Post by Stanley Liew who works in Malaysia running an education and awareness campaign in schools.

Project done in an environmental awareness class in Malaysia

When the talk about saving the environment come about, big heroic projects and cutting edge technology comes to mind. But before we start telling people to reduce their carbon emissions or start tackling issues such as the impending global oil crisis we need to bring out feet back down to earth and start with ourselves.

I believe that a huge part of being environmentally conscious is about being practical. Why use a plastic bag when purchasing only one item? Why leave the air conditioning switched on when no one is using it? When you think about it, progress towards a more environmental sustainable future can be summarized in one word.


I would not label my family ‘environmental friendly’ but we are extremely careful in managing the use of our resources. If I leave a light switched on overnight, I will be sure to get a lecture from my dad the next day. This is the kind of lessons that my parents taught me while growing up.

In basic terms, the more electricity you use the more money you have to pay at the end of the month. So why pay more when you can pay less? Let’s say that you left the lights switched on the whole night. Even though you did not use it, you are going to pay for it at the end of the month. That does not make sense!

Here’s something that you can try out at home. My family decided on one rule regarding the use of air conditioning. When we sleep we would set the timer to one hour so that the air conditioning will automatically switch off after that period of time elapses. By doing that we managed to slash down our electricity bill by fifty percent. Imagine getting a fifty percent discount on anything. I think that it’s pretty awesome. Plus leaving the air conditioning on for an hour does not affect my sleep in any way because I will be in dreamland long before it switches off.

Keep it simple. Keep it real.