Morning from Budapest

Woke up today feeling at ease especially in a room filled with warm colors. The sunlight peaking through the curtains make it even more calming. It’s my third day in Budapest and I absolutely love this place, although I might say the same thing for every place I visit. But it is indeed beautiful. Budapest city is made up of two sides with Danube River in between. Not only it has 2 sides of history and culture to offer but it’s also different at night. Everything is relatively near and its interesting what you can discover when you’re out on a stroll around the city.

Since exams are over, I’ve been doing a bit of catching up with the current environmental issues especially here in Budapest. It fascinates and disappoints me at the same time to see what’s been going on around the world with regards to the environment. So here’s a bit of the information I got while I was leisurely enjoying the sun (or more like the bed) in Budapest.

On the 5th of June we human beings celebrated World Environment’s Day. I’m sure nobody missed this because it was trending everywhere on social media and there were news coverages about it too. I also read that US big players such as Google and Apple are joining forces to work towards their commitment in the Climate Change agreement. While Trump wanted out, it’s comforting to know that many US citizens are fighting his decisions and willing to come together for the purpose of making a better environment. But it saddens me to see that even environmental issues are highly influenced by politics when it is definitely every person’s responsibility to preserve and keep the environment in a healthy state. With so many challenges to protect our environment, the World Environment’s Day was indeed needed to bring people together and to instil awareness on the importance of keeping mother nature alive. People all over the world joined in celebrating the richness of earth by exploring nature and participating in environmental activities. Many organizations celebrated by holding conferences, events, competitions and setting trends on social media. It was really good to see everyone spirited about the environment and we must keep the momentum going. We can’t just celebrate for a day and expect the environment to heal on its own.

I also had a read on the passing of our Sumatran rhino in Malaysia. It is such a devastating news and with Puntung gone, Malaysia is left with only 2 Sumatran rhinos which is so close to extinction in Malaysia. Even in Indonesia, there are less than 100 Sumatran rhinos left. While Puntung’s death was to resolve it from going through suffering of chemotherapy and other pain, it is not doubt that the low number of Sumatran rhino population remains as a major concern for environmental workers in Malaysia. Protecting endangered species have always been a challenge in Malaysia especially when we are home to a diverse range of wildlife. Early last year, the news exploded when we lost more than 3 tigers within a month due to animal traps, accidents and poaching. That did not include other events, particularly animal trafficking and poaching that is constantly occuring not only in Malaysia but within the Southeast Asia region. While we don’t see the importance of protecting the wildlife, it is our duty to keep the balance in place. The wildlife is a source of contentment and happiness. It is in this world for reasons we might never know. But like every other creature on this planet, it is not our place to wipe them out so we can take over. They exist just like why the sky and sun exist. It is part of nature. The wildlife teaches us compassion and empathy on how to coexist in peace.

Apart from wildlife issues which are a constant worry, I’ve also been searching for ideas on how we can recycle things and remake them to be useful! While browsing through, I found a video about the typical paper cups we use to have hot drinks which are labeled as recyclable but often they are not recycled because of the high cost to remove a layer of wax from the cups. How surprising isn’t it ?! Of course when I get home I’ll be doing more research on that to fully understand the issue. I also found a few ideas that transforms plastic and old clothes to yarns so that it can be reused for weaving and knitting purposes. Since I love doing artsy stuff I had so much fun discovering all these ideas. I even made a few to-do list once I’m back at home. While this might not be contributing much to the amount of waste we humans generate every second, I really do hope that bit by bit we can instil awareness especially in Malaysia about the effects of wastage and how it pollutes our land, water, soil, air and many more. A polluted environment is definitely worrisome as it affects our health in general.

Also, I think this was old news as I read it a few months ago but there was a argument about the ban of plastic bags in Selangor, a state in Malaysia. While the ban of plastic bags was a common practice in other developed countries, not everyone took it well in Malaysia. The reaction towards this ban was also quite different. People were more willing to pay extra 20 cents to have the plastic bag for convenience. Since the ban was in place, the consumption of plastic bags for rubbish bins increased as well. The reason behind this was because many people used to recycle the plastic bags as waste bags but now they need to purchase as they can’t recycle the plastic bags anymore. While implementing ban for plastic bag had a good objective behind it, I think we should have also offered suggestions for solutions to the possible problems that comes with it. It is also important to educate why the ban of plastic bag is needed and how people can change their lifestyle to adapt to this new regulation. Alternative materials should be ready to act as substitute to plastic bags and we have to make it accessible for people to obtain them. Perhaps a short and long term campaign should have taken place so that it creates a sense of responsibility and encouragement for people to adhere to the new change in regulation. The objective of the ban is definitely a good effort but we could definitely improve more of creating awareness and getting more people to willingly pledge to the ban rather than enforce it to them.

