40 fantastic uses for baking soda

Most of us know that baking soda can be used for more than just making homemade cookies and other dough rise. It's not uncommon to see an open box of this leavening agent deodorizing refrigerators, for example. But did you know that there are at least 40 different ways to use baking soda?

Baking soda makes a perfect stand-in for many personal care, cleaning, and deodorizing products. The list of benefits is long: It is inexpensive, free of toxic chemicals, versatile, and effective.
Wondering how baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, works its magic? It helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralize that pH. Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering.

This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralize acidic odors (like in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (like in your laundry water, which helps boost your detergent's power). It's a simple reaction, but one that has far-reaching effects for a number of cleaning and deodorizing tasks.

And so without further ado, here are some of the many creative ways you can use baking soda.

Personal Care

1. Make toothpaste
A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes. (Or here’s a formula for a minty version.) You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.

2. Freshen your mouth
Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit, and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.

3. Soak oral appliance
Soak oral appliances (like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures) in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.

4. Use as a facial scrub and body exfoliant
Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.

5. Skip harsh deodorant
Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.

6. Use as an antacid
Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.

7. Treat insect bites and itchy skin
For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.

8. Make a hand cleanser and softener
Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or 3 parts baking soda with gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.

9. Help your hair
Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly — baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.

10. Clean brushes and combs
For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.

11. Make a bath soak
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. It also makes your skin feel very soft. Or just focus on soothing your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub.


12. Make a surface soft scrub
For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile, and sinks — even fiberglass and glossy tiles — sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap — let it sit then scour off.

13. Hand-wash dishes and pots and pans
Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratch-less scouring powder.

14. Freshen sponges
Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.

15. Clean the microwave
Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.

16. Polish silver flatware
Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.

17. Clean coffee and tea pots
Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.

18. Clean the oven
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.

19. Clean floors
Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no-wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water — mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.

20. Clean furniture
Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

21. Clean shower curtains
Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.

22. Boost your liquid laundry detergent
Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter. Or you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels or to neutralize gym clothes and odoriferous clothing.

23. Clean and freshen sports gear
Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize and clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

24. Remove oil and grease stains
Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.

25. Clean batteries
Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc., because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery — they contain a strong acid.

26. Clean cars
Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush. Eliminate odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.


27. Deodorize your refrigerator
Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.

28. Deodorize trashcans and recyclables
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay. Clean your recyclables container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse. Also, sprinkle baking soda on top as you add recyclables to the bin.

29. Deodorize drains and garbage disposals
To deodorize your sink and tub drains and garbage disposal and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water — it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.)

30. Deodorize and clean dishwashers
Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.

31. Deodorize lunch boxes
Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.

32. Remove odor from carpets
Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (Note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.) An added bonus: You'll also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.

33. Freshen closets
Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.

34. Deodorize pet items
Cover the bottom of your cat box with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. Eliminate odors from your pet's bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.

35. Deodorize sneakers
Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing.

36. Freshen stuffed animals
Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.


37. Cure all camping needs
Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. It's a dish-washer, pot-scrubber, hand-cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, and fire extinguisher, and has many other uses.

38. Extinguish fires
Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire — and call the fire department just to be safe.

39. Care for the septic system
Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.

40. Scrub fruits and vegetables
Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Here’s another way to clean your vegetables as well.
OK, so there are my 40 suggestions (with a little help from the Arm & Hammond baking soda site, thank you). Do you have any tips or tricks that I missed? Please share in the comments.

source : http://green.yahoo.com/blog/care2/4/40-fantastic-uses-for-baking-soda.html


Lovely Lemons: 14 Uses in the Home

Lemons. What a bright, fresh scent that just sings “wake up, feel refreshed!” This attribute must be why I often think of lemon’s scent on hot sticky days. I expect it goes along with the appeal of a cold glass of lemonade. Besides adding lemons to drinks there are a number of ways to use lemons in the home.

Like vinegar, much of lemon’s gift is that it is an acid. It smells much fresher than vinegar, which is fermented. (You’d be surprised how many people write to me saying that they truly don’t like the smell of vinegar.) As an acid, lemon juice provides the benefits of vinegar, such as being a very good antiseptic killer of mold, germs, and bacteria.

What better time to learn some of these household hints during the heat of the summer when you and your family can receive a bright aromatherapy boost from the scent? Here are tips for using lemons for hair spray, cleaning metal, freshening the air, cleansing your skin, lightening your hair, and more.


Lemon oil is renowned as being very lubricating, which is why it is so often used on furniture.

