years ago, most of the new trees that were planted by a non-governmental organisation in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, with corporate and public support died a natural death as there was no maintenance system. Only an insignificant number of trees survived until maturity.
But things are changing for the better. One KL community-based NGO, Transitions TTDI (a subset of the TTDI Residents’ Association), has infused into its residents the need to work together to build a resilient and sustainable community in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Two projects, such as sustainable transportation, or improving walkability and “bikeability”, and sustainable energy, or reducing energy consumption and use of renewable energy, help the community move towards a cleaner and healthier environment.
In terms of going green, it is time we put our money where our mouth is and act.
Pola Singh, Kuala Lumpur