smoke

I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Take a dump

This latest round of the Dump Wars has truly got me shaking my head – to shoo off the flies that have been buzzing around our street because of uncollected garbage. And it’s resurrected an idea I had when I was a wee bit younger.

Tomorrow, I’m going to petition our barangay to start a recycling center. It’s not that difficult and there are a bunch of kids hanging around the basketball court all day doing squat, so they might as well earn a little living.

So, just in case anyone out there is interested in starting up a recycling project in their neighborhood, this is what I’m going to do.

First off, I’m going to go talk to the junk shop not too far from my neighborhood and ask them:

  • what sort of stuff they take;
  • when the best time is to bring stuff to them; and
  • how much they’re going to pay me.

This’ll prolly take me a day, considering that there’s other stuff I need to do. Once I get the details, I can set collection targets that’ll allow me to share the money from the junk shop with the people I’m gonna get the recyclables from.

Second, I’m going to start on a door-knocking campaign. A simple and straightforward announcement to my neighbors that I’m gonna start a recyclables collection route; Tell ’em what I’m after – paper, aluminum cans, and PET bottles. I’m going to stay away from metals.

Third, I’m going to talk to the out-of-school kids in the neighborhood to help me in exchange for a bit of cash. I’m gonna call them eco-warriors, so its fun. I don’t wanna violate child labor laws, so it’s prolly better if I do this through the barangay or SK in my area. But the idea is, the kids can knock on doors and collect the recyclables. If there are too many recyclables, they can come to the collection point and get help from the bigger kids and their bicycles. Kids who bring in recyclables can have the recyclables traded for cash. Share efforts equals shared pay-offs.

Fourth, I’m going to set-up a collection point where my eco-warriors can bring their recyclables. That’s where my one and only vehicle will be waiting to chug off and bring stuff to the junkshop. The recyclables get traded for cash, and the money goes to the payment of my eco-warriors the following day.

🙂

Sounds all sunny, doesn’t it. LOL! I suppose it does, and I know I’m gonna run into all sorts of trouble trying to make it happen. But I’ll do the SWOT analysis later. With this, as with all things, it’s important above all else to just get started doing it.

Filed under: environment, ,

Iloilo ang banua ko

Damn you, Frank.

Filed under: environment, weather, , , , ,

Oil!

Finding oil within your country’s boundaries is like winning the geological lottery – and that’s apparently what happened off Palawan: OIL!

Angelo Reyes, in a news conference in Malacañang, said … the $ 120-million oil field in Palawan operated by Galoc Production Co. is expected to produce 17,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil per day, thereby boosting domestic oil supply. Together with current production, the country will be producing over 30,000 barrels of oil per day, Reyes said, almost 10 percent of local demand.

“We are pleased to announce that the development of Galoc Oil Field is completed and that the first flow of oil is estimated to be commencing on June 16, 2008. This will be the first time oil field development in Philippines since 1992 will occur,” he said.

“The Philippines will earn from the sales of crude oil, which will be benchmarked at international prices and with domestic refineries being given the first priority so rather than being exported, it will be consumed locally,” he added.

Reyes said foreign exchange savings from Galoc oil field will reach around $ 1.4 billion or P61 billion during the life of the well and until full extraction of the proven reserves. “Current oil reserves are from 10 million to 20 million barrels but additional exploration work will be done to confirm additional reserves,” he said.

Reyes said if sold in the country, the oil coming from Galoc oil field will be cheaper than the imported petroleum due to reduced costs from insurance and transportation, among others.

Whoa. Will someone please explain to me why this news isn’t making bigger waves than it is? I mean, I understand the morbid fascination with kidnappings and massacres, but isn’t the start of oil production in Philippine territorial waters something to write about?

Whoever is running the department of public morale (if there isn’t such a department, then there damned well ought to be!) should totally capitalize on this. If it were me (HAH!), I’d organize tourist trips to see the oil rig; study trips that’ll take kids out to the well and give them a first hand look at how those things work; i’d set up a promo scheme that’ll funnel consumers to those companies that sell petrol and petroleum products produced from locally sourced oil. Haha. I think I’m oil drunk!

Too bad I’m prolly gonna wake up tomorrow to find some shmuck saying there’s nothing to get excited about, or that the whole deal should be called off because someone thinks that GMA will benefit from this somehow.

Filed under: environment, news, , ,

Earth Day

So who says actors aren’t worth anything?

Today, April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day. The first celebration of Earth Day was in 1970, in the US. Since then, it has been called the “largest secular holiday in the world;” celebrated in at least 175 countries, by more than half a billion people across the world.

What does that have to do with actors, you ask. Well, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 because that was the birthday of Eddie Albert, an actor who did alot of work with environmental causes and groups before it was cool to be green.

Incidentally, April 22 is also Lenin’s birthday, which prolly explains why some people still insist that environmentalists are actually communists in green-face. Stupid, that. You don’t have to be communist to care about the planet.

Anyway, enough history. Let’s talk about now.

