The end is nigh. Climate emergency, plastic pollution, deforestation, food and water crises. The problems seem daunting like the white walkers of the “Game of Thrones.” But there are solutions and they can be done. It takes a little bit of effort and it can be inconvenient at times. But no matter how trivial, it’s better to do something than wallow in apathy. Here’s what you can do for the earth since it’s the Philippine Environment Month and all.
Be a better consumer. Adopt a minimalist or zero waste lifestyle if you can. That means buying just the essentials or buying second-hand or not buying at all. Consider having broken things repaired or borrow from people instead. Reduce, re-use, recycle. Reduce comes first because if you can avoid generating waste in the first place, then do just that. Refuse unnecessary single-use plastic. Bring your water tumbler, a reusable container, a reusable bag, and even your cutlery everywhere. Paper may be a lesser evil but going for reusable stuff is still your best bet. And no, you don’t have to buy metal/bamboo straws and eco bags to prove a point. The key is to lessen one’s consumption.
Speaking of consumption, you may want to lessen your meat intake and adopt a more plant-based diet. And say no to food waste. These are definitely doable climate acts.
Demand change from corporations and the government. Individual efforts matter and so does putting pressure on corporations and the government. So sign petitions. Write letters. Attend town hall meetings. Policy and corporate support could speed up the change that we want to see.
Raise awareness on environmental issues through social media. The reality is this is still one of the easiest ways to reach people within one’s circle of influence. Posting or sharing environment-related posts may generate conversation and may even cause people to change mindsets and behaviors. And it’ll be more effective if you pair your online advocacy work with offline activities.
Be involved. Volunteer. Participate in clean ups and tree-planting. Give talks and and education sessions. To reiterate what Annie Leonard of Greenpeace said, civic engagement is the real source of power to make a difference.
This Environment Month and beyond, a green mind is what we need. To rephrase what Edward Everett Hale said, you are only one, but you are one. You cannot do everything, but you can do something. And you should not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.