MANILA -- Environment Secretary Ramon Paje urged the public Monday to be conscious of their carbon footprint as they engage in various activities this summer.

The season also marks the Holy Week break when Filipinos are able to spend more time with their families and loved ones whether in the provinces or taking vacation trips elsewhere.

“Religious beliefs aside, let us be sorry about our actions that may have contributed to the degradation of our environment,” he said.

Paje also said the summer vacation is “a good time to encourage students to put science to work, especially those that relate to the care of the environment.”

For his part, Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez asked Filipinos to cut back on consumption of fuel products, water and food, this Holy Week break.

Fast for Mother Earth, Alvarez added, highlights the need to address climate change, including proper waste management to minimize methane, a by-product of rotting garbage and a greenhouse gas 20 times more lethal than carbon dioxide.

“We must cut back on our individual and communal carbon and water footprints as part of our struggle to fight global warming and climate change,” Alvarez said.

“Carbon footprint” is the amount of greenhouse gas humans produce everyday by burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation while “water footprint” is how much water is consumed daily.

“Fasting or any amount of self-denial will allow us to reflect that the more we consume, the more waste we generate, which have become systematically and sustainably unmanageable,” Alvarez said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)