Use rainwater for outdoor washing — Chin

GREENING THE WORLD: Chin (fourth left) and Gelber (fourth right) holding up the newly potted trees at the carnival. Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang is at right.

KUCHING: In order to inculcate green technology in the hearts of the people, house owners have been encouraged to have rainwater collection system to replace using treated water for outdoor washing purposes.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Seri Peter Chin, who made this call, said it has been implemented in Peninsular Malaysia, especially in semi-detached houses and bungalows.

The water collected is not for cooking or drinking, but for washing cars, car porches and other cleaning activities, even for watering plants.

A public transport company in West Malaysia saved RM370,000 a year by using rainwater to wash its trains and should be emulated on a citizenry level, he said.

“We are urging the Housing Ministry in Sarawak to take up the practice to increase environmental quality and conservation of water. We will be very happy if the Housing Ministry wishes to implement it in the state,” said Chin at a press conference held after the launching 1Hijau 1Komunity carnival at Crown Square yesterday.

He said with such exposure, the public will understand more about the importance of green technology and how it can help them save money, as public awareness is still low.

However, on the industrial level, it is harder to accept the green technology because of the cost involved.

“It is still a chicken and egg situation, whether to make money first then switch to green technology or to switch first and save later. They do not realise that costly input results in costly products,” said Chin.

Speaking on the carnival, Chin said it was a good approach to create awareness on what green technology is about and hoped that it would be held in other areas like Batu Kawah and Matang so that residents there have a chance to attend the event.

He said that most people accept green technology, just that they do not understand it. But they do understand the concept of not wasting electricity and water.

“Everything has a cost and when they use less, they pay less. This will encourage them to save and in turn help to protect the environment,” said Chin.

Meanwhile, Matthias Gelber, a German dubbed the Greenest Man in the World for 2008, urge the people to reduce waste, reduce pollution and to recycle.

He said that doing so is more to benefit the future generations as by starting now ensures that depleting resources like water is still available in the future.

“We should buy more eco friendly products and throw less out in order to save money. Like my T-shirt, which is made from recycled plastics, and my polar bear soft toy that I carry around actually holds a foldable, reusable shopping bag,” said Gelber at the carnival.

He said that the people of today should be the agent for change and help care for the environment for the benefit of everyone.

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