Friday, September 24, 2021

Suarez-Orendain: Green restoration


The Great 2019 Pandemic has brought changes.

By June in years past, the street where I live would be filled with young people rushing to school just a few meters from where I live. They became my alarm clock because between 6:30 and 7 a.m., the youngsters would pass by the house with all their chatter and laughter.

Not anymore. Changes in the school system have silenced the street and the school.

I look at my desk calendar, an old system for an old girl who has not changed some of her habits such as having a real calendar on her writing desk.

June 5 used to celebrate World Environment Day. The pandemic, thank Jove, has not changed this concern to keep the world green.

This year, the theme is Ecosystem Restoration. Government leaders have the muscle power in restoring the environment. It is a challenge they have to face.

The UN General Assembly reserved June 5 as World Environment Day. The first celebration was in 1974 under the theme “Only One Earth.” We still have only one Earth. That is why over the years, the world’s effort to help Earth heal has been sustained with such activities as growing trees, greening cities, changing diets, and cleaning up local beaches, rivers and seas.

There are more than a dozen notable examples of sustainable activities around the world.

One that I like is the Pixel Building in Melbourne, Australia. It is a carbon-neutral complex that generates its own power with vertical wind turbines and a roof designed to catch rainwater.

Singapore is called the Garden City for a good reason. For starters, the urban planners have discovered ways to weave plants through the architecture by cultivating vertical gardens, green walls and green rooftops.

And the Philippines?

The country is doing its part. It has a couple of organizations with green thumbs also. I don’t have the space to give details of each one, so I will just mention some names. Please look them up to find out how you can help.

To name a few: Cebu Environmental Networking, Save the Philippine Seas (organized in 2011), Haribon Foundation (1972), Greenpeace Philippines, World Wide Fund for Nature - Philippines, Marine Wildlife Watch, Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, and Waves for Water or W4W.

What can we do as individuals, and apart from joining a club?

Pandemic or not, we can transport these organizations’ visions into our homes: Use gray water to flush the toilet. Save rainwater to water the plants. Switch off unused lights and appliances, and start a potted vegetable garden if you don’t have a yard.


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