Friday, July 29, 2011

Paper's Not Really Saving The World

Local Effort
Working in Ortigas Center has it's perks. Everything's near. Malls, fast food, restaurants and hospitals. Another perk is that you get to experience what Pasig City's boasting about. It's the "Green City" of Metro Manila.

Pasig city is now prohibiting QSRs (quick service restaurants and/or fast food chains) to use plastic bags for dry goods, and regulating the use of plastic bags for wet goods. Pasig made the shift from plastic to paper gradual. I'm glad to say that all of the QSRs I have dined-in here in Ortigas is complying. They're now using paper bags for take-out. Styro food containers are replaced by waxed paper bowls and boxes.

Why Paper?
Paper is an abundant material that is recyclable and biodegradable. A lot of paper mills and paper recycling plants are operating because the demand for paper is steadily increasing. Using paper in lieu of plastic will drastically reduce our carbon footprint as like I mentioned, it's recyclable and biodegradable. Our need for paper can be easily replenished, landfills won't have that much plastic bags and stryofoams that won't decompose.

If we use paper, we can throw it away and it will decompose by itself. You can add it to your compost pit if you want to. You can recycle it and use it for a project. The possibilities are endless.

Paper is made from leaves, from trees, from natural resources. Increasing the demand for paper will increase the demand for the destruction of our forests. Shifting containers from plastic to paper just changed the problem, but it's still there. We lessened our carbon footprint, yeah, but we lessened the plants that absorb the carbon we're emitting, the plants that keep our air clean, our earth cool. We're lessening the habitats of the other animals that we are living with in this earth. The problem didn't go away, it just changed it's face.

Imagine a world without plastic, that's great, but there's also a chance that that world would also be without trees. I'm not saying that we should revert back to using plastic, no. I have a better idea, which I know a lot of people are already doing it.

What needs to be done
I agree that paper is a great substitute for plastic, and until we come up with a material that can sustain itself that doesn't deplete much of our plant resources, we'll be using paper, but like plastic, we should use it as sparingly as we can.

Here are few things we can do to reduce our "paper footprint"
  1. Refuse paper bags if you can carry the product. You have two hands that can carry it, why now use it. I know it's "too" much of an effort but think of how much paper you can save by doing it? It's not really a big effort right? You just don't want to go out of your comfort zone.
  2. If you can't think of a purpose for the paper bag, other than to carry your food back to your destination, then refuse to use it. Same as with #1, just carry what you bought if you'll throw away the bag after using anyway
  3. Bring your own bag. Now's the perfect time to use those stowed away plastic bags that you were saving, or better yet, use the eco bags that you keep on buying for your groceries
  4. Dine in. In actuality, dining in will still leave a footprint cause dining in means using water to clean up, but still, it's a way to reduce paper
  5. If you have the guts, bring your own container. I wish QSRs would be more accommodating to this idea, Imagine if everyone brings their own boxes for their food, it will reduce the consumption of waxed boxes, which really are paper hogs, since the box needs to be really steady and sturdy
There you have it, 5 ideas to really save the world

Let's help in keeping a sustainable earth. Let's all do our part in saving the world

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Calling - A Greener Earth

Small Things, BIG IMPACT
I've been trying to live "green" for the past years. I believe that even small efforts will someday amount to a BIG impact. It's like the concept of Pondo ng Pinoy (Fund of the Filipinos): Kahit maliit, basta't malimit ay patungong langit (Small things, when given constantly, is towards Heaven). Pondo ng Pinoy is a fundraiser project of the Catholic Church. It aims to gather funds from 25 centavo coins.

Like the Pondo ng Pinoy Project, I plan to do my part to help the earth be more sustainable. I may be just one person, doing simple things like not using straws and using the stairs instead of the elevators, but I know that these small efforts, when done frequently, will greatly help the Earth.

