Earth Day 2007

This is going to be one nerdy entry but I have always been environmentally conscious maybe because my teachers in grade school always included a question in exams about what you can do to save the environment. Early on, my teachers instilled in me that natural resources are exhaustible and we should all do our part in being environmentally responsible. I hope other kids were as easily brainwashed as I was.

When I was in grade school I always read the WWF adverts in Time Magazine. It was from Jackie Chan where I first heard: “Remember, if the buying stops, the killing can too.” I think I even put that slogan in my first ever website during the late 90’s-early 2000. It was kinda baduy hehe.

That was soo long ago and there were environmental issues then already. I’m not sure if the issues are really just getting worse or there’s just more awareness these days. I watched a National Geographic year-end report on how our environment is doing and it’s just not pretty. Polar bears are getting thinner because the ice blocks are getting smaller and smaller and it affects how they hunt for fish. They maybe extinct in the next few years. It’s sad.

When I was in college I wasn’t really keen on joining orgs because I’m not really very social (that’s why even though Jorey did all the requirements for me to join his org then I still didn’t end up joining.) but I did join an org that was into energy saving and renewable energy because when I was younger, I always saw my house as solar powered. We volunteered in a number of Greenpeace projects and it made me feel happy. When I became an officer in that org, one of my projects was the screening of “Erin Brockovich”. It wasn’t a commercial success and it wasn’t easy convincing people to see a movie of that plot. I knew it would have been easier to show some hollywood mainstream flick like Mission Impossible or something but I still think it was worth it.

I used to always scold my father for throwing cigarette butts outside the window when he’s driving and he used to scold me back always for leaving cigarette butts inside the car ashtray because it made the car stink. I also hate it everytime I see people not throwing their trash in the garbage especially when the bin is not far away and that’s so common in Manila. One of the things I keep telling Jorey is we should be an environmentally conscious couple. If I can’t persuade my parents to do it, (though my father has stopped smoking so that’s one less person throwing cigarette butts out in the street) I’m hoping to have more success with Jorey.

I know it’s not easy (and definitely not cheap) to be green all the way like Darryl Hannah. I don’t think I can ever be vegetarian.

Here are simple stuff I do that I hope makes a difference:

  • When we were in grade school, we were required to make scratchpads out of recylced paper. It’s a habit I took on until now. I always keep paper thinking that the back side can always be used as scratch. I always print on both sides of the paper to save on paper. I even used to tease a friend from the office for being “mapapel” coz he likes printing everything on paper. Once all sides are used up. I pile them to be recycled with the newspapers.
  • I subscribe to e-statements.
  • When buying small stuff, I ask the salesperson to not put it in plastic anymore.
  • Since we moved here, we’ve replaced all our incandescent bulbs with energy saving bulbs. Energy saving bulbs are far more expensive than their incandescent counterparts but they are so much more energy efficient. It also helps your electricity bill in the long run.
  • I adjust the freezer and refrigerator’s temp depending on how loaded it is.
  • We put the airconditioning on timer to save on energy. It’s also easier to get up in the morning when the airconditioning is turned off.
  • Instead of just putting everything through the garbage shoot, we separate the recyclables and put them in the our building’s recycling bin. It takes more effort but it’s worth it.
  • I actually time cooking rice in such a way that I cook it last minute so I can turn the rice cooker off as soon as the rice is cooked and it doesn’t have to be on warm all the time.
  • We don’t own a car right now since we don’t need it. If ever we’ll be buying one, we will seriously consider buying a hybrid.
  • It’s summer time once again. Stop leaving trash in the beach or in the water!

Small things multiplied by the world’s population can make a big difference. What have you done for our planet lately?

Join the virtual march here.

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