Be economical in power, water usage: Green Brunei

BRUNEIANS should use electricity and water economically and efficiently at home to reduce their monthly utility bills instead of waiting for the government to raise rates or cut subsidies to control energy and water consumption, said a leader of an environmental NGO.

Green Brunei’s community engagement director, Khairunnisa Ash’ari(pic), said choosing energy saving and even solar-powered technology can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Choosing (these alternatives) always begins with small steps that lead to waves of action. Remember that climate change is a cross-boundary issue, so we need everyone to contribute solutions,” she said.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Khairunnisa said more efforts should put in to reduce wastage in the country.

“Lights and air-conditioning left on when there’s no one in the room is a common habit that can lead to severe effects. You don’t need a complete overhaul of your lifestyle, but it’s really just about moderating your consumption, including where your products (appliances) and food come from,” she said.

Khairunnisa said Bruneians can start by identifying their personal habits that contribute to climate change, such as wasting resources and creating waste.

She said increasing demand from the public for solar technology can also help cut costs.

“The benefits are there. You cut down on energy costs and (the savings) work well during emergencies. Fortunately, there are more companies now in Brunei that offer solar technology, be it in the form of solar light bulbs, outdoor lighting or solar panels,” she said.

Khairunnisa said economic diversification to reduce Brunei’s dependency on oil and gas revenues is also crucial, and the benefit isn’t just to combat climate change but also to maintain our standard of living.

“One way is to identify industries that can contribute to the economy but also help address climate change. For example, promoting sustainable eco-tourism and organic products or renewable energy production. We also don’t see a lot of research into the impacts of climate change on Brunei, which scholars may want to look into.

“Everybody has a role to play. Remember: ‘It’s not climate change, it’s everything change’,” she said.


Source: The Brunei Times