April 22 marks the annual celebration of Earth Day, and it’s time we stop ignoring this day completely and mark it as Day 1 for living a life committed to helping fight climate change—that is, if you aren’t already doing so.
A forest fire rages. The occurrence of forest fires and other destructive natural phenomena has increased with the onset of climate change. Photograph by Andrew Merry, Getty, courtesy of WWF/Globe
If you want ideas on how to start, you can look to Globe for some ideas. In partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, they developed of an innovative digital platform dedicated to environmental education for students, the youth, teachers, and the general public. The web-based and mobile application will feature multimedia content such as animated videos, films, stories, digital modules, quizzes, puzzles, and other educational resources. It will also have an environmental footprint calculator and calendar, as well as interactive educational games.
With this, Globe hopes to raise knowledge and awareness among the public on the significance of environmental conservation and sustainable practices that will help combat climate change—a global issue that Earth Day looks to address.
“The intensity of our environmental problems coupled with the worsening effects of climate change underscores the need for all of us to come together, and the first step to being part of the solution is through awareness and education. Our actions, big and small, are important in ensuring a livable and healthy planet for future generations,” said Katherine Custodio, Executive Director of WWF-Philippines.
To start with, here are some minor lifestyle tweaks that will spell major change if more of us do it, as part of our responsibility to protect and preserve the environment and fight against climate change:
1) Donate old, non-working electronic gadgets through Globe’s E-waste Zero program
Do you have old mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and even bigger appliances that are no longer functional and are just gathering dust at home, yet you don’t know how to dispose of them? E-waste Zero is Globe’s environmental program focused on responsible disposal and recycling of electronic wastes. The program encourages people to donate old, non-working electronic devices via participating Globe Stores, select malls, and offices of partner organizations. Since its launch in 2014, Globe has worked with more than 66 corporations, private organizations, NGOs, and schools nationwide. To date, more than 1.4 million kilograms of e-waste were donated, collected, and recycled responsibly.
You may drop your e-waste items in more than 120 locations nationwide. This includes select Globe stores, participating malls, and offices of partner organizations. To see the full list of drop off points or request free door-to-door pickups, go to Globe’s Sustainability website.
2) Eliminate the need for single-use plastics that contaminate the ocean
Image source: www.unep.org
Bring reusables everywhere, as this eliminates the need for plastic spoons, forks, straws, cups, and stirrers. Cloth bags may also be used when buying items. Properly segregating plastic waste also helps.
Globe’s ‘Wag Sa Single Use Plastic (WasSUP) campaign stands against single-use plastics. In collaboration with Green Antz Builders Inc., clean and dry plastics are shredded and brought to the facility in Arca South, Taguig for further processing and conversion to eco-bricks and eco-pavers. The program also advocates a zero waste lifestyle and educates on how avoidance of single-use plastics can protect the environment.
3) Reduce carbon footprint by supporting reforestation programs
Globe – Mead Foundation reforestation site upland area in Iba, Zambales
It is still possible to support reforestation programs from the safety of your homes. Globe’s partnership with Hineleban Foundation and The Mead Foundation allows the public to help safeguard our forests through the use of Globe Rewards and GCash. Every 100 Rewards points donation is equivalent to one tree. (I blogged about how to use Globe Rewards here.)
To date, a combined 159 hectares have been planted with pioneer species Calliandra and indigenous tree species such as Narra, White and Red Lauaan, Mamalis, Bitaog in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur, as well as Vetiver grass and various native tree species in Iba, Zambales. These efforts lead to a conservative estimate of 25,083.13 metric tons of C02 sequestered.
To donate to Hineleban, download the Globe Rewards app and click the “DONATE” banner. Tap “HINELEBAN100” and press “REDEEM.” To support the Mead Foundation, go to mead-foundation.org and scan the QR code using the GCASH app. Every PhP100 donation is equivalent to 1 native tree planted.
Protected Primary Forest in Bukidnon
4) Reduce your personal environmental footprint
Mobile technology plays a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need to go out and drive or commute. Some of the things you can do using your mobile phone include:
- Using online financial platforms like GCash to send money to other GCash users, transfer money to a bank, save money, invest, pay bills, pay for food, goods, and other services, all from the safety and comfort of your homes.
- Shifting to electronic billing to help reduce paper consumption and conserve natural resources. By automating and migrating to a paperless process, the company was able to save over 781 tons of paper, equivalent to saving 18,753 trees in 2020.
- Subscribing to telehealth services such as KonsultaMD also give you immediate access to a team of Filipino doctors without the need to go to the nearest medical facility. KonsultaMD can be accessed via its 24/7 hotline (02-7798 8000). I blogged about my experience using KonsultaMD here.
Let’s all adapt and help promote sustainable lifestyles by changing the way we consume goods and resources, as part of our own urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.