Comic time!

Saving the earth might seem very “boring” at times. We tend to hear more, read more but it’s hard to find entertaining visuals that come along with it.

No, we’re not saying that it’s bad. It is a serious issue but some days, we just feel like lightening up the mood.

We’ve found some comics to boost your Monday!

2008-06-16-hdz

Going “paperless”. Source

 

 

2010-07-09-grease_car

Finding the right fuel. Source

 

toon-1333

Yes to bicycles! Source

 

 

 

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Energy efficient ideas! Source

 

 

 

'Thanks... I'm all for the paperless office  - but I draw the line at the paperless toilet...'

Gimme’ my toilet paper please! Source

 

 

 

 

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How witches are going green. Source

 

 

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Sleeping in. Source

 

 

 

The last one is a personal favourite. Have an “environmentally friendly” day!

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Going green without getting annoying

 

It’s not easy being green, but it’s easy to be annoying when it comes to the environment. Simply put, it’s easy to convince most people to start caring for the planet we live on. But, they may quickly be put off by self-professed environmentalists who relentlessly proclaim the moral virtues of what they’re doing.

Whether you’re a seasoned nature lover who gets frustrated by how quickly other people get turned off by the green cause or if you’ve just started making baby steps towards being an eco-warrior, you could benefit from learning how to go green without getting mean.

This way, you can get more people to love and save the earth in the process. After all, when it comes to caring for the environment, the more, the merrier!

 

#1: Do your research

 

When you make baby steps in your life towards going green, it may become very tempting to start “preaching” about the benefits to the people around you. It’s not a bad thing, but if you don’t educate yourself first, you’ll do more harm than good to the cause.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid quoting statistics or facts which you cannot verify, or you might end up being the kind of person who’d vote to ban dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical found in Subway’s sandwich breads but is also used as an industrial solvent in fire retardant materials. Fun fact? It’s water.

But if you can’t help but talk about it, stick to what you know — you can’t go wrong with the fact that reducing pollution and toxins in our world is extremely beneficial to everyone.

 

#2: Keep it light!

As with everything in life, it is extremely important to have a sense of humour. At all times, be a joyful example of the change you want to see in this world. Reality sucks, of course, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be the bearer of bad news and doom *all the time*.

As the saying goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. If your attempt at saving the environment in your own way is rubbing people the wrong way, perhaps you can shift the conversation towards the more pleasant parts of sustainable living such as fair trade chocolate and Pinterest-friendly green gift ideas.

 

#3: Show, don’t tell

 

One of the most effective ways in starting a green movement (however small!) within your social circle is through leading by example. So, don’t tell someone what they can do to be more environmentally-friendly. Instead, go against the grain and show them how simple it can be. YOu can start small by carrying extra cloth bags with you when you go grocery shopping to share with your family or friends, or go to bigger lengths to help people understand how easy it is to start going green.

It’s possible to offer solutions to help people make changes in their lives towards more sustainable living without pointing fingers at them. Besides, people are naturally attracted and curious about something when you’re being mindful and doing something right!

 

#4: Don’t be a hypocrite

 

 

The most annoying do-gooders are probably the ones who are “screaming hypocrites”. You’ve probably encountered them in your life. You know what I’m talking about — the people who preach about the virtues of [insert item here], but turn around and do the exact opposite. So, don’t be the kind of person who kicks up a fuss about wasting electricity but is guilty of leaving every light on in your house all day long.  

With that being said though, it is also crucial that you forgive yourself even if you fail to be environmentally conscious in every single thing you do. You may have slipped up today, but be focused on the end goal — even the most minute of changes can make all the difference in making the world a better place.

 

#5: Acknowledge that you might (sometimes) be annoying

 

 

 

Every time you refuse to use plastic bags, insist to make your own detergent, attempt to make your homes more eco-friendly or only eat whole foods, there is bound to be a collective eye-roll from people who don’t believe in making these small changes to save the environment. It is important to admit that in general, not everyone is going to care for everything you do regardless of how insistent or empathic you are.

So yes, you might be annoying sometimes, and that’s perfectly okay. In the grand scheme of things, we have to remember that we are merely temporary guests on this planet, so we have to act accordingly.

 

#6: Practice gratitude

 

 

It might sometimes be overwhelming to think about the various environmental ills that plague our generation — melting ice caps, massive pollution and animal extinction included. But, instead of wallowing in worry, it is important to be grateful for the way the Earth is. In fact, Mother Nature has a marvelous way of healing herself without human help, and will continue to do so whether or not we go on an eco-conscious crusade to change the way humans behave.