With all the readings I did while in Budapest, it occured to me tht although we do have people fighting for the environment in Malaysia, it is not enough. It is not only protecting wildlife but also in our daily lifestyle. Although it is not easy, we could try to slowly change by constantly educating ourselves. Businesses and large organizations play an important role in shaping the lifestyle of our community too. It is so important to create awareness where possible and to learn about sustainability whenever we can.

sustainable clothes; time to convert

Sustainable clothing – I am almost 99.9% sure that most of you have heard of these words before. The trend have been on the rise over the last few years especially when more iconic people are taking part in this trend. But what is sustainable clothing all about? There are some people out there that owns environmental-friendly clothing because it’s the in thing, because famous people do it etc etc and while it’s good they’re supporting these initiatives it’s also important to understand the whole concept behind owning and maintaining a sustainable wardrobe.

First, let’s talk about the difference between normal clothing and the eco-friendly clothing line. Eco clothing are made of natural fabric that are non toxic and less polluting in their production, use and disposal. It’s not just about how the clothes are made but also the way the materials of the clothes are processed. For example, as we all know cotton is a primary material in clothing production. To create an environmental-friendly clothing, organic cotton – where synthetic pesticides, genetically modified seeds and man-made fertilizers are not used in the production, replace the standard ones making it more sustainable and ‘greener’ in the production of the clothing. These agricultural practices are healthier than production of conventional cotton which contributes to all kinds of pollution, especially water and land. When talking about eco-friendly clothing, it can also mean the use of recycled fabric and other waste. For example, the world has found a way to create textile using leftover hulls from soybean production. It’s not only helping to reduce waste but it is also biodegradable.

The objective of sustainable clothing is not limited to the production of the clothes, but it involves other factors as well such as ensuring that the materials used for clothing production is organic and ‘green’, does not involve exploitative labor practices and the materials adhere ‘green’ farming method.

Now that we’ve covered the concept of sustainable clothing, the next step is to understand the other objective of this concept. The idea in creating sustainable clothing is primarily to reduce pollution and waste generated from clothing production. The one important factor to sustainability is our wardrobe lifestyle. It’s not really helpful if you buy sustainable clothing but then keep on throwing them away in the bin after wearing it a few times. We want to reduce waste and that’s just as important as wearing sustainable clothes. So, here’s some tips that you can practice for your wardrobe lifestyle (I’m sure nobody expects you to have a wardrobe malfunction either!).

Say the magic word over and over again until it sticks to your heart and brains:

“Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”

I know it’s not easy, especially when the new Summer collection is too gorgeous you can’t resist or you have a theme dinner and you need to buy something new for the theme. But then, there’s always a way around it and these 3 magic words will help you save the environment and not have a wardrobe malfunction, a win win situation!

  1. Before purchasing your clothes, always think of at least 5 different ways you can style it. This is so that you can easily match it with other clothes and have a new look for it.
  2. Don’t buy too many clothes with the same/similar design. For example, if the trend now is off-shoulder tops, you don’t need to change your whole tops to off-shoulder ones. Maybe one or two is good enough or even better, DIY your current top to an off-shoulder!
  3. Ask yourself if you’re going to wear it before you buy because sometimes it may look good on the models, but it might not be your style. This way, you’ll not only reduce consumption but you get to save some money.
  4. Secondhand clothing! I’m not sure if you’re the kind that wears secondhand clothes but trust me they’re not bad at all. You might need to do some searching but hey, at least it’s a bargain. This is especially useful if you’re planning to wear the clothes only once or twice.
  5. Take good care of your clothes. Why? This is so, when you’re bored or want to have a change of style you can easily recycle it and give away the clothes. There are two ways to this, either donate it to a charity or you can sell it.
  6. Or you can learn to DIY and be a self-claimed fashion designer for yourself. That way you can have a change of wardrobe without hurting your bank account too much.
  7. Quality over quantity – it may be a bit pricey, but a good quality clothes can last you a long time. And don’t get me wrong, quality does not equal to expensive. There are good quality clothes out there that are just as affordable, maybe even cheaper. So do your research before purchasing.

