Luo Jing in her renovated studio. [Photo by Sun Ye/China Daily]

When small deeds go a long way in helping save the planet

When Luo Jing set out to retrofit her

apartment last year, she had slightly different expectations besides the usual ones.

Like everyone else, the 37 year-old psychotherapist wanted her place to have both the look and the comfort, but she hoped that with a relatively small budget (under 10,000 yuan or $1,520), she could also turn it into an energy-saving, emission-reduced home - one that reflects her way of life.

She believes that small deeds can help save the planet and she turned to Friends of Nature (FoN), one of the country's prominent NGOs that promotes environmental protection, for help.

Since 2011, the organization has been running courses and workshops in Beijing on how best to save energy by making small changes in one's home.

Luo had no background in interior design. But when FoN visited her retouched studio apartment for an assessment, the place had become another example of "mixing well one's needs and the green guidelines".

Luo had put up a fold-up bed, tables that fold and tuck into the wall, created a modest wall of plants, bamboo curtains, a water-saving system and done the easiest things one can do to reduce energy waste: replace regular light bulbs with LED ones and change old-fashioned sockets to ring sockets that can be timed.

She learned the principles - from lighting, water-saving, insulation to the better arrangement of space (a more efficiently deployed space means less demands of new construction) - at the low-carbon household FoN workshop last summer.

"I never knew that when turned off, a plugged TV could still use so much electricity," Luo says. "I was simply shocked at the reading."

"When I started to notice what these little things could amount to, I changed not only the living space but also started to adopt new habits," she says.

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