- Reducing carbon dioxide emission by 10% in our village -
A village is hope
"Let's produce energy in our own village."
The Green Korea United (GKU) tries to find the alternative plans for the climate change and energy crisis in villages and local areas. It is now focusing on the 'local energy' which helps to achieve energy self-sufficiency in villages by producing a renewable energy with the purpose of energy conservation and efficiency. Five villages are selected for the project and the local residents in the areas are trying to reduce carbon dioxide emission by 10% as compared with the year 2007.
A wind of change is now blowing over Buan, where there was a big protest against the construction of nuclear waste dump site in 2003. The local residents’ interest in a renewable energy lead to the aspiration to energy self-sufficiency. Deungryong village, located in Haseo-Myeon, Buan-Gun, is a typical agricultural village where about 30 households live. In 2005, ‘Buan Civil Plant’ was established and ‘Life Peace Priming Water’ built a nest in Deungryong village. The village makes an effort to save energy, promote energy efficiency, and switch from conventional energy to a renewable energy for an energy self-sufficient village. It also set specific goals. One is a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption by trying to saving energy by 2015. Another is the use of solar power, air power, and biomass to generate 50 percent of energy spent in the village. The villagers save energy by using power boards, highly efficient light bulbs. In addition, you can find a solar power plant, geothermal power generators, solar water heaters, small wind power generators, and electric generators powered by a bicycle every corner of the village. Though this is just a start, Deungryong village is doing small yet meaningful things for energy self-sufficiency.
The dwellers living in Moa Apartment, located in Sinan-Dong, Gwangju Metropolitan City, have practiced ‘Food Waste Reduction Drive’ and ‘Food Waste Compostation using Earthworms’ since 2005. The dwellers declared they would make green energy apartment in 2008 and started a campaign of 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide by saving 20 percent of electric energy they spent. To achieve these goals, the dwellers, together with the local government, the NGOs, and the press, concluded an agreement. They selected 30 households to investigate the actual condition of energy use as well as taught the participants how to save and use energy efficiently. On August 22, 2008, a Day of Energy, there was a festival when they lighted wax candles instead of spending electric energy. The Moa apartment is busy reducing carbon in even a very small part of the life by practicing such things as eating local food, riding bicycles.
Green Korea United at Daejeon, South Chuncheong Province began a ‘Bicycle Miles Drive’ aimed at having people riding bicycles in their daily life with individuals and club members living in Daejeon City as centering figures. The Bicycle Miles Drive helps have a bicycle, which is an environment-friendly means of public transportation, perceived as a part of everyday life and culture. The participants are supposed to write down their own miles of bicycle riding so that they can find out how long they ride as well as how much they reduce carbon dioxide emission. The drive also offers a place where the participants can encourage and help each other in order to help them to actively and persistently participate in the drive. In addition, it gathers the suggestions from the participants and asks the local government to help them ride without any inconvenience. The bicycle riding, which started individually, expands its boundary into the bicycle clubs of all kinds changing the local society silently.
In Seoul, we are collecting 40 households which can reduce electric energy by 20 percent from the previous year in an effort to cut carbon dioxide emission. The Green Korea United gave them a class about how to cut electric energy and planned for the field investigation into energy because it is not easy for them to cut electric energy by 20 percent. The topics that the class covers range from basic education of electric energy, price structure to the issue of inequality over electric energy. As for the field investigation, we are planning to make a round of a thermoelectric power plant, a power-transmission tower, an electric power exchange, a power distribution station, and the place where the electric energy is used eventually so that we can keep track of how electricity was generated, distributed, and spent. This is aimed at thinking over Seoul which is like an energy vampire and also considering what the role of Seoul citizen is by revealing the inconvenient truth behind electric energy that is too close to our daily life to have little knowledge about it.
The Dandelion School, which stands according to geographical figures on a hillside of Mt. Jiri, Sancheong-Gun, South Kyungsang Province, is a secondary alternative school which opened in March, 2007. The school, which attaches importance to manual labors because it puts priority on simple and honest life like dandelion and seeks a life harmonious with the nature, is now trying to become independent of petroleum slowly yet steadily. On the year of 2008, the school declared that it would reduce carbon dioxide emission by 10 percent by using the generator powered by bicycle pedaling. This is why the students there pedal on bicycles during breaks. By pedaling on bicycles, they generate power spent at the school. The students can learn personally about the preciousness of energy and the necessity of saving energy through the bicycle generator. On top of this, the school is planning to equip itself with renewable energy facilities such as wind power and solar power so that in can promote energy self-sufficiency as well as apply them to education. The renewable energy is not far from us. If the school can teach students how to make good use of the things easily available in our everyday life, it would be the best place for raising awareness of renewable energy.