can i have your autograph?

Whenever The Ret studies, does homework or does her beached whale impersonation in front of the tv, she’ll turn on all the available lights in the living room and dining room. Her excuse is the living room lights are too dim and strains her eyes. Fine, I get it. So move to the dining roomlah or even better her room. However, The Ret being true to her nature, doesn’t do any of the logical alternatives. Maybe she relishes my screams when I get the electricity bill, maybe she’s just a glutton for punishment and likes getting stepped on by overweight humans and cats alike. Whatever it is, I decided enough was enough and stopped by the hardware store today. My goal? A lightbulb that would emit a whopper of wattage plus be one of those green, energy saving ones. My eyeballs almost popped out when I saw the difference in price between normal lightbulbs and the greener ones.

To backtrack a bit, Stinky balik kampung today. I offered to drive him into the city as I wanted to stop by the Crafts Centre to get more labu sayongs and perhaps some other stuff to furnish the new apartment with. I hit jackpot in the woodcarvings tent. For a fraction of the price in posh asian-themed furniture shops, I got myself a 2x3ft mirror with an elaborate wooden frame that looks like a traditional window frame. I quizzed the cute Kelantanese stall owner on wood type, etc and whipped out my credit card. I love Visa. I wandered around some more and found a sturdy looking woven-rattan umbrella stand and a pottery bowl to throw keys in. Then I wandered over to the jewelry section and scored myself some extremely cheap freshwater pearls. Got the nice lady to make me a choker and earrings and ta da! I only had enough cash to buy another 5 labu sayongs. Hahaha. Call me Tauke. Tauke Labu.

Anyway, the day was getting hotter and I was due for my appointment in Bangsar. Mani and pedi done, I decided to to treat myself to a nice lunch at the organic resto at Bangsar Village. The fabulous resto is attached to an organic healthfood shop and there I saw a banner promoting eco-friendly detergent, softener and floor-cleaner. I immediately got excited. I’d been looking for chlorine-free, biodegradable, greener detergents and here it was!

Now comes the real reason for this post and that is how hard it is to be green. And when I say green, I mean the environmentally friendly type, not the green of the green eyed monster. Almost anything that’s healthier, ethical or better for the environment has a hefty pricetag. You want free-range chickens? Pork reared without farrowing cages? Energy saving lightbulbs? Chemical-free onions? Then please prepare to pay through your nose. Sigh.

  • Ordinary 60W lightbulb = RM1.90 vs Energy saving 60W lightbulb = RM20.50
  • Ordinary detergent (166 washes) = < RM15 vs Bio-detergent (33 washes) = RM23

You were right, Kermit.

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2 Comments

Filed under environment, health

2 responses to “can i have your autograph?

  1. i think it all boils down to what’s most important to you. used to believe that we’re all gonna die anyway and can’t get away from all these toxic waste, so what’s the use?

    and then when you read a little more and find out that you can do something about it, can you not? knowing those bleached tampons you use have dioxins that will f*ck up your reproductive organs + hormonal cycle in ways not yet understood (which you will then pass on to generations to come), then you start asking yourself, what is your core belief?

    environment, ethics, you? helping to slowly decrease supply so that eventually dioxins in the environment will be decreased, your own personal health or your pocket?

    but say we lose our jobs, we’ll go back to using the same old stuff we grew up on instead of eco products, wouldn’t we?

  2. thegrouch

    very true, dals. especially that last part. that’s what makes it so frustrating. being green should not be for those with spare cash, it should be affordable for everyone.
    it’s like that theory in Supersize Me: people don’t necessarily like fastfood, it’s just very much cheaper and more available than healthier alternatives.

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