We have been seeing a lot of publicity and information about the Earth Hour advocacy in print, billboards, tv and even in the internet that it is hard to ignore. Personally, the first time i knew about it was from the blogosphere and since then, i see it on streamers, billboards and even at moving billboard announcements in Makati City. As an environment conservation advocate, i already marked the date and time on my calendar at work and at home.
I do commend WWF's project and their ways to invite the public to be aware of conserving energy but i have to ask what will happen after 9:30pm on Saturday? If, for example, 1 million Filipinos join the activity and simultaneously turn off lights and all other electrical appliances, what will be the major effect? Being aware of environment conservation efforts is one thing but doing more than just turning off your lights is another thing. If 1 million Pinoys turn off their lights, we will save megawatts of electricity in a span of 1 hour. Saving electricity will lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. I do hope that after 9:30 pm, people will remember the advocacy of conserving energy and not just go back to their regular energy consumption.
What can we do to further support the project? I still believe planting a tree is one of the easiest and best way to help conserve our environment. Whether you plant a tree in your own backyard or join environment NGO's to other project sites, it is still a part of a long term solution. This summer, we can help the environment by doing very simple things. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Turn off unnecessary lights and electric equipment when not in use (monitors, tv, radio, fans)
2. Recycle your trash (plastics, bottles, old newspaper, boxes, cell phones)
3. Segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable trash (please do this at home not just when going to malls)
4. Conserve water when washing clothes, dishes and even while washing you car.
5. Bring your own bags when you go shopping or when you go to the supermarket.
6. Bring your own mug or tall glass when buying coffee, a coffee shop gives discount if you provide your own container.
7. Maintain your car regularly. Have oil change and tune up regularly to avoid engine deterioration which causes smoke belching.
8. When going to the beach, diving or snorkelling, avoid getting coral souvenirs.
9. Avoid buying exotic animals for pets.
10. Try to maintain your gadgets (mobile phone, camera, music players, gaming consoles) for 2 or more years. Buying gadgets increase the manufacturer's demand for plastics and metals which pressures the mining industry. Mining as we know is a major player in environment destruction.
If you have other tips, please share. Our environment needs all the help it can get. Try not to blame politicians anymore. Politicians and government will always be there. Start within your own home and family. Let us focus on what we can do to at least make a difference in providing a healthy environment to our children and the next generations to come.