Today’s big news popping up on everyone’s feed is about how oil prices continue to be at an all time low (still dropping in fact) and how we are in deep deep shit.
Why is it only scary today? Surely we already had this conversation when oil was $100 a barrel? This day will come, and it is here.
Now that it is here, honestly what can we do about it? What can you as an individual living in this 90% oil dependent country do about it?
You cannot change the price of oil- you are scared. You are wondering about the future of Brunei.
Some people even say, the answer is to cut 50% of the salary of ministers. I’m not great at maths but Brunei barely have 10 ministers in total, their spendings I don’t believe reach up to a billion. 🙂
The answer lies with us. We simply need to be awesome.
We need to start to live a green, self sufficient, and socially responsible life.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are u still throwing rubbish on the ground in public places assuming someone will pick it up? Do you know how much we as a nation have to spend hiring workers, facilities, services in order to pick up after rubbish that YOU couldve just picked up for free? I don’t have exact figures, but I can bet that it’s more than a Minister’s salary in a year.
- Are you recycling? Save resources by finding ways to repurpose and reuse. Do you realise how much government spend just to maintain our rapidly growing (no sign of becoming smaller) disposal systems?
- Are you using green materials as far a possible and disposing them properly? Do you compost? Are your actions hurting the environment?
- Are you saving energy? Electricity. This is something which is highly subsidised. Everytime u switch on a light, the government is paying a portion of the bill. So if you keep it off, you save your money as well as the government’s. So use electricity in a more strategic way. If you’re not in the room, why do u need lights?
- Are you saving water? Same concept as above. Shorter showers, also is less strain on the wallet. Especially if you shower with the heater on.
- Do you eat local produce or eat in restaurants that support local produce? Do you support local farmers, local businesses? This is a no brainer. When we are self sufficient, we rely less on the government. Do u know the food crisis is one of the scariest realities of living in this world today? We constantly import from foreign countries, and prices actually increase every year. We still pay the same price, so it’s the subsidy that is increasing every year. So yes, buy local.
- Are u trying to eat less meat? Cow rearing is expensive. Chicken rearing is expensive. I’m not saying cut out meat from your diet but why not eat it less? Find out where your meat comes from? How much subsidy goes into them?
- Do u try to use less harmful chemicals in your washing? It goes without saying, these chemicals are harmful to our environment. We depend on nature to provide us with food, water and if you ruin it with your daily chemicals, we are the ones who will lose. If your land is polluted, you cannot grow your own food, rear animals, and how can you become self sufficient?
- Are you kind to your neighbors, friends, and helping them do the above? It is true that in this dire times, it is very easy to become selfish, to each their own. But reach out to your heart, and you will see that we rely on each other. Be kind to each other. Share this world.
- Do you carpool with friends and family? Or do u want to try use the public transport more? Fuel subsidy is a mega expense that we mere mortals are too small to even imagine! With all households owning at least 2-3 cars it’s not difficult to imagine why. Carpool once in a while. Why do u need to drive that big ass 4 wheel drive to work when it’s just you in the car? Are u going off road? No, a saloon car would do just fine. With every drop of fuel, you are increasing the country’s debt.
- If you are in the public sector, do you work to simply earn money or do u want go make public life better for everyone? Do you think you are sufficiently serving the people? I’ve seen excellent public servants, so it is not an urban myth. But I’ve also seen terrible ones. Let’s just be excellent and awesome.
- Are u saving money? With this economic climate, anything can happen. Layoffs, perhaps? Or some companies may decide to close down due to bad business. So save money, in case it happens to you. Especially if you are the breadwinner. Know that you have a safety net, just in case you need to restart from scratch.
- Do you take care of your health? Do you eat healthy, maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do you know that the government spend BILLIONS to develop human resources, acquire drugs, build hospitals, etc? Do you know the top 3 killers of Bruneiand are stroke, diabetes and cancer? These are all diseases that is highly correlated with lifestyle. So be fair to the country, start living a healthy life!
- Do you support local charities and their initiatives? Support the local charities. No matter how little you think you have, there is always someone out there who is less fortunate than you. Some have very little joy, and perhaps you can be the one to give it. Volunteer your time, energy.
As an individual, your job is to consume less, so it encompasses all facets of your life, and you need to persuade and cajol others to consume less.
If you are in a position of power, this is when you can take willful action. Perhaps in your office you can print less, consume less. Reuse.
Less is more.
Sharing is caring.
I don’t know what difficulty the government is facing – but I know the steps above can be done by anyone no matter where they work, no matter age, gender, or whatever they do.
Not 2 billion I guess, but just my two cents.