U Khin Maung Cho gave a guest talk at British Council’s library about global warming and climate change on July 2 from 5pm to 7pm. Although I already have some basic knowledge about the topic, I still went there to listen. He talked about the causes of the greenhouse effect and what we can do to prevent it. Most of the do and don’t shown in the PowerPoint were targeted for European countries, but we can also abide to those suggestions.
Use a light bulb that consumes lesser energy
In Myanmar, we can buy a 16 watt light bulb for 700 kyats, but most of the people don’t use them as they are more expensive than regular light bulbs. However, it’s better in the long term as it saves energy and electrical bills. Also, it is much brighter than a two feet fluorescent Lamp.
Don’t leave appliances on standby
We used to leave the dvd player on standby, but now we shut it off when we are not using it mainly because of the electricity shortage. But, how about the TV. I don’t want to push the button in fear of breaking it after being pressed frequently. The same goes for refrigerator. We don’t really use it that much and the only thing we keep in it are water bottles, some vegetables, and some chocolate bars that I always forget to eat when I’m home.
Boil only the amount of water you need
Humm. I am not sure of that one ’cause I always boil extra water and put them in the thermo bottle (I hope it’s the correct usage, but I can’t find it in the dictionary). I always throw a fit at home when I can’t drink coffee and the electricity is out.
Cover your pots when you cook
So that the meal will be cooked faster and energy will be saved. I always do that when I boil instant noodle so that I can eat quickly before I go out.
Walk, cycle, or use public transport
Don’t worry. The majority of the people here use public transport, not because they want to save the earth, but because they can’t afford to buy cars.
Choose products with the least packaging
In a book called “Dawn Saves the Planet” (from the Babysitters Club series), it also suggested for us to not buy candies and other things with so many packaging. It it true. I don’t know why there are so many plastic packages when everything can be put together in one package.
Reduce bags and packaging
Don’t you just hate it when every time you go into a supermarket, a convenience store, or any other shop where they put all your items in plastic bags? Sometimes, they are necessary, but most of them times they are just a waste. I wonder if I’ll get rejected if I ask the cashiers to put the items in my own cloth bag. I’ll remind myself to try it the next time I shop.
Print double-sided…when you really need to print
I admit that I do prefer one-sided printing. And, even if I want to do so, will it be possible for me to convince the DTP guy to print double-sided? Back in my previous job, I had to print double-sided and I hate it when the paper got slanted.
Pester your parents and friends
Pestering your friends might be easier than pestering your parents who don’t want to be told off by their children.
Aside from the above advices, I also learnt a few more.
– Organic rice is grown in Labutha Township in the Ayeyarwaddy Division, and there’s only one store in Yangon where you can buy the rice. I don’t know the exact address, but it’s located in Alone township.
– You can also find other organic food in some supermarkets, but they are pretty rare in the country.
– Myanmar Environmental Law was drafted in 2004, but so far, it hasn’t been released yet.
– The water level in Inle Lake started dropping since 1999 – it has been happening for over 10 years. We should have take action earlier than spending millions later.
– Myanmar needs to learn how to manager water to prevent water shortage.
– A translation of “Miracle Apple” will be included in the next issue of Wellness magazine.
After the talk, he answered some questions that were written on the paper slips. Among them, some of them are about Inle Lake and the ‘Floating Tomato’ documentary made by Director Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi. One of the question asked: What will happen to the world if the climate change continue? He answered, “The world will end”. I have to disagree with that answer, because according to the character Ian Malcolm in Micheal Crichton’s Jurassic Park,
“Let’s be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven’t got the power to destroy the planet – or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.”
Note: I know that ‘The world will end’ was meant as a figurative expression, but still I’ve been looking for an excuse to quote Malcolm for such a long time It’s also one of my favorite quotation.