Known to calm fears and lift depression, adding a few drops of pure lemon oil to a diffuser is considered to be a good tip for when someone is experiencing these symptoms.

Lemon juice is a great choice for deodorizing counters, cutting boards, and more. The acid in lemon juice kills mold, bacteria, and germs. While not a 100 percent kill rate, you can’t sterilize your house anyway, so if you look at lemon juice as a solidly good deodorizer you will turn to it when you aren’t needing a hospital-level disinfectant job.
Using leftover lemon and lime rinds in the garbage disposal is a great way to deodorize this apparatus, which so often can give off an odor.

Glass and China Cleaner
The acid in lemon juice will break down the alkaline minerals found in hard water. It will also work on stains. Make a solution of ½ water and ½ lemon juice and place in the glass, letting the solution set there for a few hours before washing as usual.

Air Freshener
Simmer sliced lemons in water. I like to use 2-3 lemons to about 4 cups of water. Simmer for a few hours, replacing water as needed.

Microwave Cleaner
Just put a slice or two of lemon in a cup of water and put in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Use a cloth to clean dry. You can substitute a tablespoon or so of lemon juice with water.

Metal Cleaner
An acid like lemon juice works wonders for cleaning metals such as chrome, copper, and brass. There are myriad ways to get the lemon juice onto the metal, from simply rubbing the metal with a cut lemon (use the majority of the juice for a salad dressing), to mixing lemon juice with salt for a bit of an abrasive.

Lemon juice and the sun combined proves to whiten clothes, hair, and more. I like to soak grey clothes in some water and lemon juice (add ½ a cup of lemon juice to a small load of laundry and let it soak, agitating occasionally, before rinsing and hanging on the line on sunny days).

Soap Scum/Shower Stalls
Soap is very alkaline and when it combines with hard water minerals it tends to form soap scum that can then coat shower stalls, bathtubs, and sinks. Acids cut through this soap scum. I’d suggest using lemon juice straight on a sponge and wash it onto the soap scum, let set for a few hours, and then rinse.

Mineral Buildup/Scale
Minerals are very alkaline and the acid of lemon juice cuts through and dissolves the minerals. Known as scale, mineral buildup frequently gets hard and in particular resides around faucets. Pour straight lemon juice on a washcloth or clean cloth. Lay the cloth over the scale and let set for a few hours before rinsing and cleaning the area.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Freshly squeezed lemon juice on my face is one of the best facials I have ever given myself. Lemon is a natural alpha hydroxyl acid and works like a charm to remove dead skin cells. Add some carrot juice for some vitamin A and you have something as good as found in any spa!

The solvents in most commercial hairspray could light your hair on fire if you were ever near an open flame, so I recommend you make this lemon-based natural hair spray at home, instead!

Hair Lightener
How many Saturdays I spent on the front lawn in the summer, my hair rinsed full of lemon juice, lying in the sun for a few hours, hoping to lighten my brown tresses. Squeeze ½ cup of lemon juice into a container with a spout, pour on your hair, work it through, and set in the sun until it is fully dry and then wash as usual. Make sure not to get the lemon juice in your eyes!

Skin Lightener
Dab freshly squeezed, straight lemon juice on dark spots like “liver spots” that you want to remove. Let it fully dry and then rinse.

*dari sini


terima kasih kumkum..

Wah..surprise surprise!!

Sepulang aku dari sekolah, ada sebuah paket yang terbungkus dari kertas koran ditujukan untukku. Wah, dari siapakah gerangan? Ternyata paket itu dari Kumkum!! Ini adalah paket hadiah untuk blog sahabat bumi yang berhasil menang di Kumkum Blog Competition beberapa waktu lalu.. Dan hadiahnya sungguh membuat aku senang!! :D

T-shirt Kumkum yang terbuat dari katun organik, produksi Firebolt Distro & Clothing. Tulisannya aku suka banget "Naik apa kamu hari ini?". Sesuai untuk aku yang suka banget naik angkot dan jalan kaki.. Bahan katun organiknya? Hmm.. enak banget.. adem.. Apalagi kemaren sempet pengen punya kaos lagi, tapi ngga pengen beli (baca : pengen kaos dari acara atau event tertentu) hihihi... :p

Tas kain unik pengganti kantong kresek dari BaGoes. Ya ya ya..orang-orang bilang.. 'kalo ini mah minta adek sendiri aja'. Tapi kan beda dong rasanya dapet dari Kumkum sama minta adek sendiri :p Asik..punya shopping bag lagi :D

Suvenir kampanye Earth Hour WWF-Indonesia. Wah, ini dia yang oke banget nget nget.. Another shopping bag bergambar panda legendarisnya WWF, lilin earth hour (ngakunya sih... 100% beeswax candle/made of natural product/non-toxic/non-polluting/non-allergenic/low carbon product), 2 pin WWF, dan kaos earth hour yang bahannya juga dari katun organik..

