By JO TIMBUONGbytz@thestar.com.my
PETALING JAYA: Green technology refers to the application of science and technology to conserve the environment and reduce the negative impact of pollution caused by inappropriate waste disposal.
But while the intent to save the environment is there, the will to may not be as strong, said Wee Teck Kee, director of group corporate affairs and marketing at ExpoMal International.
The company is organising the International Greentech and Eco-Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2012.
Wee believes the main reason for the weak will is lack of awareness and education about caring for the environment. "We haven't been adequately trained and educated about green technology, or about being environmentally friendly," he told StarBytz.
So, he said, one of IGEM's objectives is to educate the public about green technology and the benefits this will bring them and the environment.
Now in its third year, IGEM aims to push for the rapid adoption of green technology to address environmental and energy security issues, as well as deliver a sustainable economic growth for the Malaysian green technology industry.
The theme for IGEM 2012 is Greentech for Growth.
Wee said the primary excuse many Malaysians give for not adopting green living is that the technology is expensive. Also, many appliances that claim to be green are priced at a premium, compared to the general products.
But he said that Malaysian households can start small, such as by bringing their own shopping bags to supermarkets, or taking along their own reusable food containers instead of relying on the polystyrene boxes provided by hawkers and restaurants.
"The mindset of Malaysians needs to change and once this changes, it will help more to go green and open doors for green technology," he said, adding that exhibitions like IGEM can hasten the change.
Anyway, Malaysia's acceptance of green living and green technology is growing at a steady pace, according to him.
"But it is going to be a long process to get all Malaysians to develop environmentally-friendly habits like recycling and switching to energy-efficient appliances.
"Then there are bigger things, such as using biotechnology to turn our waste products into useful by-products," he said.
Ideally, Wee added, nothing should go to waste and everything should be recycled.
ExpoMal expects 100,000 visitors and trade participants at this year's IGEM.
On show will be green technology from Austria, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and other countries. Several prominent corporations, including consumer electronics giant Panasonic and car manufacturer Honda, have already signed on.
For more information on the event, go to www.igem.com.my.