These tips apply to all kinds of clothing consumption. I know the tricky bit when you are trying to convert your wardrobe to a sustainable one is definitely the price. My first time checking out a sustainable clothing company, I had a hard time processing the price of a T-shirt. I was planning to change my wardrobe but when I saw the price, I immediately closed the website. The price is no joke especially for a student like me. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change to ‘green’ clothing. It might take a while and you probably won’t be able to convert your whole wardrobe, but slowly you can build your sustainable wardrobe. It doesn’t just mean that you have to own ‘green’ clothes, it also mean that you practice those 3 magic words up there. So, don’t let the price stop you from creating your own sustainable wardrobe. Owning sustainable clothing is just one part of it, you can also help reduce consumption through recycling and reusing your clothes.

As a consumer, you have the power to demand for better practices in the fashion industry. If we support more and more sustainable clothing company, this will help them stabilize in the industry. High demand will shift other fashion companies direction and before you know it, more and more companies will practice the same concept. That’s what we want to achieve- a change in lifestyle that starts with our wardrobe. While we’re constantly battling between price value and ethics, there must also be a long term outlook in the industry. We might generate short term profits but in the long run, when resources are heavily polluted it will be too late to do damage control and the industry will spend more money trying to sustain the environment. There must be a balance between the short and long term outlook.

Now, time to change my wardrobe! It’s Earth Day today and I hope while many of you are celebrating the efforts and achievements we had so far in fighting climate change, we must also realize that the battle is not yet done. We are a long way to go from achieving sustainable lifestyle and this only means that we have to work even harder in creating awareness, making people realize that the environment is just as important as the economy or politics of a country. It’s probably even more important because environment is not a country thing, its a global thing.

autumn term.

It’s my last few days of autumn term and I’m so glad I survived this term, like literally. Finally some time to breathe and catch up on other things peacefully (not that I put aside anything while I’m busy with work). This is going to be a really long post talking about almost everything I have on my mind for the past few weeks, or maybe months?

First, let’s talk about how this term has been treating me. One word; CRAZY. I don’t know if it’s because final year or what but there’s always something that needs to be done. Last I remember, I swear I did more in my second year and still had time to rest, watch dramas, go out, be lazy and still do fine. Final year is like me trying so hard to not drown in a swimming pool. There’s just so much to do and yet you have no idea what is it you’re after. When I have some free time all I do is either sleep a little longer or just be lazy and spend time with friends but that’s about it. For me, my life is waking up every day with a list of things I have to do for the day. Sometimes I wonder if this is what it’s like growing up and have more responsibilities. I know it’s something so trifle to talk considering how others have bigger issues to struggle with but it made me think that is this all there is to life? What about the constant need to explore this world or simply to just live life without a specific direction and to discover along the way. So many what ifs and what could have been. I’ve been telling myself how fast time flies and every single moment is so precious. You breathe in and out and suddenly you notice that it’s been five years since you last wore a school uniform. Soon, I’ll be moving on to the next phase, leaving uni behind for new beginnings and what not. I wish I had more time, time to seek for answers. But I have no idea what I’m searching for. Is it the usual routine of working after graduate, get a stable job, find a boyfriend, get married and have kids and live happily or will it be more than just this like travel the world, lend a hand at every stop I make, touch different soil and breathe different air, learn about people, about the world and along the way find that someone who loves you, have a family and live a happy life together. I don’t know to be honest, so many questions and yet I find myself unsure of what to do next. But I believe whatever path I decide on, it is a blank canvas that will be up to me to make it as meaningful as possible. I’m excited to see what future has in store for me, but also nervous, worried, scared and every other feeling mixed together. Some days I wish I was taking a gap year instead of graduating. Some days I’m just happy that I’m already earning money and am mentally prepared to work in the future. And then, some days I just feel like I want to be a cat with a really good owner who cuddles with me at night and let me have everything I want. That’s what autumn term did to me. It made me question so many things, changed my perspective on several things and taught me how to appreciate my surrounding and embrace whatever scars I have. It made me realize how scary time can be, it can make you feel like there’s forever but before you know it you’re halfway there to your third decade alive on this earth.