Oya, dua kaos itu berpotongan cewe. Syukurlah.. aku ngga suka T-shirt potongan cowo, hihihi :) Pas banget ukurannya!! :D

Terakhir... 1 roll biobag (@ isi 10 buah) yang terbuat dari campuran tepung singkong dari freetodecide.org.

Terima kasih Kumkum :)



"Nyuci Piring Yuuk" berhasil menjadi pemenang di Kumkum Blog Competition 2010 yang baru saja diadakan pada pertengahan April lalu.

Tulisan tersebut bersama dua tulisan lainnya : "Galong" dan "Greenie Si Keranjang Takakura", berhasil menjadi finalis tulisan favorit bersama 7 tulisan teman-teman pecinta bumi lainnya.

Terima kasih atas dukungan teman-teman 'sahabat bumi', yang sudah mau mampir membaca, yang ikut sumbang tulisan, dan teman-teman yang selalu mendukung aku untuk berbagi di blog ini. Semoga aku bisa tetap berkomitmen dan konsisten untuk menulis dan mengisi blog ini :)

Untuk yang mau meramaikan blog ini dengan membagi tulisannya, ditunggu di kayumanis37[at]gmail.com. 

Salam hijau!

Mbak Dan


merayakan 'ulang tahun' bumi

Tuhan, semoga bumi ini tidak sakit lagi

Tuhan, semoga orang-orang di dunia bisa menghemat air

Tuhan, semoga orang-orang bisa sayang sama pohon dan ngga ditebangin lagi

Tuhan, semoga orang-orang tidak membuang sampah sembarangan lagi

Tuhan, semoga orang-orang tidak banyak pake plastik lagi


Doa teman-teman kecilku di hari 'ulang tahun' bumi


Hari ini adalah Hari Bumi. Kata salah seorang teman kecilku, hari ini bumi berulang tahun, jadi harus dirayakan, sama seperti ketika orang-orang, teman-teman, dan sanak saudara merayakan ulang tahunnya.

Apakah semua orang yang mengenal bumi merayakannya?

Ya, semua orang di bumi merayakannya. Setiap hari malah. Mereka merayakannya dengan setiap hal yang dilakukannya. Hanya saja cara merayakannya atau menyampaikan kasih sayang mereka ke bumi berbeda..

Yang disayangkan, banyak sekali orang yang 'merayakan' bumi dengan menganggap mereka berkuasa atas bumi. Orang-orang ini yang merayakannya dengan membuang sampah sembarangan, membakar sampah termasuk sampah plastik yang berbahaya untuk dibakar, mengeraskan lahannya sehingga air hujan tidak bisa lagi menyelinap masuk menjadi air tanah. Mereka juga masih merayakannya dengan menggunakan plastik dan styrofoam, mereka menggunakan air dengan foya-foya.

Untungnya, masih ada orang-orang yang benar-benar merayakannya. Sedikitnya kalau tidak bisa merayakannya besar-besaran, mereka berusaha untuk merayakannya dengan kasih sayang dari hal-hal yang kecil. Salah satunya teman-teman kecilku di Rumah Belajar Semi Palar.

Hari ini adalah hari perayaan 'ulang tahun' bumi yang istimewa untukku. Aku merayakannya dengan teman-teman kecilku yang berusaha untuk mengurangi polusi sedikitnya pagi ini. Kita berjalan bersama dari tempat kumpul tidak jauh dari sekolah. Beberapa pergi ke sekolah dengan bersepeda bersama. Setelahnya kita berdoa sama-sama untuk bumi supaya segera sembuh dari 'sakit'

Tidak cukup dengan itu, kita jalan-jalan ke lingkungan sekitar sekolah sambil mungutin sampah. Wah, semangat sekali teman-teman mengerjakannya! :) Setelah selesai mungut sampah, kita bikin karya bersama!! Instalasi sampah plastik yang mengurung bumi kita. Teman-teman juga menuliskan doa-doa untuk bumi kita di tembok sekolah. Masih belum puas lagi kita merayakan ulang tahun ini, kita nonton "Earth" sama-sama. Saking asiknya merayakan pesta ulang tahun, sampai ngga sempet foto-foto untuk dipajang di sini. Hehe.. semoga perayaan tahun depan kita masih bersama ya.. Jadi aku bisa pasang foto-foto keren dan asik di sini.

