Leave Nothing But Footprints ...

The Jakarta Post -- WEEKENDER | Sun, 11/23/2008 3:31 PM | Greenlifestyle

You’ve gone over the list countless times. Will it be a shamelessly self-indulgent R&R weekend in Legian? Or a slightly more adventurous journey into the highlands of Tana Toraja? There’s also that Mt. Bromo trip your spouse keeps pestering you about. Hmmm ... Settle for Orchard Road? Ubaidillah Syohih trains his green binoculars on your next holiday destination.

Holidays are a time to bond and spend some leisurely time with your loved ones or friends. At the planning stage, when half a dozen ideas on where to head off to are floating around, holidays also do a very good job of fraying nerves. So before the Lonely Planet guides and maps start flying across the room, here are some things to keep in mind.

In a country such as Indonesia, with its seemingly endless range of awesome destinations, you will always be spoiled for choice. Hundreds of volcanoes to climb, rainforests to trek, waves to surf, reefs to explore, beaches to roast on, more than 250 ethnic groups with 350 local languages to discover ... There’s something for everyone. But regardless of the destination, with every additional dive down the reef wall or every new bungalow, the destination loses a little something.

It’s not just a piece of coral that is inadvertently broken during a dive, or a small food wrapper that gets caught in the wind and ends up decorating the forest. The aggregate impact of our holiday, from transportation (emissions, traffic) to the hotel we’re staying at (energy and water use), can damage the prospects of a holiday destination to sustain tourists over the long term. Indonesia may need visitors, but it also needs them to tread lightly and respectfully. With people from all over the world traveling to the archipelago to witness nature at its creative best, there’s only one way to safeguard these destinations: responsible tourism.

Now you may have heard about ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, a catchall term that has been eagerly appended to many a hotel and resort name. At best, this is a form of responsible tourism that appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals. It typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. At worst, it is a hotel called “Bunga Ecotourism Resort” whose claim to sustainability is limited to a glossy brochure flaunting the natural merits of the area.

How can we select a rewarding holiday destination without leaving a trail of destruction in our wake?


1. Decide on what kind of holiday you are after – will it be backpacking or operator-tour style?
2. If you go for the tour operator, ask where your money is going or find out by yourself – staying in locally owned accommodation benefits local families.
3. In choosing your activities at the destination, go for environmentally friendly activities that contribute to the local economy and protect nature and culture.
4. Small gifts from home can be a great way to say thank you to your hosts – think about what might be of most use to the local community.

Review your options: www.eco-tropicalresorts.com/indian/indonesia.htm

Before you bounce out the door, there are a few things that need to be taken care of.
1. Make sure that all electric appliances are switched off, and that there are no leaks.
2. If you are going on vacation with your own vehicle, make sure that it is well maintained so you don’t pollute the places you visit. It would be better if you used public transportation, such as a bus or train, to reach your destination.


Only a few hotels in Indonesia are managed in an environmentally friendly way, so it’s up to you to do your bit.
1. In many remote places around Indonesia, fresh water is scarce. Keep this in mind when you wash, and keep those showers short.
2. Towels can be used for at least two days without being washed, to reduce energy and water used to clean them.
3. Remember to switch off lights and air conditioning when you leave the room to reduce energy use.
4. Of course, never buy products made from marine turtles and insist on eating locally caught fish.
5. You can also encourage the hotel by presenting the manager with a list of environmental tips for green hotels. If your hotel or homestay prides itself as an ecotourism facility, make sure you ask them why and how.

More tips at http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/green-hotels.htm


You have probably heard this well-known phrase. By killing nothing but time and by taking nothing but pictures, you protect the environment and wildlife. And by leaving nothing but footprints, you make a positive impact on local communities, such as preventing the loss of culture.


The Organic Waste Briquettes

The making of organic waste briquettes was such relatively simple and cheap. The organic waste has been burned before in a hole to become the charcoal. The precedent has been pounded charcoal, has been refined, and was refined in the powder. After being given by the mixture of glue (maize flour), the precedent has been printed in powder. In the process, only charcoal black ink that was generated because more quality in the production of energy. That leaves the charcoal was beaten by mild and was mixed with maize flour with 1 dose berbanding 4. Flour corn has been used by some only because the glue. After being mixed, this paste was printed in accordance with the requirement and was put in the sun to dry by drying. After being in the sun to dry until the water level has been lost, was formed on briquettes waste has been prepared with. Besides could replace kerosene, charcoal briquettes was also environmentally friendly, because containing no hazardous chemicals. This briquette was also frugal and could be on the former, namely six hours must be stirred constantly. After being used, the waste waste briquette stayed beneficial crop fertilizer.