If you’re really passionate about “saving the earth”, channel that energy towards an area that you’re really passionate about, then get out there to make a change. And if necessary, refer to this very list again to help you win people over to your cause.  

6 simple ways to make your homes more eco-friendly

It might feel overwhelming to consider making some environmentally friendly changes when it comes to your home — the potentially drastic changes in furnishing and lifestyle choices can deter any hopeful eco-warrior.

But, even after factoring in the initial cost, the time you’ll take to do research as well as the amount of effort you’re bound to put into this, you may be surprised that saving the planet can also be kind on your wallet in the long run, too!  

So, what are you waiting for? Get on board on cultivating an eco-friendly home with these six easy steps:

 

#1: Watch your energy consumption

To keep tabs on how much electricity or water you’re using, you can use this neat guideline or even an energy rating calculator website. Alternatively, get a digital display that’ll allow you to monitor your electricity consumption in real time (like this The Energy Detective monitor).

Besides being an educational experience, watching exactly how much electricity you actually use will surely get you in an energy-saving mode in no time!

 

#2: Turn it off

Now, once you start monitoring how much energy your household uses, slaying these known “energy vampires” may be in order. You can easily cut your energy consumption by unplugging your appliances and devices when they’re not in use.

Also, make sure that all taps are turned off when not in use. As dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two whole minutes, leaving the tap on during this period can quickly add up to over 5 gallons of wasted water every time.  

 

#3: Change things up

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But, if it’s breaking your bank (with unnecessary energy consumption), you should really consider swapping it out. You can do this by checking the energy rating labels on your electrical appliances.

Another simple move would be to swap out baths for quick (10 minutes and under!) showers. Once that’s become a habit, up your green points by swapping out your old showerheads for a “low flow” or water-saving showerhead — it can reduce your water consumption by up to 11,000 litres a year.

#4: Let the light in

 

Most people have a tendency to leave the lights on even when it’s a bright, sunny day outside. But, did you know that turning off your lights for just one hour a day will save 1.22 pounds of carbon dioxide, which adds up to 0.216 metric tons over the course of a year.

It might not sound like much yet, but if every household started doing this, the impact would be enormous. Switching your lights off doesn’t mean having to live in darkness, though. Open up your blinds and curtains and utilise natural light as much as possible!   

 

#5: Have fun with the furniture

 

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One key thing that makes a house a home is the furniture, and we have three C’s which is part of our checklist for the perfect piece of furniture. Comfortable, Chic, and eCo-friendly (yes, we cheated on that last bit!). Strive to fill your home with locally-sourced (or supplied!) building materials from local furniture manufacturers if possible. Alternatively, buy furniture made from recycled materials. But, whether you’re looking for

Alternatively, buy furniture made from recycled materials. But, whether you’re looking for chic, green furniture in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world, rest assured that there are various ways you can be an eco-warrior through your furniture choices.

 

#6: Go green (literally)

 

 

 

You know what they say… when you’re trying to go green, you should also take it literally.

We jest, but there is some truth in the statement. If the space permits, plant trees in your house compound to enjoy the benefits of having shady trees. They provide reprieve from the hot, sunny days by blocking harsh sunlight, which in turn reduce the amount of energy you spend to cool your house. Also, trees absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide and release oxygen. A single tree can produce enough oxygen for four people in a single day.

Alternatively, give your homes a breath of fresh air with indoor plants, or plant herbs and vegetables for your household’s consumption. This can even be done in small spaces indoors or on your balcony. Much less energy will be used in the cultivation of your own herbs and vegetables than it would be by a farmer who will harvest, package and transport them to a grocery store.

Getting chic, eco-friendly furniture in Malaysia

Getting green furniture for your homes is not an easy task. There’s just so many things to consider in order to be environmentally-savvy when furnishing your living spaces (which is why we came up with this list!).

But, don’t let the extra effort get you down. It’s worth all the blood, sweat, tears and money when you have beautiful pieces of furniture in your home.

If you’re furnishing a house in Malaysia, you’re in luck. Here’s a list of our favourite places to get eco-friendly furniture — which ticks *all* our green boxes — right here on our shores.

#1: Harith Green Carpenter

Whether you’re looking for a custom television console or a bar table set, Harith Green Carpenter is likely the droid you’re looking for.

Source: @harithgreencarpenter

Founded by Harith Ridzuan, a green carpenter (as the name suggests!), the company is focused on upcycling reclaimed wood construction waste (wood pallets and metals) into functional yet artsy furniture. Consider it an added bonus that the seasoned woodworker from Kuala Lumpur has had notable collaborations with Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, FABSPY as well as cafes like Mukha and Souka.

Follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/harithgreencarpenter) and Instagram (@harithgreencarpenter) for their latest shenanigans — between new collaborations and furniture fairs, you’ll soon realise that you don’t have to sacrifice style to go green with your furniture.

#2: Waris Papan

Boring wood pallets and wood pieces are given a new lease on life right here at Waris Papan — just check out their pallet coffee table.

Source: @warispapan

Founder Ahmad Rosisi established the woodworking company in July 2014 with a mission of “giving abandoned wood a second life”. Be it pine wood or wood pallets, the company strives to do good by Mother Earth through their furniture.

The best part? The pieces are iconic and yet give off a vintage or rustic vibe that’ll put them right at home in your humble abodes. If you’re curious to find out more, be sure to follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/warispapan) and Instagram (@warispapan).

#3: Lisasahar Furniture

If you’re furnishing your house, bespoke furniture — a house bed frame, rustic wood tile bench or even signages — from Lishasahar Furniture might be just what you need.

Salam n good morning, #LSFsale tonight guys! Stay tuned . Jgn lupa on notification guys. . . . #CNYsale

A post shared by CUSTOM FURNITURE (@lishasahar.furniture) on

Source: @lishasahar.furniture

The company started when Lisha and her husband participated in a food bazaar — where their homemade furniture drew more attention than the meatballs they had for sale. Lisha’s foray into furniture making may have been a happy accident but this is now their core business.

Quite a number of her pieces are made out of reclaimed pine (at the customer’s request), as pine wood is lighter, more tender, easier to work with and helps reduce environmental waste. Yes, as it is custom made, you can request for pretty much any material that suits your fancy, so you should definitely do your homework on environmentally-friendly furniture before making your order.

Keep up with them on Facebook (facebook.com/lishasahar) and Instagram (@lishasahar.furniture).

#4: ZVW +4inci3hun

Artisanal carpentry gets brought to life with 4 inci 3 hun, whether it’s “sofa tong” (metal barrel sofas) or planter boxes.

Bar Stool(hitamputih) #zvw #4inci3hun #bengkelatasbukit #woodworking #customfurniture

A post shared by ZVW+4INCI3HUN (@zvw.4inci3hun) on

wash area… #zvw #4inci3hun

A post shared by ZVW+4INCI3HUN (@zvw.4inci3hun) on

Source: @zvw.4inci3hun

The four-year-old venture by Zulkefli Ali and his brother Muhammad Khairul Ali has major appeal among those who have a soft spot for beautifully-made wooden furniture. Yes, they definitely have a penchant for reclaimed and new pine wood!

The team provides interior designing services, too, which only serve to complement their skillful craftsmanship and commitment to precision. It’s even in their name — “hun” is a traditional Chinese style of measuring, well-known among the older generation of carpenters.

Their simple yet sleek-looking pieces are splashed across edgy (we say hipster!) joints like The Garage KL. Check out their Facebook (facebook.com/4-inci-3-hun) and Instagram (@zvw.4inci3hun) for more of their work.

#5: The Wooden Stack

Simple. Functional. Beautiful. Judging by the pieces (like this crafts table and pet bed) The Wooden Stack has put out, this would seem to be their tagline.

Done!…. #tws #twsco #thewoodenstack #thewoodenstackfurniture #wallpanel

A post shared by ruzul (@thewoodenstack.co) on

Source: @thewoodenstack.co

You may have seen The Wooden Stack’s work at a bazaar in the Klang Valley or on a kiosk in a shopping mall, but there’s more to the company than meets the eye. They’re a reliable source for eco-friendly yet unique wood “backdrops” and signboards made out of new or reclaimed pine wood. And if you’re into cats, you’ll be happy to note thats cats love their furniture too!  

Want to see their previously-made pieces up close? You can find their craft at the Base26 event space as well as at Labour and Company. You can also keep tabs on their updates on Facebook (facebook.com/thewoodenstackstudio) and Instagram (@thewoodenstack.co).  

#6: Fine Grit Studio

Precision and fine craftsmanship take centrestage at Fine Grit Studio  — I mean, just look at their pieces like this game table-slash-dining table. It is to die for!

Source: @finegritstudio

Established in October 2014, Daniel Salehuddin and Khairul Asyraf Zulkifli, two talented craftsmen, decided to join forces in the creation of intricately designed woodcraft and furniture with a touch of minimalist modernism.