Ternyata teman-temanku dari TK sampai SD kelas 4 ini memang peduli dengan lingkungan dan bumi kita.  Terima kasih teman-teman telah menemaniku merayakan 'Hari Bumi' kali ini. Semoga langkah-langkah 'kecil' yang teman-teman lakukan ini adalah sebuah benih yang akan berbunga dan tumbuh subur menyejukkan bumi ini. Semoga tetap terpupuk dan bisa menularkan kepedulian ini ke semua orang yaa...

Selamat Hari Bumi!!



kalo makan sushi
atau makanan bersumpit lainnya,
aku ngga pake sumpit yang dikasih
karena sekarang aku bawa sumpit sendiri..
jadi mengurangi sampah kayu
dari sumpit sekali pakai

so.. bring your own chopstick!!


solusi yang baik..

tapi seberapa jauh bisa digunakan di Indonesia?


perjalanan botol

sebisa mungkin kita kurangi konsumsi minumah kemasan botol :)
ngga sulit kan jadi sahabat bumi?


Alam Itu Ibu, "Mother of Earth"

Senin, 8 Maret 2010 10:07 WIB |Jakarta (ANTARA News)

Alam adalah pengayom, tempat manusia dilindungi, seperti ibu menaungi anaknya. Tapi alam telah begitu terdegradasi karena manusia tak memperlakukannya sebagai ibu, dari siapa manusia belajar mencinta.
"Saya selalu mengatakan alam itu ibu," kata Jatna Supriatna.

Ketiadaan cinta membuat alam menimpakan bencana kepada manusia. Kata Jatna, "Karena kita tak bijak mengelola alam."

Jatna Supriatna adalah Perwakilan Conservation International Indonesia, pakar dan aktivis lingkungan yang kiprahnya mendapat tempat khusus dalam salah satu buku terlaris internasional "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" karangan kolumnis terkemuka New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman.

Akhir Februari lalu di kampus Universitas Indonesia, kepada Liberty Jemadu dari ANTARA News, doktor bioantropologi itu memaparkan bagaimana seharusnya manusia merayu alam untuk tak lagi menghukum manusia dengan bencana dahsyat.

Benarkah bencana itu karena ulah manusia, bukankah bencana-bencana seperti Longsor Ciwidey jelas-jelas karena alam?
Kita tak pernah bijak. Kerawanan longsor di Jawa itu sangat tinggi. Gunung Halimun (di Ciwidey) adalah gunung yang kelongsorannya sangat tinggi, tapi orang cenderung tinggal di tempat-tempat yang tingkat kelongsorannya sangat tinggi. Tapi, coba lihat orang (Kampung) Naga atau orang Baduy. Mereka lebih bijaksana, tak membuat rumah di tempat yang kemungkinan longsornya tinggi. Mereka tidak berlebihan.

Bagaimana seharusnya kita memperlakukan alam?
Kita semua memerlukan alam. Udara, air, sandang pangan, papan, disediakan oleh alam, tidak dari yang lain. Kita harus bisa mengelola alam dengan baik. Oleh karena itu saya selalu mengatakan alam sebagai ibu, "The mother of earth." Ia pengayom, sama seperti kita memperlakukan seorang ibu. Tetapi kalau kita menjadi panglima untuk alam, maka akan berbeda.

Bedanya di mana?
Panglima itu mengatur, begini, begitu. Masalahnya bagaimana kalau mengaturnya salah? Lain dari itu, kita cenderung "pemerintah sentris", bahwa yang mengelola alam harus pemerintah, padahal kan tidak.

Bagaimana persisnya posisi pemerintah?
Kesalahan kerap berasal dari pembuat keputusan, karena ia sering reaktif dan kurang terencana. Di sisi lain, kita sering mengambil sesuatu dari alam secara berlebihan, serakah. Nah siapa yang bisa mengontrol keserakahan? Itulah fungsi government, mengotrol keserakahan.

