Think, reduce, reuse and recycle

Dr Gary William Theseira urges city folk to re-evaluate energy use within their living and working structures.

SAVE ENERGY:MBPJ organises a talk to guide city folk towards consuming less energy in everyday tasks

CITY folk are encouraged to retrofit their homes to channel wastewater into the sewer instead of the drains. This will help minimise river pollution.

They are  also encouraged to collect rainwater to water their plants and for other uses. This will help reduce flash floods in the city.

Such ideas were shared with heads of residents’ associations during a talk entitled “Climate Change — Related to Local Council and the Community”. It was organised by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) in conjunction with Earth Day.

Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s Environmental Management and Climate Change Division under-secretary Dr Gary William Theseira shared tips on what people could do to protect the environment.

Energy use within living and working structures should be re-evaluated, he said.

For example, in the past, people would go out of their homes for fresh air when it became warm inside. But now people choose to switch on the air-conditioner instead.

“By changing to more suitable roofs and promoting behavioural modification, we can depend less on the air-conditioner,” said Theseira.

He said people must also be aware of the  energy they consumed.

“Think of the energy used to boil water, only to turn it into ice cubes, and finally put into a hot drink to cool it down. Do think of ways to cut the steps, which will help save energy,” he said.

Theseira said new innovations such as brighter signs that did not require electricity would be ideal alternatives.

He also called for local councils to disallow billboard advertisement lights from being switched on throughout the night.

Theseira encouraged residents to use public transport for short distance travelling, and the authorities to monitor the efficiency.

People should opt to walk, cycle and use feeder bus services.

The concept of “work wherever you are” should also be encouraged, he said.

“If an employer trusts his staff to work two hours a week from home this could help the staff to spend more quality time with the family while saving travelling time and work-related resources,” he said.

Folk should separate their wastes and reduce, reuse and recycle.

He said many restaurant owners, despite having grease traps, still threw oil into the drains.  Local councils can play a role by providing avenues for used grease to be reprocessed for other purposes.

He cited an example of a person who separated used batteries only to dispose of them in a compactor. He said the act of separating the used batteries was good but one needed to know the proper step to take next.

Theseira encouraged local councils to provide shade-providing plants but to also check on their suitability.

“In Taman Tun Dr Ismail, there are many angsana trees that attract the crows. But if we can plant trees that provide shade but isn’t as tall, the crow problem could be tackled,” he said.

The talk was also attended by mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman, ADUN Kajang YB Lee Kim Sin, Department of Local Government under Housing and Local Government Ministry deputy director-general (Development) Dr Aizi Razman Ismail and Sunway University professor Dr Phang Siew Nooi.

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