If you’re furniture hunting, you will be thankful for their custom-made artistry, driven by their passion and obsession with all things wood. This enables them to create one-of-a-kind, truly Malaysian furniture products that will be a beautiful addition to any home.

Got a wood-on for them? Follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/finegritstudio) as well as Instagram (@finegritstudio).

4 Simple Tips for a Romantic, Earth-loving Valentine’s Day!

 

 

It’s a season of love, but making plans for Valentine’s Day can be stressful. Also known as St. Valentine’s Day, this annual “holiday” is celebrated worldwide on February 14th — even though it’s not a public holiday in any country.

But, whether your plan involves an elaborate dinner date or a romantic evening at home, turn your love green (but not with envy, of course) with these foolproof tips for eco-friendly Valentine’s Day!

 

#1: Organise a green date

 

 

Forget going to a fancy restaurant for this romantic occasion. Instead, try an eco-friendly date idea, like volunteering for an environmental organisation, heading out for a hike in the woods, or even going to the park for a nice walk followed by a picnic for two.

Doing something good for the environment can be a refreshing change in routine. And hey, that breath of fresh air you spend outdoors (and outside your comfort zones!) may be just what you need for an added dash of romance in your relationships.

 

#2: Keep your gifts green

 

 

 

Between do-it-yourself romantic gifts and organic and vegan-dedicated brands, there are plenty of eco-friendly gift ideas you can use for a truly green Valentine’s Day. But hey, just because you’re going green doesn’t mean you can’t buy typically commercial crowd-pleasing gifts.

Go for green by skipping the commercial, mass-produced stuff, though. Instead, opt for fair trade chocolate, organic flowers, and environmentally-friendly jewellery. Your date, as well as the environment, will thank you for being so thoughtful.

 

#3: Aim for above the belt

 

 

 

The way to a person’s heart is often through their stomachs, so take Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to win over your significant other using this method. Oh, and it’s definitely possible to eat, drink and be merry without hurting the environment, be it at a nice outdoor picnic or an intimate dinner for two right at home.

You can cook something up from scratch or take away from a local vegan or vegetarian restaurant if you’re not that great in the kitchen, but make sure you only use reusable tableware and containers. For maximum green points, grab a bottle of sustainable, biodynamic wine — this Earth-friendly wine takes the entire ecosystem into account during its production.   

 

#4: Spice things up

 

 

 

Yes, it’s entirely possible to heat things up in your romantic relationship while keeping it cool with Mother Nature. Keep things sexy and fun with sustainable lingerie. Spruce up your bedroom by setting the mood with unscented, natural candles made out of beeswax or soy wax which will allow you to turn down the lights.

Engage in your dates’ senses by using a diffuser to scent the air with essential oil — rose, patchouli, neroli, sandalwood and ylang-ylang oils can act as an aphrodisiac, too. Finally, if you’re (literally!) a hands-on person, look for pure, natural and sustainably-sourced massage oils or even an edible massage bar. The possibilities are endless!

8 places you SHOULD clean today

Tis’ the season for open houses — having friends and family come over and make themselves at home. Exciting, no? While this “tradition” is not necessarily limited to the Chinese New Year celebrations, there is a Chinese superstition that sweeping or cleaning on New Year’s’ day equals to sweeping away your luck or wealth.

Whether you want to rebel against this tradition by cleaning anyway or if you’re just a clean freak (hey, we don’t judge!), here are some places people often forget to clean that you really should start cleaning today.  

 

#1: Gadget screens

 

iroller-reusable-screen-cleaner

You might have a spanking clean house, but your computers, gadgets and television screens are bound to get a little dirty. Using a soapy solution with copious amounts of water or Windex might work on your glass mirrors and windows, but they’re going ruin your gadgets if you employ the same method.

Thankfully, there are ways to clean them without damaging them forever.

 

#2: Fabrics

 

Between the curtains and pillow covers in your home, there is a vast amount of fabric that is essentially a trap for everything from pollen and dust mites to dead skin cells, bacteria and *gasp* even mold.

They might look clean to the naked eye, but take it upon yourself to clean fabrics regularly — anything that gets the job done, be it periodic laundering, professional cleaning or even just a regular vacuum once-over.

 

#3: Knobs, Handles, and Switches

 

These are just a few of the things you touch every single day, and yet most people neglect to clean them. Keep germs at bay from these high-traffic areas by regularly disinfecting them (spray a cloth with a disinfectant or cleaning liquid and wipe down the surface) as well as using cotton buds dipped in alcohol to get rid of all the dirt – even the ones wedged in the tiniest of cracks.

