The leaders of our nations recently convened at Paris for the Climate Change Summit. In its wake surfaced a couple of videos on the subject, informing the public about the current state and effects of climate change on us. I saw this one in particular just this morning.
A long, long time ago, I mentioned that I consider myself to be a bit of an environmentalist. The school I graduated from had long instilled in us the value of recycling and upcycling, as well as cleaning up after our own messes (in more ways than one, ooh). I can say with confidence that most of my school friends are definitely aware of the impact of our actions on the environment. This is also probably why I claim to be just a bit of an environmentalist — because I personally know a few people who are more proactive and big picture-oriented when it comes to addressing these said environmental issues.
Anyway, so I watched this video, right? And after it made me feel scared for my future in this world as well as for the generations to come, it left me feeling irritated. Irritated because the media keeps bombarding us with documentaries and highfalutin articles about climate change, but never enough on how to actually do something about it. How we, as common individuals, can help reduce Mother Earth’s stress. That, or the people on my feed just really like sharing links such as this to elicit a response, without necessarily being the catalysts of change themselves.
So, alright, we already know that the ozone layer is damaged. We can already feel the effects on the weather, with Manila temperature still hitting 33 degrees celsius at this time of year… or typhoons still passing through our country as late as October. So what have we been doing to help this? Are you doing something? Have you seen the videos? How are you taking it?
I’m not going to go on preach mode ’cause I haven’t exactly done anything big or whatever to change how things are run environment-wise. But then again, the little things can go a long way. I’m personally tired of being all John Mayer-y and just wait on the world to change. Laws in our country take decades to pass and years to carry out so I’m not counting on that just yet. Though I’m quite happy that some corporations in our country are already doing their fair share of environmentally-friendly initiatives.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that change needs to ultimately start with us. So to get the ball rolling, I’d like to share with you some of the things we have been doing here at home to cut our carbon footprint. I’ll try to post a couple more in the future as a means as well of hopefully living a greener life. If you have been doing some environmentally-friendly actions in your own homes, please do share. Crowdsourcing is the way to go in this type of situation. I am happy and very much willing to learn from all of you!
1. TURN IT OFF.
Turn off the lights when you don’t need them or when you aren’t in the room. Unplug appliances that are not in use because even if they aren’t running, they’re still consuming little bits of energy while they’re waiting for you to start them up.
2. RUN THAT TAP ON LOW.
Whenever we washed the dishes as youngins, our mom would always tell us, “Don’t open the tap too much. The amount of water that actually washes the plates is probably just one-third of what you consume, so everything else just goes to waste.” Me, being the all too analytical person that I am, studied how I washed the plates through the years with the water on low vs. when it’s on high. All I can say is that, yep, mother knows best. Our water bill backs up her claim, too. We’ve never paid more than 200 pesos for our water bill since the day I was born. And there used to be 6 of us living in this house.
3. BRING AN ECO-BAG WHENEVER YOU GO SHOPPING.
South Korea and the US are actually doing pretty good with the implementation of this one. Stores in these countries actually charge extra in the event that we need shopping bags. SM’s still pretty blah on the implementation of this one ’cause they still provide paper bags with each purchase and insist on tagging each item from the department store with SM stickers if we do decide to place our items in our own bags. I guess that’s better than wasting paper? Not sure. Anyway, bring your own bag. Please. Stop wasting all those paper bags that eventually get ripped in the corners at the end of the day.
But if you do find yourself with a ripped paper bag, please…
4. TURN IT INTO SCRATCH PAPER.
Like what I did in this entry. At the same time, use the receipts you get from all that shopping into scratch paper as well, say, for your to do lists or your future grocery shopping lists. Whatever need you would have for them!
I did some spring cleaning recently and sorted all my receipts and loose paper and came up with an assortment of scratch paper sizes.
I have then vowed to not hoard any more paper products (except books) unless I really, really, really need them (which I’m sure I don’t) or until I’ve consumed all of these (which I’m sure is impossible since there are so many materials being handed to me that can be turned into scratch).
Ugh, seeing that picture up there makes me cringe. So much trees being wasted. 🙁
5. SORT YOUR TRASH.
Right now, we only sort our trash at home into general waste, compost, bottles, tetra-paks, cans, and cartons. I have yet to implement a stricter waste management system, but for now I think this will do.
Do sort your PET bottles. We started this at home back when I was in college, when we did a fundraising thing in school for our Community Service course. My parents haven’t stopped doing it since. We used to trade these for money at the village junk shop, but now we just give them to the junk collectors that go by our house, to at least help them earn more money for their daily needs. 🙂
There you go! Five little things we do at home. Will share more in the future. Do share the little things you do as well! Let’s all be Planeteers! The power is ours! 🙂