Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 48, Tuesday July 18, 2006



Reader’s chit

The 9th of July

My husband was having an affair. What a passionate stormy affair it was!!! Well, it's all over now and he is all mine again. You must be wondering why I am sharing my personal life with you instead of choking the horrendous man to death. As I said he is through with his so called love and anyway it was a very short term affair, just one month to be exact. I am pretty sure many of you womenfolk experienced the same trauma and anguish I had to suffer this past month. You got it right, I am talking about the World Cup!! It's hard to describe in words how happy and content I am that it is all over.

It all started on the 9th of June, a week before that actually, that he started to take all kinds of preparations to watch the World Cup. He worked over time, sat with his calendar and did all sorts of calculations so that he would not miss even one game.

My house would turn into a miniature stadium, in almost all the matches. My husband's friends and colleagues would come over scream, support their teams, fight, eat, drink and turn into hooligans. They even taught my 24 month old daughter to scream and say ''Gooool!!''

Everything I did this past month reminded me of Soccer. I was unable to watch TV, go out for a brunch, do my shopping, go for a peaceful walk or even take a nap as there was my daughter waking me up with her shrill voice ''Maa goool!!''. Everybody was talking about football, how their favourite teams had won or disappointed them to a point where they wanted to kill themselves. How a puny little ball can make all the players and the whole world revolve around it, I wonder. The lush green fields where the matches were played makes me want to take my favourite poetry book and lie down right in the centre and read away to glory. Not run around from one end of the field to another with that little thing which kept our country and the whole world in its finger tip ''Football''.

Instead of coming every four years wouldn't it be better if it came once in a decade? The World Cup lovers need not answer that. I have decided to stay home for a month. Enjoy the silence and peace and of course my almost destroyed marital life again. And anyway, its better that I stay indoors as I may get shot or even worse be burnt alive by a soccer fan who happens to read this article!

By Syeda Shamin Mortada

Handy hints
Save the environment

The unpredictability of the global climate frighteningly grows with the passage of every single day. Now and then there are natural catastrophes all around the world that snatch away thousands of lives and the climate continues to become brutal -hellish hot or cruel cold tormenting us. A lot has been said about Green House Gases (GHG) and the effects of Global Warming but not much seems to have been done since we continue to witness the deterioration of our climate! Experts declare it to be the result of GHG's released into the atmosphere by the world's most developed countries. Sitting idle and watching this happen isn't helping us. Some simple measures would easily make the situation much better if we only chose to take them!

The basic idea of course, is to control the burning of fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, and oil, all of which raise the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming so if everyday work could be engineered in a way that reduces the demand for fossil fuels, these evils could also be reduced to a minimum. We need to use our energy more wisely. Experts suggest a set of ten simple actions that can aid in achieving such a noble goal.

The first step is to reuse and recycle products. Initiatives must be taken to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposable ones. Also buying products with minimal packaging will help. We should start recycling: paper, plastic, newspaper, and aluminium cans, etc.

Secondly extra insulation in walls and around doors and windows could be introduced here like it is used in the West- this alone can reduce the home heating costs by more than 25%.

This next step is simple and yet rarely practiced. Turning off the gas once we are done using it not only saves a great deal of energy but reduces the odds of any accident happening.

The fourth step is to use as few cars as possible, since less driving means less pollution. You don't have to give up your car altogether, but maybe we should start walking and cycling more. These are environment friendly means of transport and also great forms of exercise.

Next is the use of energy efficient products at home. Domestic devices that serve the purpose but saves more energy should be used. For example, using fluorescent bulbs, which provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs may be a good idea.

The sixth and seventh steps focus on the efficient use of water. It is suggested to set the water heater at 120 degrees and wrap it up in an insulating blanket if it is more than five years old to save energy. It is also advised to wash cloths in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required producing it. We should also grow if we don't already have the civic sense of turning off the water when we are done using it! Whether it is for brushing teeth, taking a shower or soaping up the car we must turn off the water when we are not using it. We would be lowering our water bills and conserving a vital natural resource at the same time!

Getting assistance from utility companies that provide home energy audits to identify areas in homes that may not be energy efficient could be another step to utilize energy effectively. However, this particular service may not be easily available in Bangladesh yet but we may have it soon enough.

Being an informed consumer and learning more about environmental issues improves our lifestyle and assists in making wise choices that make certain the betterment of the society that we all live in. Helping others and sharing information about recycling and energy conservation with our friends, neighbours and co-workers is a favour we extend to this society. Take any and all opportunities to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment and help in making it safer.

It all depends on how aware and how willing we are to carry these steps through and invite positive approaches for the betterment of the environment. When the law gets tangled up in politics and policies remain caged up in conference atriums, we ought to be the ones do the right thing and ensure the sustainability of the backdrop against which we live our lives.

By Obaidur Rahman



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