Tag Archives: home life

Shallow thoughts and strong principles

During my early years in implementing EMS, most people in the organization have started out programmes such as making a song about the environment, poster making contests or tree-hugging events in lieu of tree plantings. In a less mature organization, these programs are acceptable, since environmental performance targets are still in the baseline data gathering stage, but if such programs still exists after 10 years yet building system chillers are rotting away eating up so much energy during normal operational conditions, then the organization has remained in a position of shallow thoughts rather than of strong principles.

The way people have thought about me have also ranged from shallow thoughts to strong principles, I know some people have a tendency to assume and judge, maximizing their inductive reasoning or people I have known for years putting me in a pedestal.  Maybe now, I had hoped to have people around to share the same principles of having developed specific performance targets and long term continual improvement goals and could at least do away with poster-making, songwriting or tree-hugging for the sake of greenwashing.

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Filed under Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Audit, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Management System, Greenwash, Sustainability

When Home life Collides!

I just got myself a new househelp who have been staying with us for the last couple of weeks and when I got my water bill this morning, I had a whopping domestic water consumption of 38 cubic meters!!! Whoah!!! Oh my God, that to me is a major nonconformity, for a small house with three occupants.  I average at 12-15 cubic meters per month!

Miss Housekeeper was quite scared when we informed her of the situation…, she had basically failed to close the faucet that leads to a diversion valve that goes into the sewer  system of my fathers house, sometime for more than an entire night…why?  because of a complicated plumbing system that I have devised over time to conserve water and the complication  confused her and just left some valves open running.

Oh God! Oh Lord! What a waste, it even backflowed back our bath room floor drain with small frogs (at least there is biodiversity somewhere in down the storm drain or septic tank…but for some that sound yuck!). Oh God, maybe I had some lapse in my small chats with her, I have focused more on conserving our electricity where I achieved a reduction from 341 Kwh consumption to 263 KWh consumption this billing period. the LED bulbs may have helped.

My small chats with her have focused more on how they manage rice fields where the irrigation system is not as complicated as my home plumbing system which I have scratched and clawed my father to fix for the past fifteen years (he had installed re-diversion pipes that sources water from the pollution intruded deep well system , you just happen to smell the phosphate laced water when you open the system. We could not identify the source since no pipe line diagrams or any reference materials are available) and when Dave came into my life, the re-fixing and pipe re-diversion began complicating the common household help, even the common plumber.

Rice field irrigation, water just flows down the stream, no complicated valves. That is where our househelp comes from, but in a highly urbanized city where I live, water is scarce and the cost is very high! In addition, as mandated by the Clean Water Act, a corresponding environmental cost is charged for sewage treatment cost proportional to volume and an increase in cubic meter consumption also increases the environmental cost. Oh my, I just paid more Environmental User Fee more than the usual! Now I have to pay for it as part of the Polluter Pays Principle! Huhuhuhu!

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August 19, 2012 · 12:53 am