Being Green Coffee or Tea Drinker

Coffee is the world’s most commonly traded commodity after crude oil, and tea is the world’s most consumed beverage after water. So if tea and coffee are up there with oil and water on the world stage, we know there must be a lot at stake here. One thing that’s definitely at stake is our desire to get a tasty, healthy, perky, fairly-traded, and eco-friendly brew to sip. Here’s a quick spin through some of the finer points of green coffee and tea connoisseurship.

Here are the Tips

1. The local brew

Seek out the coffee and tea that have traveled the least distance to reach you and also aim at supporting local, independent farms, cafés, and roasters.

2. Mug shots

Go ahead, find that perfect mug and make the investment. Not only is a reusable mug more pleasurable to sip out of than a paper cup, but it will replace an untold number of disposable cups, plastic sippy tops, “java jackets,” and other disposable paraphernalia. Make a quick tally of how many disposable coffee or tea cups you use in a month…yeah, it’s probably a lot.

3. Organic

Coffee and tea that bear organic certification are more eco-friendly because they are grown and processed without toxic chemicals, are cultivated and harvested in ways that protect sensitive ecosystems, and spare workers from exposure to harmful pesticides and herbicides. Shade grown coffee is another important category that preserves habitats for migratory birds on coffee farms, also letting beans mature more slowly and creating richer flavors.

4. Fair Trade

Not only does certified fair trade coffee and tea help ensure living wages and safe working conditions for farmers, but TransFair and Rainforest Alliance both include rigorous environmental standards in their certification criteria.

5. Home brew

The local café is great. It’s got your friends, good food, free wireless. But if you think you can be greener in your own kitchen, give it a try. When you do it at home you know where the beans and leaves are coming from and also where they go when they’re spent. Plus, you can’t forget your mug, you can choose organic milk, and never toss out another paper sugar packet. Try a bit of quick math on the cost savings of making your morning cup-o-joe at home.

6. Loosen up

Tea bags and coffee filters can be useful but are mostly unnecessary. Great coffee can be made at home with a reusable filter or a stovetop espresso maker. A quality tea infuser can last a lifetime and replace an untold number of (questionably compostable) tea bags. If you do use filters and bags, look for biodegradable and unbleached ones.

7. Milk and sugar

Most people put one thing or another in their hot beverage of choice. Don’t foul up your organic, fair trade, bird friendly, solar roasted brew with chemical and hormone-laden milk and sugar from a little paper packet. If you don’t do the cow thing, look for organic rice, soy, or almond milk to yin up your yang.

8. "Press" the issue

If the local coffee shop you love doesn’t carry coffee and tea that meet your standards, start asking politely. Starbucks has a universal policy under which they will brew a French press of fair trade coffee for anyone who asks. Take the Starbucks Challenge and see if your barista knows what Starbucks has committed to.

9. Compost the roast

Tea leaves and especially coffee grounds make outstanding compost. Coffee’s high nitrogen content has made it a fertilizer of choice since days of yore. Composting leaves and grounds helps keep organic waste out of landfills, makes great soil, and keeps waste baskets dry. If you don’t have a heap to toss it on, just spread coffee grounds on the top of your plants’ soil.

10. Gift the good stuff

Organic coffee and tea make superb gifts for friends and coworkers, as well as effective peace offerings for estranged family members and ex-lovers. It’s also a great way to get people appreciating the many benefits of a “greener” coffee or tea habit.


RI sets up 'powerful' climate change council

After two months of delay, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has formed a "powerful" climate change council to speed up efforts to combat global warming, a government official said Monday.

The official, who declined to be named, said the council involved 16 Cabinet members, with State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar serving as its executive chairman.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla is not on the council, the official added.

Kalla earlier had said he was not aware of the government's plan to set up the council.

"Hopefully, the President will announce the new climate change council this week before he leaves for Japan on July 7 to attend a G8 meeting," the official told The Jakarta Post.

The plan to set up the council was a main topic after last year's gathering of 170 country delegations at the UN climate change conference in Bali.

The council was originally scheduled to be formed by the end of April 2008.

At the Bali conference, President Yudhoyono launched national action plans to cut emissions and sell credits based on the carbon stores of Indonesia's forests.

"The council will coordinate and monitor the implementation of the action plans to fight climate change and manage climate funds, including those from wealthy nations, to help Indonesia reduce greenhouse gas emissions," the official said.

The council's office will be at the Garuda Indonesia building on Jl. Selatan Merdeka, Central Jakarta.

Rachmat, who is now president of the Conference of Parties (COP) to climate change -- the highest post in the United Nations' climate change convention -- is expected to safeguard the much-hailed Bali roadmap in international negotiations.

Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Sri Mulyani will be vice chairpersons of the council.

Among the 16 Cabinet members on the council are State Secretary Hatta Radjasa, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriantono, Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi and Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal.

According to the document, the council will comprise six working groups of governmental officials to deal with issues of adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, finance, forestry and post-Kyoto aims.

