15 December 2009

I Vote Earth!

Yes, I voted for earth against global warming. Since November, most of my workshop students have voted for earth too by joining the Earth Hour Lantern Project which was sent to Copenhagen for the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference.

From December 7 to 18, 2009, world leaders will once again discuss ways to deal with global warming by reducing harmful emissions and to update worldwide targets to protect the environment. At present, a lot of people are already criticizing the conference because the logistics in itself violates the urgent need to address important issues of environment preservation (transporting delegates all over the world pollutes the air!) Online conference is a practical solution. I present papers and participate in fora online. It is more reasonable since the organizers will not have to spend for my trip and accommodation PLUS I save on time and resources!

How does one help preserve the Earth?

Since the levels of carbon dioxide (CO levels) in the air is rising at alarming speed, the best solution is to plants trees, which absorbs the CO in the air while infusing fresh oxygen. But this simple solution is not always doable. If you can not plant trees in your surroundings, at least cut YOUR NEED for trees (wood, paper, coal, etc.) instead of people cutting trees to serve your needs.

Yes, walk more. Ride a bike. Use less gas and electricity. Fuels burn and pollute the air. Plan your trips. Use mass transport if you can. Use the phone to shop. I always call stores for some of my needs like art materials which I reserve by phone for pick-up when I am in the area. I do not have a printer in the house to discourage unnecessary printing. All proposals, grants, lecture papers, presentations, photographs are sent by emails to recipients. I use my PC once or twice a week. My study actually involves maintaining more than 20 non-profit sites for free using less than P100 ($2) a month for five years now!

Yes, simple living means maximizing your energies and priorities for the things that matter most. When I was managing an art space, I maintained a skeletal staff with limited hours. This ensures that the space is sustainable for major programs like art exhibitions, workshops, collaborative work, service shops, etc. and more importantly, so that people can have more time for their families. Letting your staff work overtime indicates waste: energies, resources, and output. A human body can only work efficiently when it is given enough rest, energy and quality time with their loved ones.

My students have doable solutions. To avoid dependence on electricity and the need to burn fuel they suggested the following:

Watch TV less.
Read more.
Write more.
(Yes, a journal is perfect for anybody. It is therapeutic, helps people analyze situations, use both brains, open communication abilities, etc.)

Learn to play a musical instrument.
(Guitar, flute, piano, etc.)

Sing! (Good therapy PLUS you exercise your vocal chords. Don't use karaoke. Just sing naturally)

Dance (For exercise and fun)

Do brisk walking for 30 minutes.
Eat fresh fruits instead of snacks.
(parents prepare fruits cut attractively in bite-sized pieces)

Learn proper breathing.
Plant something in a pot and take care of it.
Do not get pets if you can not take care of it.

Do not imitate adults who smoke. Smoking is not cool. Smoking relieves stress for some people but overtime, once you start smoking you can not stop. It is also a health hazard. There are so many ways to look cool. You need not look cool at all hours!

Learn to sew and design your own clothes!

Learn pottery and make your own mug, plates and bowls!



Learn ways to cool yourself instead of staying in air-conditioned rooms all the time! Wash your face when you feel hot. Bring a nice fan that you made!

Enjoy dinner with your family. Talk!

Do not buy unnecessary things.
Instead of gifts, tell your friends that you will donate your time and resources for NGOs instead.

All these wishes were sent to Copenhagen last month. The organizers will then assemble and fold the paper lanterns and hang it in the conference site as Earth Hour lanterns from around the world!

My SuperDog Sweepy created this lantern online for Copenhagen. You just click on the design and they create it for you!

It comes with Sweepy's vote for Earth and posted on his Facebook.
Yeah, he is more sociable than me. Haha!

There are so many ways we can Vote for Earth NOW!

This is our Hoya plant. I really do not know the name of this plant but our flower-lover friends help us with the names of our plants! Hoya is a sturdy plant and does not require much except watering. You can water every other day. The rest it gets from the wind, the sun, and organic nutrients (natural soil without pesticides) Every year it blooms and inspire us with its beauty . . .

. . .PLUS of course, it provides our need for oxygen!