Earth Hour

Earth Hour: Remaking the things we make

“We realize that design is a signal of intention, but it also has to occur within a world, and we have to understand that world in order to imbue our designs with inherent intelligence, and so we look back at the basic state of affairs in which we design, we, in a way need to go to the primordial condition to understand the operating system and the frame conditions of a planet, and I think the exciting part of that is the good news that’s there, because the news is the news of abundance, and not the news of limits, and I think as our culture tortures itself now, with tyrannies and concerns over limits and fear, we can add this other dimension of abundance that is coherent, driven by the sun, and start to imagine what that would be like to share.” — Bill McDonough, “The Monticello Dialogues”

All this renewed talk on environmentalism and Earth hour, reminded me of this TED video from William McDonough. He posits that we can be environmentally friendly if we remake things we make. We can remake everything from our clothes to our vehicles to our factories, and even our cities. Can the Philippine government apply Cradle-to-Cradle design in its for poor housing?

McDonough for example rebuilt Ford Motor Company’s Ford Rouge Center. What they did was to turn 10-acres of industrial plant into a “living roof.” According to Architectural record, the new roof has reduced the building’s energy cost by 7 percent, and improved air quality by as much as 40 percent. It was estimated that the environmentally friendly plant now cleans 76 million cubic meters of rainwater annually.

McDonough’s next project was to work with China. He worked with Deng Nan, daughter of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to promote an economically sustainable China. They used the village of Huangbaiyu. They sought to transform the village into an eco-friendly one and how to help improve village energy costs. The theory looks good, and yet results from China say, the new eco-friendly town is a hard sell.

Environmentalists are saying that we should begin to move towards a more eco-friendly environment. If history is to be our judge then to do so requires that it also has to be economically sound, as well as technologically sustainable. McDonough’s theory of remaking the things we make is a good idea. My question is: can this good idea be turned into a reality? People are asking what do you do beyond Earth Hour? Can we as a nation, perhaps through public-private partnerships, study and consider remaking the things we make, or is Earth Hour just about making feel good statements? McDonough said that Design is a signal of intension. So how are we to design our tomorrow?

Here’s a video of McDonough explaining what Cradle-to-Cradle is all about:

WWF is looking for volunteers for Earth Hour 2011

Just sharing a message from our friends over at World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines is inviting any able body who would like to help in making this years Earth Hour 2011 a success to come and volunteer.

WWF-Philippines has been helping communities in the Philippines adapt to climate change, secure food and water sources, conserve local ecosystems and species, minimize ecological impacts and development and promote renewable sources of clean energy.

Among WWF’s most successful global campaigns is Earth Hour, which since its inception four years ago has captured the world’s imagination by becoming a global phenomenon. As a global campaign, Earth Hour is a worldwide initiative showing how individuals, communities, businesses and governments can address the threat of global warming if we resolve to work on it together. Earth Hour 2010 inspired more than a billion people worldwide and over 15 million Filipinos to switch off their lights for the planet.

On 26 March 2011, the Philippines will once again join the global community in launching Earth Hour 2011, with cities and towns all over the world switching off their lights for one hour at 8:30 P.M. sending an even stronger message to take action on
global warming. However the key difference for this year is that we also hope to inspire the public to go beyond this hour and make long-term commitments to do more for our planet.

Everyone can help in their own little way, whether it be to simple things like unplugging your cellphone charger from the wall socket when not in use, or using a tabo instead of the shower. Or if you would like to do something more, we are inviting you to come and volunteer for the Earth Hour 2011 Team.

Any time and effort you could donate would be greatly appreciated! For those interested, please email us at [email protected] so that we could coordinate with you!

You can also help by donating. Any amount would be appreciated;

For Globe and Smart subscribers, support Earth Hour by:

Texting EHOUR to 5333 – to donate Php15 for Smart and Php20 for Globe and receive an MMS picture
Texting EHOUR ON to 5333 – to subscribe to the SMS info service and eco-friendly tips. Php 2.50/text.

Once again, we hope you will help us in sending a message as a global community through this information and education campaign against climate change. Thank you!