My Calling
While I was praying this morning, I can't help but feel thankful for the wonderful weather (I know there's a typhoon, but I just love waking up to the smell of rain, like the earth's been washed). So there I was in the dining room, with food piled in my plate and praying, thanking God for all the blessings I could think of. While thanking Him for the rain, it hit me, this is my calling. This is what God wants me to do. God wants me to protect the earth. To help in sustainable development. To protect what he created. After all, when God gave man dominion over his creation, it really meant that while we can enjoy it, we must also protect it.

I was so pleased with what God told me to do. For how long have I been so environment friendly? For how long have I been trying to make things out of recycled materials? For how long have I been convincing people close to me to avoid extra consumption of plastic? It took me years to figure out that this is my calling. I'm glad that I finally figured it out.

That's why
I was asking myself for months now, why I'm not that committed to my church work anymore. I used to be so active and so energetic when it comes to my ministry, but now, it's tiring for me, and now I know the answer. Though I am a church worker, most of my work would be outside the church. Praising and glorifying him through a different way - by protecting his creation.

Tough Challenge
I know that I have a long way to go before I can say that I have done something big for the earth. There are a lot of green living big-shot advocates now and I hope to be one of them someday.

I don't have a blog that a lot of people follow. I don't have a website that has millions of readers and members. I don't know people in the gov't and other organizations that can help me plan and execute big earth-friendly projects; but I know I'll get there someday. I just have to work hard and keep my goal in mind.

God already gave me the instruments that I need to be able to carry out this mission. I just need to hone the skills and have a will of steel.

I can do this. We can all do this

This is for a greener earth

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Saving the Earth and Keeping My Weight in Check - STAIRS

I've never been a fan of elevators. Escalators, sure, but not elevators. Something about enclosed spaces, being inches apart from people you don't know, and being buoyed up and down by some rope is scary for me; but since I started working, I've been using the elevator constantly. It still makes me light headed, but then I can relax for a few seconds, so it's great. I usually use the elevator in the morning since my I'm still brain dead and all I can think about is sleeping, and when going home, I ride the elevator down the ground floor. Sometimes when I go out for my a.m. and p.m. breaks, I use the elevator back to the office.

So all in all, I use the elevator at least twice, maximum of 4 times. I usually use the stairs when going down, since it's easier. Last week and this week though, I decided to skip the elevator in the morning, and just use the stairs. Since I arrive really early at the office because of carpooling with my family (I usually arrive 45 minutes early. Office is still closed when I get there), I should just walk up the stairs. It's good exercise and an effective way to wake up my sleeping brain.

So for the past week and this week, I've been using the stairs in the morning, except last Friday cause I was wearing heels). Though when I finally arrive at the 5th floor, I'm panting and all sweaty, it's okay. It's a cardio workout for me.

I'm planning to extend my stair-usage into fridays as well, also to include going up in the office when I decide to buy something from 7-11 during my snack breaks.

Here's to healthy and eco-friendly living! *cheers*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Going Green

I've always though of myself as being an environmentalist. I love nature and I do my part in helping preserve it. I feel that it's one of my missions in life. To help the earth sustain itself longer.

How I've helped
For years now, I've been helping in my own way, for a more sustainable environment. I've joined Earth Hour for 3 years already. I make it a point not to use plastic straws for my drinks, yes even for takeouts. Even if I'll drink the bevy during a car ride. No straws for me. As much as possible, I buy green eco bags when shopping, sometimes bring my own bag. When buying food (or anything actually), when I can carry the stuff with my hands or put it in my own bag, I don't let the baggers bag my purchase. I also tell my friends to do the same. Most of the time it works too :)

To the next level
This post however is not meant to highlight what I already am doing for the earth. This post is more of an introduction of what I'm planning to for this blog. I think it's about time that I take going green to next level. It's not enough that I just live a green life. It's not enough that I encourage my friend s to go green as well. I think it's about time I reach a wider audience and go greener. In this blog, I'll post helpful stuff about going green. My going green escapades. In my next posts I aim to have the following:
  • Simple Going Green ways
  • Going Green recipes
  • Green News
  • Green stuff that I've been doing
So let this post be my "contract" to being green.

This is to a better, sustainable environment! *cheers*