When i was in Taiwan awhile back, I was struck by a question that the cashier at a 7-11 asked me. “You want a bag?” There I was, holding a six-pack of coke, several bags of chips, shampoo, a toothbrush and other unmentionables, and I was like “ya think?”

The guy looked at me, then at my huge purse, then back at me with a look of disgust. He shrugged and mad a big show of taking back a few coins from the change he had given me. I was paying for the plastic bag! Me and my ‘entitled’ brain could barely articulate my outrage at being made to pay for something I took for granted at home. Good thing too, that a bit of lock-jaw had prevented me from sticking my foot in my mouth because i quickly realized what was happening. I was being made to take personal responsibility for something that, in all likelihood, was going to end up killing a turtle somewhere because the poor thing thought it was a jellyfish.

When I got back to my hotel room, I folded up that plastic bag like a good earth-citizen and tucked it away for recycling. That bag is now hanging on my wall, reminding me not to forget that I did something important.

Yeah. It’s that important.

The raw material of plastic bags is oil. Therefore, the more we use plastic bags, the more we waste oil – a non-renewable energy source.The petroleum-based plastic bags take decades to break down, so if they are not recycled they litter. It creates visual pollution: in the streets, on the beaches etc. Also, they can clog roadside drains, which could cause street flooding during heavy rainfall. Plastic bags can be recycled but it rarely happens: according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, only 1% of plastic bags were recycled in 2000, against twenty percent for paper bags.They endanger wildlife and particularly sea life such as sea turtles and dolphins which can die of entanglement, suffocation, and ingestion.

See what I mean about turtles?

When I got back, I was on fire with this idea of making cheap canvass bags and marketing them as replacements for plastic bags. That lasted all of three days. On the fourth day of my return, I had to go grocery shopping with my mom and I saw that they had this green bag made of canvass – or something like it. Good for the environment, lousy for my budding entrepreneurial spirit.

I bugged my mom to get one, but she refused. Among other things, she wanted the plastic so we could have garbage bags. Recycling mom! So I shut up about it. But then she said something else. “Besides, they look horrendous.”

AHA (I’d like to think that the light that went on over my head used an energy saving bulb and was powered by a renewable power source)! That would be my entry point. If ya can’t appeal to the environmentalist soul, appeal to the hedonistic beast. I was going to make my canvass bags tres chic.

Still working on it. I have a bunch of designs and stuff, but no capital, no sewers, and no idea where to get the raw materials. Like I said, it’s a work in progress. And I also like to think its one way of making environmentalism more acceptable to some people at least.

One of the biggest challenges of going green is that it can be so expensive. The older, less earth-friendly ways are cheaper precisely because they’re so exploitative of natural resources. It takes some work – not to mention some special processes – to make things that are eco-friendly or to make processes greener. If enough people were able to convince enough other people that green can be profitable, we will have hurdled one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the re-greening of the planet. Think about it.

So when my bags come out (they’re gonna be called Shop-a-Roos … ya’know? as in kangaROOS … with pouches? but used for shopping?) buy’em. It’ll get me through grad school and save a turtle or two.

Happy Earth Day!

Filed under: environment, international, musings, pop-culture, society,

Lights-Out

Manila turns off lights for Earth Hour.”

Oh, really? And then what?

And then it turns the lights back on again. But not just the lights that people actually need. They also switched back on those lights that do nothing but glorify the vanity of city mayors.

Street lights that look like lit-up lollipops along Manila’s Baywalk; the diamond-topped lights and the ‘basket-of-egg’ street lights along the Pasay City section of Roxas Boulevard; the color changing light cubes that that line Nagtahan Bridge in Manila; and so many more.

And they will keep switching those lights back on every night because no one actually complains about them and the drain they put on the planet. WWF? Bullshit. The World Wide Fund – Philippines supposedly spearheaded last night’s lights out. Nice piece of organizing and marketing bullshit, but where are they whenever the Manila Council meets and talks about city business? Why aren’t they at the City Hall protesting the continued use of unnecessary lighting? Why aren’t they asking for the disclosure of the cost of operating those garish clownish street lights? In the long run, that sort of activism will achieve far more than lights-out stunts.

Why? Because stunts light last night’s lights-out are meant only to “increase awareness.” That begs the question whose awareness do you want to boost? The answer is obviously “the people’s.”Riiiiiight. Whenever someone from government says “we can only do this together,” what he is really saying is that “we want you to feel responsible also so that you don’t blame the government all the time.” Because the government is to blame. I have nothing against sacrificing some personal comfort for the common good. But it angers me no end to know that while government is telling me to suck it up, it’s also being profligate with the resources under its control.

Take Manila, for example. How the fuck can the Manila government have the nerve to tell me to shut down my AC at 3am when the fucking lollipop lights of the Baywalk burn til sunrise? Is my AC any competition for the power those lights suck in? If I turned my AC off, am I saving a tree? A bush? A shrub? A weed, maybe? I’m not saying plunge the Baywalk into darkness. I’m saying don’t use more light than is necessary. If government wants me to conserve power, it had damned well better show that it is doing the same.

Filed under: environment, musings, , ,