 

#4: Doors

 

It’s hard to remember how often you clean your doors, but the scuffs, dirt and sticky hand prints are hard to ignore. As a door is how you or your guests enter a new room or even your home, it is the first thing they see.

Ensure a good first impression by cleaning your doors regularly! Plus, door frames are essential to making sure your doors open and close properly so it is essential that they are clean, too.

 

#5: Beds

After a long day, few things are better than snuggling up in bed. While most of us remember to wash our sheets regularly, the state of the mattress itself is often put on the back burner.

Flip over your mattress every six months to get rid of dust mites and to prevent sagging. Consider deodorizing your mattress, too — future you will be thankful for both the clean sheets and fresh bed!

 

#6: Toothbrush holders

pure-toothbrush-holder

 

Toothbrushes get swapped out regularly in most households, but the very container that holds these daily staple often gets sidelined. Unfortunately, toothbrush holders are home to germs, bacteria and even mold that could infect your toothbrush (and eventually your teeth and gums!) in the long run. Clean it as often as you swap out toothbrushes, if not more often.

 

#7: Cupboards and drawers

 

Cleaning every nook and cranny of your cupboards and drawers is a bigger job than any other thing on this list, especially if you haven’t touched them with a cleaning tool in awhile. However, it’s not an impossible feat. One simple way to do this is to pull everything out of your drawers and wipe every each surface down every two to four months.  

 

#8: Over and under

 

Missing a spot while cleaning is common — but, the hard-to-reach tops and bottoms of shelves and various kitchen appliances almost certainly get overlooked especially if you’re in a rush during your spring-cleaning sessions.

Remind yourself to clean on top and beneath bulky items the next time you clean as the accumulation of dust and dirt in these easy-to-miss places can be a recipe for disaster.

 

Small steps you can cock-a-doodle-do for a greener Chinese New Year

Ang pows, reunion dinners, multiple Mandarin oranges and delicious cookies and snacks synonymous to this season are beckoning… Yep, it’s that time of the year again! Are you ready to take on the mad rush that is Chinese New Year? Well, ready or not, don’t let the festive season allow you to chicken out of being green.

Here are some tips to egg you on on your efforts in being more eco-friendly in this Year of the Rooster.

#1: Bring in the plants!

Did you know that putting a nice plant in your home can put you on your way to having a healthy and prosperous year ahead of you? Well, besides being feng shui-approved, NASA also has a study that shows that certain house plants (like money plants, chrysanthemums and peace lilies) can filter out dangerous chemicals in the air.

So yes, besides being auspicious, these plants will also literally give your homes a breath of fresh air. The best part? You can keep them around all year round!

 

#2: It’s all about the money

Red packets are ubiquitous during Chinese New Year and in the weeks preceding the celebrations, people usually withdraw crisp new notes churned out for this very purpose as it is considered a sign of disrespect to give old or torn notes. But, cultural traditions and environment-saving need not be at odds with each other!

Go green by opting for new-looking money instead — you can save them up throughout the year and make a deal with your kids and family to swap out any new-looking notes they get for the old notes you have on hand.
#3: Waste not, want not

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Source

A spring cleaning session may be in order in the week leading up to Chinese New Year, but going green means resisting every temptation to simply throw things out. There are many reasons why you should recycle — and a little mental preparation and organisation will go a long way in making it an easy task. Sort out items under major categories such as paper, plastic and aluminium cans for recycling.

Meanwhile, old clothes, textiles and furniture can either be channelled to places such as the Salvation Army, a local charity or even to your local H&M store in exchange for a discount voucher!

#4: Don’t blow things up

They may help you usher in Chinese New Year with a bang, but fireworks and firecrackers are produced using many toxic chemicals and heavy metals which contribute to air and water pollution. They are also typically illegal or banned in many places for safety reasons, so giving a wide berth to these explosives is certainly a good idea.

Also on the list of things to avoid are sky lanterns. While not technically illegal, sky lanterns are an obvious fire hazard and not biodegradable. Opt for lighting traditional (or even scented) candles, replacing your lampshades with festive lanterns or flying a kite during the day instead.
#5: Change up the menu!

vegan-dumplings-11-1200x800

Source

Food is definitely the way to people’s hearts, especially during Chinese New Year where feasting is usually the main agenda. Though certain lucky dishes are must-haves, do the environment a favour and avoid using shark fins or other endangered species in your cooking.

Also, while meat lovers might baulk at this idea, one option you can consider is to make more vegetarian or vegan dishes for your get-togethers. The simple step of going green by eating green can reduce the impact of climate change, rainforest destruction and pollution, all while saving water and other precious resources.