Jika pemerintah tak boleh mengambil semua peran, pihak lain mana yang mesti terlibat?
Pemerintah adalah pembuat kebijakan, tapi jangan juga menjadi pelaksana. Tak semua kepemerintahan mesti diurusi pemerintah. Check and balance perlu. Siapa yang 'membalance? Di sinilah DPR berperan. Tapi kan kawasan konservasi itu luas sekali, mana mungkin cuma ditangani DPR? Untuk itu perlu ada civil society (masyarakat madani). Belanda misalnya, konservasi dikelola oleh publik karena terlalu berat. Di AS bahkan dibagi ke daerah. Kita belum, padahal publik harus segera dilibatkan.

Bukankah upaya seperti itu sulit, karena di zaman kini semuanya harus melewati DPR?
Yang namanya publik kan semua pihak. Ya parlemen, pemerintah, masyarakat, dan sektor swasta. Mengapa konservasi di luar negeri bertambah, sementara di Indonesia tidak? Karena kita sering tidak konseptual. Misalnya tiba-tiba mencanangkan kebijakan aneh seperti 'doubling oil pump', menanam kelapa sawit di hutan yang masih bagus. Bagaimana ini? Itulah karena regulator dan implementer menjadi satu. Masyarakat cuma disuruh menonton.

Itukah yang membuat kita dituduh telah merusak hutan oleh negara-negara maju?
Begini, saya kasih analogi, semua obat berasal dari alam. Semua diproduksi alam, lalu diproduksi lagi secara massal oleh ilmuwan. Kini kita kehilangan, karena kita sering meremehkan unsur-unsur alam itu dengan berkata 'ah itu kan tidak ada gunanya' padahal kita nanti memerlukannya. Sikap inilah yang menguntungkan negara maju.

Mereka mendapatkan obat-obatan berharga jutaan dolar, sementara negara yang mempunyai biodiversity" (keanekaragaman hayati) untuk obat itu tak mendapat apa-apa. Di Madagaskar misalnya, ada satu jenis tumbuhan yang diambil oleh satu perusahaan AS dan dipasarkan menjadi jutaan dolar, sementara Madagaskar tidak dapat apa-apa. Mereka yang mempunyai teknologi diuntungkan, sementara yang memiliki "biodeversity" terus disalahkan. Saya katakan ini kepada Thomas, "It's not fair" (Itu tidak adil).

Jatna Supriatna mengalami pencerahan pada 1970an, bahwa konservasi itu mempunyai keinginan luhur, dan harus lebih didekati, lebih dari sekedar meneliti dan kampus. "Science' itu penting, tapi ia harus beradapatasi dengan lingkungan di mana dia berada." Thomas L. Friedman menuliskan kecerdikan Jatna Supriatna dalam mengawal Taman Nasional Batang Gadis di mana pemerintah pusat memberikan izin penambangan emas di kawasan konservasi yang membuat Jatna jatuh takut bahwa izin itu memicu terdegradasinya kualitas alam. Jatna tak mengambil jalan frontal melawan pemerintah atau menantang pengusah, tetapi dia juga tak "membakar" masyarakat. Sebaliknya, Jatna mendekati ketiganya sekaligus, dengan meyakinkan mereka bahwa tak ada yang diuntungkan dari alam yang terdegradasi. "Bahasa yang dipakai oleh masyarakat akan berbeda dengan bahasa yang dipakai pejabat dan juga berbeda dari bahasa yang dipakai LSM," katanya. "Yang satu jangka pendek, yang satunya lagi jangka panjang."

Misalnya, kita berada di daerah komunitas muslim pesantren, ya kita harus menyesuaikan dengan keperluan mereka, misal dalam soal wudhu. Mereka mempunyai 15 ribuan santri yang tiap hari bergantung kepada sungai. Kalau sungainya kotor karena terkena polusi tambang emas, bagaimana dengan santri-santri itu? Apakah mau menggali sumur? Santri itu maunya airnya mengalir, segar, dan dingin. Tetapi kalau airnya bau, bagaimana mereka bisa berwudhu? Dari situ, saya membangunkan kesadaran masyarakat mengenai bahaya menurunnya kualitas alam.

Kita masih harus menghadapi pengusaha, bagaimana kita menarik mereka untuk terlibat dalam konservasi?
Mereka harus mempunyai kepedulian. Mereka mengekstrak dari alam, dan mereka harus mengembalikannya ke alam. Kalau semua mempunyai pemikiran seperti ini, maka alam tidak akan rusak seperti ini. (*)

pewawancara: liberty jemadu/ editor : jafar sidik
disadur dari http://www.antaranews.com/wawancara/1268017650/alam-itu-ibu-mother-of-earth