By Joshua Villalobos
HAPI Scholar / HAPI Bacolod
June is World Environment Month! As you would expect, people and social movements around the world are celebrating it through various means. Here, I have listed some ways you can help the environment in your own simple ways.
1. Reduce plastic use
This might go without saying but reducing your personal consumption of plastic will not only make you feel less “guilty”, but you’ll also help a country where solid waste management is completely neglected.
2. Conserve energy
As it happens, our energy consumption is still heavily reliant on coal and fossil fuels. Not only is our continuous consumption of these two expensive for our wallets, it also comes at the expense of our ozone layer.
3. Reduce your food waste
Food wastes alone contribute 10% to the global greenhouse gases – meaning aside from the fact that it is a waste of money to throw away food, it also causes serious environmental impacts.
4. Grow your own food
You would be surprised at how efficient pots are for growing your own food inside your home. Aside from ensuring that what you eat is safe and healthy, it will also save you some cash vs. buying commercially-produced vegetables.
5. Ride bikes
Biking is the new limousine-riding. Aside from helping you look hot and fit, you’d also be helping the environment by cycling! Just make sure to have your protective gear ready and that your local government unit provides you the bicycle lane you deserve.
6. Buy from ukay
You should be proud to wear clothes from ukay (thrift stores)! Aside from its FA-SHIO-NA-BLE aspects, it helps you sway away from the fast fashion industry which is actually unsustainable as it uses a lot of the Earth’s resources. Go thrifting and make sure to wash your finds properly!
7. Patronize local business and produce
Patronizing local businesses and produce helps make a more sustainable economy for the local setting in the long run!
8. Conserve resources
You know the drill, guys… don’t expend electricity when it’s not necessary! Carpool with friends if you can. Buy your own grocery bags and drinking bottles. Being a little bit mindful goes a long way.
9. Eat more vegetables
Meat production costs a lot of resources and greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s really not a bad idea to eat more greens! Consuming less meat means reducing your contribution to the climate crisis.
10. Dispose of your masks properly
The fact is, some people just find disposable masks more “convenient” to use than the reusable ones in these pandemic-ridden times. If you know anyone like that, remind them that it is critical that our disposable masks don’t end up in oceans where they can end up strangling some lovely marine animals.
11. Support social movements
Since time immemorial, social and environmental movements have successfully made this world a better place for us and for generations to come – whether it be in stopping environmentally-destructive projects, promoting pro-people and pro-environment policies, or implementing sustainable projects. Don’t just stop at supporting them; feel free to join them in their noble cause, too!
12. Hold governments and corporations accountable
Slightly mind-blowing fact: the current climate crisis is primarily caused by 70 fossil fuel and cement corporations who know exactly what they are doing. They know that their business enterprises negatively impact the climate and they don’t care.
So it is important that while we pursue individual efforts to live sustainably and restore the earth, we must also collectively act by making governments and corporations accountable for their environmental impact.
You can protect the environment by putting people in power who are friends of the environment. Register and vote in the upcoming 2022 Philippine elections. (You have until the end of September for this, by the way!)
This World Environment Month, let us start to remember that everything we do counts. There are no small actions for the environment. Each positive act helps make this planet a better place.