Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Sorry for not having written in here for a while! I’ve been busy doing many things, exams being amongst them. Ai! But I’m back, and this time, with more stuff about the environment.

In my Environmental Ethics class, my teacher showed us a video (Story of Stuff) that was not only very funny but tell us the story of consumerism. Just the humour in the video makes it worth watching! It tells us how much our society are brainwashed to buy, buy, buy, buy and buy more! That isn’t truly the problem, because if you’re rich and you’re able to buy a lot of things, then good for you, right? The problems are found in the exploitation of natural resources to make those things you buy, in the process of making those products and disposing those products afterwards! Us, richer countries, we literally invade Third World countries, steal their resources because we don’t have enough anymore and then pollute their lands with factories because we don’t want to pollute ours. Other points in the video were made about the products we buy being fabricated with a multitude of extremely dangerous and toxic substances. It makes you doubt whether you’d die one day from the pen you’re using or the spoon you’re eating from, eh? the video also shows how people in society are stuck in a vicious circle to always work, work, work and then buy, buy, buy. It’s so true! It shocks me to learn that we’ve only been programmed to think this way ever since after World War II when people wanted to make an economic boom. The last part of the video showed viewers that we dispose 99% of what we buy. It’s an unconscious waste of money, thus of effort and time! All of our trash then gets burned and buried in the Earth, making our planet die 3 million times faster (okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get the point).

Anyways, enough said. Watch the video, have a great laugh and a good wake-up. It makes you think twice before you buy your next item. I’m not saying to stop going shopping; I know I wouldn’t be able to do that! It just…before sliding your credit card, or handing in those purple, green, pink and brown bills, think about if you really REALLY love that item that much, or need it at all.


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With a title like that, you probably guessed that I hate Valentine’s day. Nothing personal really. Some hate Christmas; some hate Halloween; I hate Valentine’s day. I dislike the idea of it being some sort of pink fluffy cheap version of our commercialized Christmas. “It is a special day to let people know you love them.” Wasn’t it enough at Christmas? Now, 2 months later, we’re being convinced that we should buy expensive chocolate and flowers and diamonds…again?

I came across Child labor, war or pesticides for your Valentine?, an article by Diane Bartz. It made me think. Of course, whatever is said there applies for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, you-name-it. It talks about the (incredible) amount of pesticides used to grow roses (sad, I love white roses…), child labor involved in 40% of the world’s cocoa and war-financing diamonds (Blood Diamond, anyone?). Author of the article, Diane Bartz, suggested “Lingerie, anyone?” A member of Soompi Forums, under the nickname of Marrymehyori, brilliantly replied “No good, it’s made in sweat shops in Southeast Asia…” =)

Venus fly traps perhaps contain less pesticides than roses? :)
(Pon and Zi by Jeff Thomas)

A quick story about Valentine’s Day. Do you know where it actually comes from? Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Halloween, we celebrate the dead. Mother and Father’s day, well our parents. Valentine’s day (or Saint-Valentin in French) was actually originally a day to celebrate the Saint Valentine who, according to legend, secretly married young men and women during war times. Some king forbid young men to marry, because they were needed in the army and if they weren’t married, they wouldn’t have worries about their families and be fully focused on the battlefields. Of course, like most good ol’ Christian story, Saint Valentine got locked up and executed in the end. The tradition of writing little love notes and love wishes is apparently inspired from the prayers that Saint Valentine’s followers stuck in the walls of his jail cell.

One of my favorite love quotes from the Bible (yes, I’m Christian).

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4

If you haven’t told your loved ones that you love them, then be sure to do it today. And tomorrow. And after tomorrow. Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

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It’s been a while that the discussion about banning the use of free plastic shopping bags have been circulating worldwide. Many places have attempted it, given up upon it or are trying it.

China have announced recently to ban the usage of free plastic bags starting on June 1st, 2008. China has finally decided to act upon saving the planet! Did you know that “Chinese people use up to 3 billion plastic bags a day and the country has to refine 5 million tonnes (37 million barrels) of crude oil every year to make plastics used for packaging, according to a report on the Web site of China Trade News (www.chinatradenews.com.cn)”? (Shipeng & Graham-Harrison, The Star)

In our home province Quebec, Huntingdon is the first town to ban plastic bags. Even their Publi-Sac (weekly flyer distribution) isn’t handed out in plastic bags anymore! The citizens have apparently accepted the new law imposed by the mayor quite well. “While stores can still sell products wrapped or bagged or boxed in all manner of wasteful plastic packaging, banning plastic bags is a start, the mayor says.” (Michelle Lalonde, The Gazette)

Now, the following question surfaces: is banning the use of plastic bags really efficient for saving the environment? Most people re-use their plastic shopping bags to contain garbain. Without them, what are we going to put our garbage in? Large garbage bags sold in stores are usually much thicker and even less biodegradable. Should research be done to invent a new way to dispose garbage? Here’s an interesting read: Does Banning Plastic Bags Help or Hurt?

So far, the use of cloth tote bags is much most widely encouraged. Plastic bags are never rarely recycled, and paper bags involve some tree-cutting. Some grocery stores have given out free cloth tote bags like Loblaws and IGA. Perhaps, soon in Quebec, we will have to pay for plastic bags too? But then, does that mean that those who are richer get to pollute the planet…?

The Loblaws reusable tote bag, now sold for $0.99 each.
(Credits to President’s Choice and CNW Group)

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