EDC tools of an urbanite

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By Roberto P. Alabado III

Planning Perspectives

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


EDC - Every Day Carry. I have been obsessed of EDCs for some time now. We all want to be prepared for the inevitable in our everyday life just as we prepare for any disaster or worst-case scenario. I use a rucksack to carry all the things I need especially when I go biking around the city.

Every urbanite seem to have a wish list of some kind to survive the hectic day in the city. High on that is a personal vehicle to get him/her around the city. But only a few can afford to have a personal car but I think most can afford a bicycle.

The first tool a modern urbanite must have is a bicycle. Everyone must have a personal transport unit (bike) that can take us to the nearest sari sari store, 24 hour shop or even the nearest jeepney stop. I know that many Pinoys are afraid to walk under the heat of the sun because it makes them sweaty and gives them a nice tan. So why not ride a bicycle and ride with a breeze and get to your destination much faster than walking.

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Still too much to ask for? Get yourself a folding bike then put it in your car trunk, in the event you can't find parking in the downtown area then just park it somewhere then bike to your destination and that makes everything convenient. No more wasted minutes just finding a parking space and you get some exercise by avoiding traffic congestion. Believe me, it is not dangerous to go biking as long as you wear a helmet and obey all traffic rules and regulations.

Just think that you will save a lot from your fare or fuel expenses and even save more money from your gym expenses. I always find it funny that people go to the gym to climb on a cycling machine then hop into their cars on their way home. How about ride the bike going to and coming from the gym and just do strength training since you have already done your cardiovascular exercise?

If you want to live longer as an urbanite then a daily dose of cardiovascular exercise is needed. Biking to work or to do errands will definitely give you the much needed exercise.

The second EDC tool is a handy reusable bag or eco-bag as they call it nowadays. Gone is the bayong that my mom used to bring along when she went to the palengke. We now use either cloth bags or some durable nylon plastic that we can reuse. Always have an eco bag folded inside your everyday bag (be it a rucksack, shoulder or laptop bag) so when you do some shopping or grocery, you can use it rather than the flimsy plastic bag that is good only for one use. When I buy just a small item, I also request that it no longer be put inside a plastic bag and just throw it inside my bag with the receipt of course.

I am still waiting for the day when taxes will be imposed on grocery bags. Davao City has already started using these so called biodegradable bags but I think that we should go a step further and practice more reusing efforts because biodegradable bags still encourage one time use of these plastic bags. These so-called bio degradable plastic bags are said to start degrading or decomposing when exposed to sunlight; so what happens if they are dumped in the landfill where these will not be exposed to sunlight? Same problem.

To discourage the use of these grocery/shopping bags, there must be disincentives imposed on the users. I remember in Germany of paying for these grocery bags, it was expensive enough that I immediately bought my own cloth bags to bring everyday just in case I needed to go to the grocery. If we can have some kind of tax that can be passed on to consumers to change their behavior towards being more environment conscious then let us have it.

Third EDC tool of an urbanite is a plastic bottle for your drinking water. Just because you have the money to spend and buy bottled water does not mean that you have the right to pollute our land. Plastic bottles are already a big problem of our sanitary landfills.

It seems that a lot of our people are very rich because they can afford very expensive bottled water. DCWD sells water at around P 14 per cubic meter (for the first 10 cubic meters) while bottled water can cost around 15 pesos per 500 ml. Do the math for me please but if we calculate this then drinking bottled water means that we can afford to buy water at P3,000.00 per cubic meter! Wow big time ka! plus you can afford to also throw away plastic bottles to our fast filling sanitary landfill.

I see that many people bring their own water whenever they go biking or working out at the gym. Can you please extend this practice to bring your own water to your offices and every day chores? I see many students bring their own water than buy expensive softdrink.

Rather than buy these expensive bottled water please trust the local tap water. I do drink from the tap ever since we migrated here in the late 70s and I still have to experience getting an upset stomach. We all brag of having the world's sweetest and cleanest drinking water from our Dumoy aquifer but we, by drinking bottled water, demonstrate that we do not believe it ourselves.

So there you have it folks, three EDC tools that will make your lives easier as an urbanite - get yourself a bicycle, bring an ecobag and bring your own water bottle.

Many of us fear the impact of climate change in our lives. Many of us react whenever we hear of pollution and environmental destruction. If we only think but fail to act then everything is lost.

Living in the city can be exciting but to make our city more sustainable we have to adopt certain behaviors that will help sustain our meager resources as well as enhance the livability of our cities and towns.

*****

(rpalabado@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 28, 2014.

Opinion

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