What will you do next year?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I can't pinpoint why but I've been an advocate of the environment, women and children. A part of me is saying, it must be the Miriam upbringing. Unconsciously, I've been doing little ways to help the environment which my family and friends can attest to.

I'm not a fan of resolutions (commit phob? not really! haha) but if you are, here are a couple of suggestions.

I'm reposting this blog entry from Anna, it's a long read but it very much worth it. Oh, of course I have reactions to the tips mentioned below!

how YOU can save the Philippines (for real)

This entry (which was originally in two parts) was first published in the WWF-Philippines Facebook site and the Definitely Filipino site, which has over 300, 000 fans. Imagine of all of us put together did all the fifteen here. I really think the best way to show love for country is in the little things. Panis na yung namamatay sa Luneta noh. Ika nga ni Ghandi at ni Efren Penaflorida, "Be the change you seek." I did all fifteen of these before I could write about them.

1. Hold that straw! Plastic straws are among the most abundant debris found on beaches. Marine animals nibble on these, thinking they’re food. Remember: you are fully capable of drinking without the help of a plastic appendage.
--> This is one habit I will try to kick.

 2. Donate those tarps! Tarpaulins are made of non-biodegradable and non-recyclable stuff. Instead of throwing them away, donate them to Earth Day Network, an environmental NGO that turns them into schoolbags for less fortunate children around the Philippines. Contact Ms. Binggirl Clemente at earthday_village@yahoo.com for more details.
--> They have a lot of great tarp-related products from the Echostore.

3. Chuck those (disposable) chopsticks: when dining at any Asian restaurant, bring your own reusable chopsticks. Though wooden chopsticks are biodegradable, they take a long time to decay and just add to the volume of solid waste in dumpsites. The annual production of chopsticks uses up to 90, 000 tons of wood, which comes from trees—climax of the plant kingdom and lungs of the earth.
--> You know where to buy them; you've used them for your hair! I have memories of porcelain chopsticks which are hard to use. Anyone with a good alternative?

4. Think big, buy big. We Filipinos have a tingi-tingi culture where everything must come small. Imagine the amount of waste we’d reduce if we bought in bulk! Instead of buying in sachets, reach for the big bottle. When traveling, just put the contents in smaller, refillable bottles that you can buy in any department store.
--> Please please stop buying sachets! Check out Beabi in Robinson's Galleria and Greenbelt 4 or 5 - they sell a lot of refillable bottles for various uses, you won't have an excuse anymore. Heck, I bought bottles for the contacts solution of my friends! That's how vast their range is.

5. BamBOO YEAH: instead of planting a tree, plant bamboo—it’s a kind of grass, which means it grows faster. Other bamboo bonuses: it doesn’t need fertilizer, generates 35% more oxygen than a tree, and stores more CO2.
--> We don’t have a garden at home. Anyone want to plant one for me instead? Hmmmm…this gives me an idea! =)

 6. When buying ice cream, choose cones over cups. Note: cones are edible, cups are disposable.
--> Even without the environmental implication, I love cones! Better yet when in Singapore, try the wafer ice cream! Yeahba!

7. Be a botante and not a bobotante: in the upcoming 2010 elections, read up on your candidates. See if there’s any green platform behind the yellow, the orange, and the hand symbols.

8. Spread the word: one person can make difference if she reduces her waste. But if she tells others, then those others tell even more others, then we can begin to effect change. It may be important to practice what you preach, but it’s equally important to preach what you practice.
9. Paper or plastic? One ton of paper bags is equivalent to 17 trees and generates five times as much solid waste as plastic. One ton of plastic bags consumes 11 barrels of crude oil and takes 1000 years to decompose. The answer: neither - bring your own!
--> I’m proud to say that when I did my Christmas shopping I was armed with my bags. They’re also easier to keep track off! Check out my blossoming collection of ecobags, all of which were given! Haha What I hate about local ecobags (VS the ones in Singapore – 40% of my bags are from my cousin Nix in Singapore) is that they SCREAM of branding! Unlike the SG ones which sometimes scream of design first, branding second. 

10. You can carry an eco-bag or just put your purchase in your own bag. While you’re at it, tell the cashier that you don’t need a plastic bag ‘cause you want to save the world. Trust us, it’ll make her smile.11. Bring your own water bottle! 2.7 million tons of plastic are used for bottled water annually, about 90% of which end up in landfills. An average mineral water bottle costs about P20. If you stop buying one or two bottles a day, you can save up to P1120 a month. While you're at it, bring your own tumbler too! When you’re going to meet your friends for coffee, hand the barista your own tumbler or ask for your drink in a mug. Starbucks Philippines even gives a P5 discount for those who bring their own!
--> Thanks to Danix, I bring my Lock and Lock water bottle with me! =)

12. Need to reload? Go to your nearest e-load or autoload suki! Those prepaid cards are made from and individually wrapped in plastic.

13. Learn to love refillables! When buying pens and highlighters, choose those that are refillable, like Stabilo. That way, when the ink runs out, you no longer have to buy new ones. Just walk to your nearest bookstore and ask for a refill.
--> As I’ve mentioned, I’m kinda OC. So I’ve been doing this for years. At that time, it wasn’t because I was helping the environment but to ensure that I would always have a great pen with me. Hey, I’m particular with the thickness! It has to be at least 0.7. Haha

14. Eliminate phantom drain: Believe your charger when it says BATTERY FULL - it does not lie. Plugged chargers still consume energy.

14. Give me the “green” light: Replace those incandescent bulbs into Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs). They may cost a bit more, but think long-term: CFLs consume ¼ of the electricity and last several years longer. Plus, they look like vanilla swirl ice cream!
-->80% if our house is like this cos of my Dad. He’s been doing this to the restos too.

 15. Tara na, biyahe tayo! Have you trekked the Banaue Rice Terraces, chased after whale sharks in Donsol, and viewed the Chocolate Hills of Bohol? Explore your country’s natural resources to remind yourself what it is you are saving. After all, you can only protect what you love, and love what you experience.
--> Like you need an excuse to travel? =)

The late Ninoy Aquino said that the Filipino is worth dying for. Echos. Allow me to rephrase: the Filipino is worth living for and most definitely worth greening for. Now go forth and greenify :)

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