The “We’re all gonna die” hype this year is global warming.

Guess I’ve been through too many similar scares in the past to hyperventillate.

But the irony is that a lot of the “How to save energy” hype is just ordinary frugality, like your mother told you to do.

HERE are green tips.

Much of it is common sense: Turn off lights and TV when not using them…don’t drive if you can walk…don’t dry towels that take forever with smaller items. Turn off exhaust fans so the hot air doesn’t escape…close curtains to keep in the heat (In Oklahoma we had tinted windows to keep out the sun, plus awnings and trees, plus vent fans to remove hot air).

But some of them are silly. Take a string bag to the grocery store? (and notice he says a “SMALL” string bag) Well, our cook here could do that…but she shops for food every morning, and has to make two trips sometimes…and we sell rice, so she doesn’t have to carry that home with her (we eat rice three times a day…breakfast lunch and supper).
But in the US who has time to do that? Try doing that with growing boys…When we did our weekly shopping, we carried 12 bags…and even my inbetween shopping was two or three bags. A string bag won’t hold two gallons of milk, two loaves of bread, a large box of detergent, veggies, fruit, and miscellaneous stuff like soap, toothpaste, and Cocopuffs.

Locally produced food is fine, but where do you buy locally produced fruit in Bemidji in February?

The National Geographic’s Green Guide is HERE.

Alas, if this report on laundry detergents is an example, it’s useless…I mean, they discuss chemicals with long names to scare you, but don’t tell you what to do, but do recommend stuff that you pay thru the nose for and won’t work as well…castile soap flakes? In hard water? $850 dollar Dryers?

Here in the Philippines, things are much closer to nature, from the open ditches carrying sewage to the goats browsing in the local vacant lot that serves as a garbage heap. The bedrooms are upstairs to catch a cool breeze, and most of our rooms have ceiling fans. But the main bedrooms have airconditioning, for the hot season and for my allergies.
With globalization, we now have access to more modern ways of living, including McDonalds and Jolibee, and plastic bags are used to carry things instead of baskets.

Take laundy. Well, we hang out to dry…and on the porch during rainy season. And we have an efficient washer: $5 a day for a local lady to do the wash. Since we started holding seminars, we did invest in a washer and spinner to help with the sheets and towels. as for ironing, she does that too. During rainy season, when the humidity is 100 percent, things won’t dry unless you iron them or have a hot drier, which we can’t afford.

And Sheryl Crowe will be glad to hear that in the country, Pinoys don’t use toilet paper…but I hesitate to explain what we do on a family blog.

But the real culprit in global warming isn’t your light bulbs or clothes drier or even your SUV…

All together now: It’s the cows stupid

They warned: “The livestock sector presents the greatest threat to the planet.” The proposal will be looked at by the 27 member states.

The UN says livestock farming generates 18 per cent of greenhouse gases while transport accounts for 14 per cent.

Yup. Guess those nasty water buffalos will have to go.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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