lovely diacritic?


Haze Preys
20 June, 2013, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Culture, Environment | Tags:

The unison theme that Singaporeans feels towards Singapore’s worst environmental crisis:

We are victims of the haze.
We are victims of the pollution from the forest fires.
We are victims of the Indonesian farmers who carried out this slash and burns.

People are falling sick, daily routines are disrupted and so on – we expect some kind of compensation or at least understanding from Indonesia. Instead, we were provoked:

“Earlier, he [a senior Indonesian minister] told reporters that Singapore said nothing when there was fresh air, but complained about the occasional haze.” (The Straits Times, 2013)

It makes me mad thinking about these words but suddenly a thought came, “Am I not guilty of not protecting our earth too?” I can choose to react to this situation in two ways: I can get all upset and annoyed at the farmers, at the minister, or whoever contributed to the haze, or I can start looking at myself and correct the ways that I have harmed the earth.

When I was in Siem Reap queueing for a public toilet, there is a light bulb installed in each cubicle so that it would not be dark. As usual at the ladies, there was long queue. My  habits tells me to be considerate and leave the lights on for the next person. There was a Cambodian lady, she switched the lights off after she got out of the cubicle. I thought the next Cambodian lady in line would be pissed because she was being “inconsiderate”, causing her trouble to turn on the lights again. But she wasn’t.

I’m not saying to follow exactly what the Cambodian lady did but to have that value that she has, to keep conservation at the top of our mind, doing it out of love for our earth. If not, it will just get so tiring of trying to do things right and get judgmental if others don’t.

It is our earth, not just yours or mine. It is a shared environment with limited resources. We got to stop being selfish and stop feeding our comfort because our appetite for comfort can only keep increasing. If it decreases, that means stepping out of our comfort zone.

Do your part; every individual’s effort makes a collective effort which then makes a difference.

(Some ideas for conservation: I’ve learnt from my Brazilian friend last year to avoid using straws because plastic harms the environment and a cup/glass/mug serves its function for drinking, so why the need for straws?)

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