Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thinking inside the box

This is something about thinking outside the box or rather inside the box. Take a look at Kyoto Box, a US$6 cardboard box that uses solar power to cook, sterilize water.

Sound a bit futuristic and outrageous?

This is not a science fiction movie. This cardboard box had won a USD75, 000 prize for ideas to fight global warming. You can pack it flat for easier shipment, reduce indoor smoke, reduces deforestation (it aimed at billions of people who use firewood to cook), reduces fire hazard and purifies water for drinking…and at US$6, green technology can be very cheap.

Economic downturn may also be a blessing in disguise for ‘green economy’. On Thursday, Japan had announced RM537.7 billion stimulus package which most of it go towards environment-friendly project such as cash rebates for hybrid cars and electric car production by 2012. China, not to be outdone, the next day after Japan announced its initiative, announced her plan to be the largest producer of electric cars with RM5.3 billion package for research and development.

Sigh…Malaysia may not have that kind of money (the lame excuse which has been used over and over), but the previous stimulus package seems to avoid the path of building ‘green economy’. If we ask the ‘rakyat’, we rather see the government take over the toll concessions and lower the price of petroleum so we can fill up our lungs with the smoke and pollutions. It seems that we have this addict to inhale polluted air in this country.

On the other note, recycle has become a serious business in London. The local councils also seriously thinking that supermarket should pay for the waste from food packaging created by the latter. In Hong Kong, an entrepreneur ‘transforms’ hardy rice bags into reusable and unique grocery bags, and sells them to eco-friendly shoppers as alternatives of free plastic bags. Talking about ‘transformation’, the Malaysian teenagers may hear more about this word now that the ‘akademi fantasia’, a hit reality series is transforming its ‘students’ to multi talented stars. Way to go Malaysia…Malaysia Boleh!

While we in Malaysia are busy transforming our teenagers to pop idols, a recent expert poll conducted by Reuters shows that global warming is likely to overshoot a 2 degree Celsius rise. It is time for us to inculcate ‘green culture’ in our youngsters’ minds.