Which also got me thinking about love. I spent three and a half years loving, getting to know someone and try my best to make sure the relationship ends with a marriage but it didn’t work out like how I wanted it to be. All that effort and time and yet it didn’t work out. I was afraid, still am now as to how I’ll ever start again. To open up to somebody, to understand and learn everything about them, to give your trust and just love. I know marriage doesn’t mean it’s a happily ever after and it’s not the end of the world just because things didn’t work out. Don’t get me wrong, I fully agree that it’s never definite even after you’ve tied a bond together but I’m a firm believer of happy endings and I think once I love, I settle for it, seal my heart and focus on other things. But the break up got me thinking about how nice it would be to get to know a person with no expectation whatsoever, find a person compatible with me rather than putting the idea of relationship and to only love and commit after marriage. It’s sort of a wake up call for me, that it’s not about wearing matching shoes, doing the same thing or that relationship goals. It’s about how compatible you are with a person and how you can like a person as they are rather than making them who they are not. To be able to get to know someone without any expectation that they’ll be helping us survive this world but also feel the comfort of knowing that somebody is there if you ever need a person to talk to. I guess as we grow old, reality vs expectation in relationship is so different. Or maybe it’s just me giving up on being hopelessly in love and vulnerable.

This then leads back to my endless questions of how am I to live this life meaningfully? I’ve been quite slow on my charity support because I’ve been so caught up and partly demotivated. It’s like you take one step in the effort and the world just backfires you 100 steps. It’s a constant battle and some days you’ll feel that it’s all for nothing. But I know every effort makes a difference. I wonder how the activists fight their battles every day. Their daily lives would feel like a roller coaster, with all the ups and downs and the struggle to raise awareness and fight systems, change views, It’s impressive, really. Sometimes I feel it’s never enough no matter how hard I try. But in comparison with what others are doing, I’m probably giving only a tiny dot of contribution to the efforts so I should learn to give more instead of asking if it’s enough. And then, there’s also the issue of having so much to do. I want to save tigers, but also other animals. What about the animals in the ocean then or the forests that are burning down or the animals dying because of illegal trades. Not to mention the issue with pollution, excessive consumption, release of carbon, and so so much more to think about. It makes me feel so confused on where to start, what should I do and how do I even change everything. Sometimes I wish people would be less greedy in power, less ambitious but more considerate in loving others, more compassionate when it comes to lives. So much could change if people can focus on these instead of fighting over political power, making billions of profits although they are beyond rich. If people value lives more than they are right now, we wouldn’t be having wars, killing others like it doesn’t matter. I just wish the hearts we have could be a little softer and kinder.

So this is basically my thoughts during the term. Putting the stress aside, I’m finally going to winter wonderland this Sunday, watch a ballet performance and explore the flower market. Winter break will be a mix of work, spending time with friends and travelling (of course I’ll study in between). Hopefully I’ll have more time to focus on the things I like doing and clear my mind. I’m currently knitting a blanket for charity campaign which I hope will be done soon as the temperature is getting lower. Here’s some links for you to check it out before leaving. I came across this video on Fashion Industry and how over consumption is polluting the world. The Law Society had a fundraiser last week for Redress and I taught I should check it out. The video is a talk by the CEO and Founder of Redress on her views about pollution caused by fashion industry. It’s really interesting (makes you question if you need to shop this Christmas :p) and I think it’s a friendly reminder to us all about our priorities. Also, an article about Aleppo and what you could be doing. It saddens me to see what’s happening in Aleppo and not just there but everywhere else around the world. Someone said to me before, we constantly strive to be better and fight the demons who try to lure us to the dark side but I guess the demons we’re fighting now are us humans.

 

http://www.upworthy.com/7-real-things-you-can-do-right-now-about-the-catastrophe-in-aleppo?c=ufb1

 

That’s the end of this really quite long post. Happy holidays for those who are having their school/term break! Spend your last few weeks of the year wisely, love a little harder, laugh more and make others happy.

 

 

Phuket & Elephant.

image

My recent trip to Phuket included a visit to FantaSea, a huge theme park in Kamala and definitely a tourist attraction. Yes I was aware about the heated discussion regarding the use of elephants in their performances before I went on the trip. But because my trip consist of people with different views (which is something I do respect), I thought why not go see it for myself and understand more about the issue.

