What will you do if you wake up one day in Boracay and you do not see turquoise waters, but green mushy moss blanketing the whole coastline?
The biggest problem in Manila is not traffic because it is a just point in time issue and can be solved with an infrastructure solution like a subway system. The biggest problem is the apathy of Filipinos in preserving our environment and letting big businesses destroy the natural beauty of the Philippine archipelago.
The "green tide" photo above of Boracay Station 1 is NOT a dream or a photoshopped photo. We took a drone shot of the most pristine part of White Beach in Station 1 in Boracay just last March 2017 and we were shocked by this scene.
How can Boracay businesses argue that this is a natural occurrence? How could this scene be alright when we know that our kids could never ever enjoy Boracay the way we did?
What if I told you that environmental destruction is happening in other tourist spots because of coal use? Did you know that Manila's pollution levels are getting higher each day and will reach intolerable levels in the next decade?
The thing with Climate Change issues is that we only act when we already see the irreversible destruction. Maybe it's too late for Boracay, but we can do something for the rest of the Philippine isles.
Here are 8 things we can do to battle Environmental Destruction and Climate Change effects…
1). Let's Talk Clean Energy
The Philippines has 29 government approved coal plants and is set to open 25 new coal-fired power plants to address the demand for cheaper but harmful power sources.
But why? Imagine all the smoke that will be emitted by the smokestacks of these big bad coal plants and the adverse impact on the health of the people in the surrounding areas.
2). Reduce Air Pollution in Manila
The air quality in Manila is getting worse and it's impacting the health of our children. We decided to move back to the south for cleaner air and to escape the damaging effects of congested traffic.
The worse part is that we don't really see this increase in pollution and when we finally notice it, it would be too late.
Think about how you can lessen the use of your cars, do work-from-home more often, organize carpool amongst friends and schoolmates, use a bike, or even relocate some place outside Manila.
3). Patronize Electric Tricycles and Vehicles
Wherever you go, if there is a choice between an electric tricycle and the normal one, you must insist on riding and supporting the former.
Key tourist areas like Boracay and Intramuros already have electric vehicle options and are working towards 100% conversion to clean electric vehicles. Another option is riding a bicycle too.
4). Support Sustainable Tourism Practices
Learn more about sustainability and support company and businesses that adopt sustainable practices.
Do they use local ingredients or support local communities? Do they support line-caught fishing methods?
Are you for or against the Whale Shark industry in Oslob? I know it's cool to go underwater with these gentle giants but this practice of feeding them is not sustainable and a lot of people are jumping into the water and touching them.
5). Don't use commercial sunblock or other harmful chemicals in the water
Did you know that most commercial sunblock lotions have ingredients that can damage our beautiful corals? When we swim, the lotion we lather on our bodies are washed off and cause toxic effects unto the corals.
Just recently, we don't use sunblocks anymore so that our skin can absorb much of the Vitamin D benefits from the sun.
6). Reduce dependency on Plastic Bags
Are you still using plastic bags when you buy from the supermarkets or from the nearest convenience store?
Bring your own reusable bags. Eliminate plastic bags from your lifestyle. Start small within your household.
7). Don't eat Endangered Species
Be more conscious about whether the food you're eating is endangered or not. Save Philippine Seas is a good resource if you would like to know more about our what's sustainable seafood — http://www.savephilippineseas.org/.
Be familiar with the extinction status of different animal species using this list from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory/.
8). Be a Climate Change Leader
Join the Climate Change Leadership Corps this coming June 27-29 in Bellevue, Washington.
You know our climate is changing. You want to make a difference. We’ll show you how. Join us for a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action. Give us three days. We’ll give you the tools to change the world.
For more info, visit https://www.climaterealityproject.org/training
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our Awesome Planet supports the Let's Talk Clean Energy movement. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Let's act now by simply sharing this message with your family and friends. We need the entire nation to battle this problem.