Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Earthkeepers 101

Timberland Singapore is organising a blogging contest, in conjunction with their upcoming involvement in Rhythm with Nature as the Official Apparel Sponsor.

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A series of events collectively held as part of the official opening of Gardens by the Bay, Rhythm with Nature will take place from 29th June to 1st July 2012, and will feature a range of events including music concerts (with acts such as Jason Mraz and Corrinne May), a 3-day green fair, a photography contest, a free outdoor movie screening and various contest giveaways.

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Here are some simple examples of possible activities which can be categorised as "Earthkeeping", little daily habits that we can cultivate in order to reduce some of the pressure on our planet's limited resources:
  • Turning off the power outlet switch when not in use

  • Using fans instead of air-con

  • Maintaining your air-con temperature at 25 degrees

  • Recycle your unwanted items (creating a new wearable or usable item)

  • Using water for washing rice to water plants

  • Taking public transport or cycling instead of driving

  • Choosing environmentally-friendly clothing/even fresh produce i.e. made of organic cotton, organic food (pesticide free)

  • Refusing plastic bags, instead use own shopping bag

  • Supporting eco-conscious causes/efforts

I try as much as possible to stick to some of these practices, in the hope that the cumulative efforts of a great number of people can ultimately make some difference in the way we view our relationship with the Earth and how we manage the extraction of resources to fuel our lifestyles. Not everyone can be at the frontline, planting trees in Inner Mongolia to halt the spread of desertification, or rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in Laos, but every little action counts in some way towards maintaining and conserving our ever-diminishing natural landscapes and wild spaces, the very same places where outdoor products such as those made by Timberland were designed for. Not all of us can live away from the city and its comforts, but if one follows these tips, while bearing in mind that these actions have the potential to play a role in reducing some of the demand on increasingly scarce resources (along with the environmental impacts of rampant consumerism and a culture where things are made to be thrown away), then I think it embodies the spirit of being an Earthkeeper.

I participated in a similar blogging contest last year and won, and had plenty of memorable adventures with many of the hardworking and passionate folks from Timberland's regional offices in Asia. I'm still pondering whether to join this year's contest, but in any case, I'll probably find the time to write some of my own tips on how one can be an Earthkeeper, from the perspective of one who approaches the topic from a biodiversity and wildlife conservation perspective.

All the best to those planning to participate in the competition!