I’ve been following articles about the exploitation of elephants in Southeast asian countries, mainly Thailand and the recent news about elephants dying because of exhaustion have angered many people globally. There were petitions to make TripAdvisor stop promoting animal-related tourism activities and lots of NGOs voiced out their concerns about these animals. There were several things I realized during my visit to FantaSea.

First, I understand now why it is not easy for people to make a change in the situation although many petitions have been created. Why? The FantaSea attract over 4 000 visitors a day and the elephant and culture night performance is the highlight of the theme park. If you’ve been to Phuket, you would know that the area is not well developed. The tsunami tragedy a few years back has done quite a damage and the people there are still trying to cope with the sudden loss of income and accumulated expenses from the tragedy. The theme park create job opportunities for the locals, probably one of the biggest recruiter in that area. Because people depend on this theme park and the income it brings to Phuket, it won’t be easy for the authorities to take action unless the fault is clearly visible along with evidence of torture and exploitation.

Second, during the performance I realized that the elephants were very well trained they listened to every instructions without a problem. It was weird in a way for me to watch because the animal doesn’t behave in its natural state anymore like elephants in the wild. But later on it striked me that Thailand and elephants have a long relationship. The thai people worship elephants, it’s one of the reasons why it’s their national animal. It has been a tradition for over centuries in Thailand to use elephants as mode of transportation. Back in those days, the king will mount on an elephant for transportation or even during war. Their relationship with the elephants go way back that they even have a Thai legend saying that a marriage is like an elephant – the husband is the front legs that choose the direction, the wife the back legs, providing the power! We feel it is morally wrong to use the animals as form of entertainment for tourist attraction but from their point of view, they see nothing wrong with training elephants as they have done it for more than a hundred years.

The visit showed me a bigger picture for both side of arguments. While the Thai believe that this is a tradition that must be uphold, others may not think the same due to culture and interest differences. Some of us focus very much on animals welfare but we do have to understand a nation’s culture as well. When I first spoke about this issue, a friend of mine said what about horse training? We use horses for transportation, we do horse racing and make money out of it and there are lots of horses dead because of it. What about using cows in paddy field? Or bull race ? Those are all influenced by culture and tradition as well.

The crucial difference here is that, the elephants are facing extinction. Perhaps because the world is getting a bit too cramped and small for them to live in that they have to blend with the humans and do their biddings. But what truly matters here is that, while I can respect the culture, I do believe an emphasize on animal cruelty should be said not just for elephants but all animals. Since the Thai have long relationship with the elephants, through the training the elephants should be well taken care and properly fed. The animal’s welfare is just as important and illegal trade should not be allowed since they hold high respect for their elephants. It is important to understand both the culture and also to ensure that the animals are not being exploitated for their body parts, especially one that involves animal killing.

I am indeed quite against using the animals to do our bidding but it is a culture that I also respect and hence I do understand their perspective. But illegal trade and exploitation of animals together with neglected animal welfare is something I’m strongly against.

Now, if I were to create a petition I wouldn’t say stop or ban animals related activities because that is part of a country’s culture. Without it they won’t be unique anymore, no identity. I would rather go for protect animal welfare and tighten the law on taking good care of the animals they keep. Any form of abuse should be reported and charged for neglect in responsibilities. The animal related business should contribute to animal conservation on regular basis and help fight against illegal trade.

The visit indeed gave me a better understanding on the issue. Perhaps I did understand better or perhaps not but this is my view on the matter.

the power of social media.

When you talk about social media, some of the apps that comes to mind is Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Generation today connect with people from all around the world through social media. It opens up a new platform for people to expand potentials and unlock endless opportunities. For some of us, we use the social media to express ourselves, to voice out our opinions and to be heard by others. It is also used for tutorials, education, business, news updates and many more. With these apps, a news is able to reach several countries within minutes, or even seconds. And that is how powerful the social media is. It is definitely something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While the social media bring forward many benefits and create unlimited opportunities for people, we often abuse the power of social media and cause destruction. The social media abuse is quite known across the world but in some places it is worse than usual which is alarming. This is a indeed a rising problem in Malaysia as more and more citizens find it okay to shame and condemn others using their social media.

