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Beijing residents take action to cut carbon emissions

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, December 6, 2011
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A new project is underway in Beijing to find out how far people will go to reduce carbon emissions in their homes. 'Friends of Nature', an environmental NGO, has been helping residents with in-home changes to monitor energy consumption.

Duan Yundong has reorganized his water system. Instead of just draining away, the used water from his washing machine and shower is now pumped back to a tank - which is then piped directly to the toilet, to be used for flushing.

Duan Yundong has also been busy changing some of the other rooms in his house. There's now more natural light from the window in the kitchen. And he's replaced his refrigerator and lamp bulbs for more energy saving products.

Duan Yundong says, “Normally, a family consumes 11 tons of water each month. But with the changes to my water system, family uses just 4 tons. I've proved that a normal family really can do something to save water -- and it's something that is easy to achieve.”

Duan Yunlong's family is one of 25 Beijing households enlisted by the NGO Friends of Nature, for its "Low Carbon Emission Family" project. Each household was given 10 thousand yuan at the start of 2011, to transform the water, electricity and gas systems in their homes. The project has not been without its difficulties.

Zhang Hehe, vice CEO of 'Friends of Nature', says, "The government is paying more attention to the whole industry, and enterprises are working hard to transform technology. But it's sometimes hard for ordinary people to find the best quality energy saving products that can have long term effects."

There are currently around 3000 NGOs in China like Friends of Nature that are dedicated to environmental protection. But effective cuts in carbon emissions will only ever be achieved if ordinary people like Duan Yundong take action to change their habits and lifestyles -- and even the way their homes are setup.


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