Many countries, including Australia, Japan, the United States, Britain, Germany and Canada, have pledged to provide aid to Indonesia to help tackle global warming that has caused a rise in sea level, higher temperatures and unpredictable weather changes.

Australia recently signed an Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership to stop deforestation in Indonesia.

Canberra had earlier promised AS$30 million to plant 100 million trees on Borneo Island. Last year, it also pledged a total of A$240 million to curb deforestation in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.

The Indonesian Forestry Ministry is now under intensive negotiations with Germany, Britain, Japan, Spain and Norway to set up forest partnerships to carry out "reductions of emissions from deforestation and degradation" (REDD) projects.

REDD, adopted in Bali last year, was expected to be the binding mechanism to reduce carbon emissions.

A noted economist and author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Nicholas Stern, has urged rich nations to provide around US$10 billion per year to stop deforestation in forestry nations such as Indonesia.

Minister Rachmat has repeatedly reminded world leaders to stick to the Bali roadmap agreement which drafted action plans setting a 2009 deadline for a new treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The roadmap calls for rich nations to take the lead in carbon emissions reductions.

Developed countries have in a series of formal and informal meetings tried to attract the emerging economic states, like India and China, to set emissions targets.


Combating Global Warming



Bisphenol-A Facts

Dr Frederick vom Saal, a biology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and one of the leading BPA researchers in the country, "believes BPA should be banned from all products that might end up passing it along to people. "If it's hard and clear and doesn't say 'No BPA,' don't use it."

In studies of laboratory animals, Vom Saal says, BPA changes play behavior, weakens gender differences, decreases sperm count, stimulates prostate cancer and causes ADHD symptoms.

"All of this is occurring at exposures in animals that lead to blood levels that I guarantee are below what are in your body," he says. "No level has ever been found in animal experiments that doesn't cause harm."

The article advises people to avoid putting polycarbonate plastic food containers in the microwave or dishwasher or putting hot food or liquid into polycarbonate plastic containers.

"Heat makes BPA leach out much faster than it does otherwise," it notes.

For Your Info
BPA-Free Shortlist :
Bottles: Adiri | Born Free | MAM | Medela | Mother's Milkmate
Sippys: Born Free | Klean Kanteen | Sassy | SIGG | Thermos
Pacifiers: Playtex | Gerber/NUK | First Years
Pumps and Supplies: Medela | Mother's Milkmate

Inside Your House


30 steps to go green


Use electronic program brochures, registration and confirmation procedures.

wasteful duplicate mailings by asking brochure recipients to contact you if they no longer want to receive your mailings or if their address or contact information has changed. Having an up-to-date mailing list saves printing and mailing costs and reduces recycling needs. When needed, print handout materials on both the front and back sides of the paper.

Print materials on recycled-content paper and include a note identifying the % recycled content
in the paper used. Avoid goldenrod or bright, fluorescent colored paper because it is hard to recycle. Use soy ink if possible. Try to print only the amount needed to distribute. Make presentation handouts available on-line or send then electronically on request after the meeting or copy them onto re-used floppy disks to distribute.


Use nametags in re-usable holders, be sure to have a collection box so that after the meeting, attendees can leave their nametags for your future use.

Use reusable or recyclable signs to direct people to appropriate meeting rooms.


Remove unused papers from the meeting room for reuse within your own office OR deposit unneeded paper in designated recycling bins.

To recycle empty beverage containers at your event, be sure to request this service in your meeting site specifications and include it in your contract.


If you are going to give away promotional items to your meeting's attendees, consider purchasing useful re-usable items that are made from recycled materials. Also consider promotional items that are energy-efficient and only use items that do not contain toxic material.


Order foods that are least likely to leave a mess or stain if spilled. In addition to reducing cleaning needs, prevention can also reduce pest problems.


Turn lights and electrical equipment off when not needed and when your meeting is over. Most rooms have switches.


Be sure to tell meeting attendees about your efforts in pre-meeting brochures, meeting updates and with verbal reminders during the event. Ask participants for their cooperation and participation. Recognize attendees, vendors and sponsors who have made an extra effort (i.e. "I was "CAUGHT GREEN HANDED" recognition). If a meeting evaluation is conducted, ask attendees for feedback and suggestions on the "Green" efforts included.

If your meeting has multiple sponsors, ask all of them to commit to a Green Meeting.

If your meeting includes vendors or exhibit booths, give them a checklist to help them "Green their Exhibit". For example, ask vendors to be mindful of amounts of brochures they distribute, to encourage distribution of useful, recycled-content promotion items if they are giving such items away, and other ways to "Green" their exhibit booth. Ask vendors to break down any corrugated boxes so they can easily be collected for recycling. On vendor post-event surveys, ask for their feedback and suggestions to improve Greening efforts.

If your meeting includes a contract with a neighboring hotel facility for overnight
accommodations encourage or more actively work with the hotel to assure that green principles are used to the extent possible at the hotel.

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