Of course I am not saying that everyone does it, but there are some who finds it funny to point out others’ mistakes thinking that it is the right thing to do. Usually, the more followers you have on social media the tendency to be bullied and abused by such issue is higher. I’ve read lots of comments on Instagram and how some people involve themselves in arguments about how wrong and disgraceful the post is. Vulgar words are often present along with judgmental sentences. And then there are also those who will defend the post which creates a stream of hateful remarks and the blame game starts about this person is no better, go reflect yourself, you’re being jealous, you have no life ; it is impressive to read the amount of negativity in a single post.

It is not even surprising when some people use it as an outlet to express their disagreement about country related issues like posting memes of our ministers or make fun of them. Stating your point on social media to be heard is your right, but making fun out of others out of frustration ; that’s already beyond your rights. Some are even to the point of embarrassing and it just reflects how low we can be.

There is a fine line between advising and condemning others. It is something that we Malaysians should always remind ourselves before hitting that keyboard and type whatever we have in mind. If you think that this isn’t something that shouldn’t be taken seriously, you should think again. To receive comments after comments about negative things about you will mess up your emotions and mind in some ways. We do not know to what extend our words might do to others because that is how powerful words can be. It is not alright to be abused and be abusive on social media regardless of your actions. A negative comment by a single person can create hatred all around the country, punishing a person for a single mistake. Some of us don’t even know who we are punishing as we only follow the trend and join in the blame team but do we realize the consequences of our actions?

Yes, there are times that we read something awful and to not say something is killing you inside. But there are better ways than to publicly shame others or point fingers so people are divided between the good team and the bad team. A decent approach shouldn’t be done publicly, not with a million other readers reading it. Don’t you feel embarrassed when your parents scold you in public about your behavior? Or when you fall in front of thousands of audience only to be laughed at, do you feel fine with it? It is not okay right? Well at least for me it is not. We should avoid saying negative things on social media and first respect others. Instead of fighting over who is right or wrong, what the person should post or not post, shouldn’t we empower each other ? Shouldn’t we be using the social media to widen our horizon and educate ourselves? Instead of telling another girl how disgusting her attitude is shouldn’t we supposed to motivate each other to improve?

This is something we should ponder about as a social media user. The power of social media is amazing and fearsome at the same time. Never abuse the power as you don’t know what the consequences might be. Your words on social media can both lift a person or ruin their future. You have the choice to do good or create a chaos. So before you start typing on the keyboard, think and think again about what you’re about to say. If possible, say only good things, encourage others, empower the people around you to change for the better. Let’s change our mentality from condemning to empowering the people we know.

 

 

reflect.

Recently I came across Dr. Jane Goodall’s post on Facebook and there are no truer words spoken about the way we treat earth.

“We must remember that we have not inherited this planet from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children. But we have not been borrowing their future, we have stolen it and we keep stealing it.”

Just because we live here all our lives, we tend to take the earth for granted and treat it as we wish. Humans create and innovate throughout the centuries to improve lives but today we are driven by greed and our focus is more than just providing for mankind but to gain from it. This has lead to massive destruction and we unintentionally contribute to destroying the earth as we catch up with the changes in this world. I read a post by Adrian Grenier, the founder of Lonely Whale Foundation about pollution and the ocean and in his article he mentioned that the amount of plastic we use daily is enough to wrap around the earth two and a half times each day. That was based on the plastic usage by US population, imagine taking into account the plastic usage by world population. And that is just one of the many kind of pollution we create in our daily lives. We build buildings and compete which country has the tallest skyscrapper, we cut down trees so we can change it to a concrete jungle instead, we kill animals so we can make money out of its skin, tusk,teeth,head and god knows what else. There are so many things we do without realizing that it is indeed harming nature. We feel indifferent because we don’t see how it affects our surrounding but in truth what we do kills nature and this is a reflection to all of us, me included to always think of others human beings and environment before doing something. Simple little things like before throwing unwanted items, we should consider recycling it. Find a way to reuse your clothes instead of constantly buying new ones and throw the old ones. Never waste your food (I try my best not to most of the time). Plant trees ! I’ve always wondered why we clear up forest just so we can build endless buildings when the forest is definitely a mightier and finer view for the eyes. I’m sure we can live without transforming all the land on earth into a profitable development area. We must always remind ourselves that living our lives, it is not a race. Being able to build the most grand, exotic, unique skyscrapper does not mean that you are greater than other beings. It is not a competition when what you do destroy others. And just because what you destroy have no voice, that doesn’t mean it can’t show you the consequences of your actions. We are here to coexist with all beings in the world. Not to be superior of one another. Some people take this lightly and with a scoff simply brush away these words and assume that this is an environmentalist’s thoughts. But if you read enough about the pollution around the world and what damage it has caused and how it will affect our future, your common sense will tell you this much; we should change and do something. I know it is not easy to change, trust me even I can’t do everything without harming the planet. But I try and educate myself constantly on how I can change things, especially the ones I do daily. A little effort by everyone makes a huge difference to the world. It is important to have that awareness in us, so we don’t take things for granted. If the earth is my house, I would be crying to see the state of my house and all the damage done. I would try my best to fix my house and make it beautiful again. I would stop doing things that cause damage to my house and I would decorate it with flowers and fresh air so that I feel at peace. If the earth is your house, would you do the same; protect and cherish it instead of leaving it to permanent damage? This is after all the place we call home for everyone and everything.

