PRESIDENTIAL Proclamation 237 series of 1998 declares the month of June as Philippine Environment Month. The theme is "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care." If one does not take it seriously, it sounds like a political jingle for 2016. There is fun here!

As I see it, the Philippine Environment Month should be not in June only. The celebration should be every day. Each one of us has become a part of the environment (asset or liability). Seven billion dreams could be too much. It could be a nightmare already. Let us just focus on what is basic (and what could be done). Sometimes dreaming big is dangerous. I agree that we have only one planet (a very sensitive planet).

We are told to continue with care. That is debatable. We all know that we have to conserve energy. I just want to know who among us does not use electric fan (or air con unit) to kill summer heat. We are not just concerned with our electric bills. We are concerned also with energy crisis. We all understand that industries use fossil fuels that cause harm to the environment.

Carbon dioxide is emitted when fossil fuels are burnt. Its pressure in the atmosphere will cause the temperature of the earth to rise. (We don't want Mother Earth to have fever.) When I was in Grade I, it did not come to my mind that the day will come that I have to buy water. The 80-year-old artesian well near our house is still there. That was our source of drinking water then. To date, the water there is just used for washing clothes.

The declaration of the World Water Council is alarming. Half of the world population will experience water shortage by the year 2025. Probably, the Philippines should now follow what Singapore is doing. (I don't want to see the day that recycled urine is used for drinking.) Water is sacred and we will only appreciate its sanctified importance when we bargain gold for water.

My environmentalist friend threatened us that most of the washing liquids used at home have chemical content which not only harm the body but pollute the environment also. I asked him, "What substitutes are possible?" He gave me a quick response, "Crushed egg shells, sponge gourd stem, and other natural abrasives can be used to clean pots and plates in place of washing liquids."

My wife is a "let it go" advocate. Oftentimes she is reminding me to recycle my "X-Files" or be a generous donor. (I have a "bad habit" of keeping memorable things among my souvenirs.) I still keep the face towel given to me by my first crush. My wife wants to make it a blanket for our puppy.

Plastic pollution is a big problem. Some stores have already opted to use paper bag instead of plastic bag. Plastic bags are made from petrochemical which are non-biodegradable and cause damage to the soil. Harmful gases are produced when plastics are burnt. I am asking the implementers of the law, "What happens to our Clean Air Act?" Sugarcane fields are set on fire after the harvest. Smoke belchers are on parade in our highway every day.

Here in Negros, we want to hear more reports from our "Task Force Ilahas" and "Bantay Bukid Brigade." There are alleged sightings of areas with cut trees in our forest. We have to verify, then proper action has to be done. It is no longer funny. The same thing is to be done with our mangroves. Each LGU along the shoreline has to maintain a mangrove forest.

We would like to appreciate ecological returns from our forest: creation of oxygen, production of protein, reduction of air pollution, conservation of water resources, and tourism value. We have to go green... green hotel, green city hall, green market, green highway, and green schools. Let us create a green community.

Good environment starts from us. Charity begins at home. We can be models for our neighbors. We begin with proper waste management program. Great deeds emanate from humble beginnings. Let's save the environment together.