Say Yes

It is just baffling to Jiann Chyuan to learn how some people always say no and acting pessimistically when it comes to their responsibility.

Recently, a friend wrote something about sustainable environment and that he realised he too plays a part in conservation of environment. I’m glad that he has finally got inspired, though it proved to be rather late. However, awareness to environmental protection is never too late and is always welcome.

Honestly, the love to environment shouldn’t be restricted to just words, show actions! I’m not exactly an environmentalist, despite the fact that I’m pursuing coastal engineering study with environmental management emphasis, but as an advocate to environmental conservation, I do show some efforts to reduce my contribution in damaging the earth (ask my friends and course mates in Malaysia).

However, what I’d done in the past was merely the corner of an iceberg if compared to Norwegians. It is absolutely challenge-free to cite a few examples on how environment awareness has seeped into the soul of every Norwegian, by just checking some of their common habits and practices.

Rubbish literally means rubbish to Norwegians. But they recognise recyclables. In every household, including student villages, rubbish bin always come with two compartments; for trash and paper. Simple design to encourage the practice of recycling, brilliant!

In every neighbourhood, you will also often find more than one rubbish dump container. In the case of my neighbourhood, we have six, too many to cater less than a thousand population, isn’t it? Lest you think that trash truck is visiting infrequently, the shocking number of rubbish dump container is designed to feed different ‘rubbish’ need; aluminium, paper and garbage.

Insufficient to convince you Norwegians are environment freaks? In convenient store, whenever you find a price tag with ‘+ pant’ followed by a number, it simply means take your money back by returning the packaging container. Stop dropping your jaw, I know that it is surprisingly impressive.

Wait, did I tell you that you have to pay for every plastic bag you ‘buy’ every time you do grocery shopping? Let’s do some simple arithmetic exercise; one grocery shopping within a week, ‘buying’ one shopping bag every week, the cost of a plastic bag is 1NOK (genuine price!), that would be 52NOK for one year. How much is this? In system barter, this would mean 2kgs of yogurt in Norway, or 5kgs of tomatoes, or 5kgs of banana.

About a month ago, I attended an informal meeting session with my professors. I was given a presentation on the magnificently fascinating traditional wooden houses of Norwegians. Living in Trondheim, the remarkable wooden city in Norway, wooden houses would undoubtedly surge to the high ranked attraction among visitors.

But, wooden? Isn’t this environmental unfriendly? This was the top concern of every student of my course whom had presented in the meeting.

Yes, if trees are only cut and never planted. However, this is clearly not the case of Norway. There is a policy in Norway, a policy which is strictly imposed, is plant back every tree you have cut. Ah ha, thinking that this would never restore the primitive state of a forest? You are right!

Well, come to think about it. Isn’t this a lot better than just cutting down trees constantly with effort to plant them back equals to zero? In fact, in Norway, the number of trees being cut down is far less than the number of trees being planted, which indirectly lead us to a positive move to conservation of environment. A step more optimistic than just conserve.

How to merge into the nature is just the utmost important priority of city planning in Norway. Therefore, it is definitely not surprising to have forest within walking distance (a bit too exaggerating though) in any town in Norway, of course this is especially true in Trondheim. And also in Norway, you have to pay for every fish you fished from any source in the nature.

It is really amazing to learn the tremendous efforts of Norwegians in protecting the environment, and I feel even more deeply impressed to learn that every Norwegian feel that this is part of their lives. Norwegians are really lovable.

I remember there was a response in my friend’s post saying that there is no such thing as balance environment when it comes to development. I reckon that this is plain bullshit.

It is such a cliché to have mentioned if you think you can, then you can. But why do people block themselves with a gigantic NO, when it comes to something that could be and should be YES? Dimwit, wake up and look at the Norwegians!

Caption (from top):
A look at the trash bin under my kitchen sink.
Rubbish dump containers hundred feet away from my flat.
An example of price tag with '+pant' in convenient store. (Picture was taken illegally!)