world ocean day

Today the world celebrates our ocean. Some of you may not know what is it about ocean that we are talking today. With the rise in issues regarding endangered wildlife, the marine is similarly affected too.

This is why United Nation along with other organizations started campaigned for marine life, dedicating today to those who have fought hard to preserve the ocean in its natural habitat and also to ensure that people are aware of the efforts made to keep the ocean in a well balanced eco system.

The ocean is no longer a habitat for fishes and plants. It is where tonnes and tonnes of waste are being disposed of, making it their home as well. For some reason, although many people realize that items such as plastic bottles are not biodegradable they still throw it as how they wish hoping that it will magically walk to the bin itself or will be carried away somewhere and is not of any concern anymore. Such little things that we find it tedious to do so we take the easy way instead causes harm to others and in this case, the aqua habitat. A recent video was made viral about how a group of youth were helping the turtle by taking out a long stick that was stuck in its nose causing breathing difficulties. There are many cases we are familiar with about finding plastic bags and all sorts of rubbish in a fish’s body and yet we fail to reflect that it is us that are causing the problems. With the change in climate and rise in temperature, not many marine life area able to cope with these changes. Some are even struggling to find a place to call home especially those animals on the north pole. We are consuming more and more seafood as the population grows but at the rate things are going, it is not surprising that we might have a shortage of seafood in few years time. Marine life are having difficulties surviving in the ocean as they have to adapt to the change in climate, facing risk of getting tangled by the rubbish human dispose in the ocean, not to forget they have to face the risk of living surrounded by the toxic waste we pour in the ocean as if the toxic waste is fertilizer.

Many efforts have been done over the years to conserve marine life, but it is not enough. We can conserve so much, but unless we find solutions to the problem there is always the risk of losing the ocean to human destruction. We will be losing yet another habitat to human’s greed for technology and development. It is no doubt that we are able to coexist with the ocean, the forest and not having to destroy another habitat in order for us to consume them. We just need to find the balance in restoring back those that was taken by us humans.

If you think that a small change will not affect the world, you are wrong. There are many things that we can do to help save habitat. It all comes down to mentality and values we practice. As a parent, teach your children to recycle and DIY are always the best weekend activity. It’s creative and it helps for children brain development too. Don’t just talk, show them how it is done and make them do it with you too. Soon it will be a daily routine similar like how we brush teeth in the morning or wake up at 7 am on weekdays. Get them involved at a young age. There are more than just academic education that we have to teach the younger generation. For some reasons, according to some culture in Malaysia if we are to enter the forest we should not simply cut down any tree or even their branches. In fact we should not harm any animal unless for food purposes. Although the advice never taught us why but simply a rule, it helped us understand that other beings deserve respect and we are nobody’s superior on this earth. Teachers and guardians can engage kids with field trip such as clean the beach campaign. Instead of encouraging the kids to focus on purely technological invention, why not help them create eco-friendly technology to sustain the world. The most important thing is to get yourself educated with issues concerning the earth. Get involved more in efforts to protect and conserve the nature. It is after all a joint effort that is required by every one of us living on this planet. We are in no position to be ignorant as this is part of our responsibility. The world came in an order that is perfect for survival. It provided us what we need and over the centuries have changed us from the stone age era to the modern era. Without these lands and nature we are so eager to destroy for wealth and better future opportunities, we wouldn’t have survived in the first place.

So today, make a pledge and change the way you view this world. It is not ours to do as we wish and it is our duty to keep it in balance. Be more considerate of your surrounding and help conserve mother nature.

#worldoceansday