Monday, March 29, 2010

Earth Hour

So last weekend many folks around the world observed Earth Hour by switching off all lights. Last year, the media went wild with stories of what people were planning to do, which businesses were going to observe it. Everyone got excited, everyone wanted to “do the right thing”. The days after, the papers raved about how many lights were switched off, who did it and so on.

However, has that changed anyone’s perception towards saving the earth in general? I don’t know. I admit I’m skeptical. During the hottest days of the last couple of months, what did most people do? Go out and buy air conds to let it run the entire day for the entire house. TNB mentioned the spike in usage during those days.

It feels a bit strange to have an Earth Hour of something that should be incorporated into our daily lives. Switch off the lights when you’re not using, shut off the taps when you’re brushing your teeth (I know some people who actually let it run while they scrub their teeth). Like having a “Sleep for 8 hours Day” or a “Remember to Brush Your Teeth Day”.

I suppose it’s too much to ask for someone to install a good insulation for their houses or to start planting trees/plants (for future) to cool their houses. Most houses now do not even have a garden to plant anything. So what choice do we have?

Perhaps more awareness needs to be done on what else we need to do in our daily lives to help save the planet rather than focusing on Earth Hour alone. And also the government needs to advocate bringing in technologies that are already used in other countries to harness sunlight, wind and rain collection for home.

I’m glad we already have a solar water heater for my new place. We’re also looking into various insulations for the house. To our surprise (and suspicion), we have been quoted about RM2,000 to RM3,000 to insulate our house including installation. Maybe we should see how to collect rainwater to be used for flushing toilets and how much does it cost to install solar panels for electricity.

It costs a RM66,000 minimum to install the solar panels for electricity. The rainwater harvesting is about RM5,000 but it's horribly ugly. Doesn't seem very appealing.

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