Last week, instead of the usual tree planting activities and assemblies, organisations around the globe celebrated Earth Day digitally. Earth Day began in 1970 with a single goal in mind: To raise awareness and action about various environmental issues such as air and water pollution that threaten the world then and today. Since then, Earth Day has become one of the largest global campaigns that mobilized millions of people to help save the environment.
At Masungi, apart from our continued campaign against quarrying and deforestation, we capped off Earth Day with an open letter together with over 300 scientists and conservation leaders asking our nation’s leaders to make nature a priority.
As we continue to conserve the Masungi landscape and reforest surrounding areas, we enjoin everyone to make every day Earth Day. Here are some ways you can still help save the earth in your own ways no matter how big or small!
Cook only what you can eat
According to 2015 reports from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 33 percent of the Philippines’ total food production goes to waste. When leftover food reaches the landfill, the food waste that gets trapped in piles of garbage will be deprived of oxygen—an important element in decomposition. Without oxygen, food waste releases an extremely harmful greenhouse gas called methane, which in itself contributes to climate change.
Be kind to the earth by purchasing (or if possible, planting your own greens) and consuming only what you can finish to keep waste off of landfills.
In 2019, Metro Manila was hit by the worst water crisis the country has seen in decades. Apart from the depletion of water levels in our dams, one of the culprits for the country’s water insecurity is also due to denuded watersheds, which means that groundwater recharge is thoroughly reduced.
With temperatures soaring at 38°C, you may be compelled to take long baths to stay cool. However, 80 percent of the water that we consume—majority of which is untreated—is dumped back into bodies of water, polluting our seas, rivers, and oceans in return. Standard shower heads normally release about 2 gallons of water per minute. If you cut your shower time by five minutes or less, you would be able to save hundreds—if not thousands—of gallons of water every year from being dumped back to the ocean.
If you’re looking for something productive to do at home, try participating in an online seminar about climate change, environment appreciation, and ways to help. For one, you may tune in to the events page of Earth Optimism—a global movement that highlights the importance of sustainable solutions—for upcoming webinars. There are also tons of watch parties on social media that feature prominent figures in conservation work. But if you’re more of a binge watcher, you may also check out our picks on Netflix: Our Planet, Night on Earth, Dancing with the Birds.
Go on a virtual hike
Studies show that a 90-minute hike in nature is good for your mental health as it decreases anxiety and improves your mood. People around the world who are currently staying at home are finding more creative ways of connecting with nature through a virtual hike Youtube Video. These videos that simulate a calming walk in nature have proven to be a form of escape for many others and for good reason; another study has shown that viewing even an image of a tree can already reduce stress levels.
Whether it is a walk along the coast of Palawan or a trek in the Swiss Alps, a simple click will transport you to a setting of your choice across the earth. Here are some of our favorites: Tunnel of Love, Ukraine; Mannlichen, Switzerland; Kaena Point Trail, Hawaii.
An exercise tip that you can do at home is to jog in place or walk on a treadmill if available and play your chosen virtual walk on a TV screen.
Support local NGOs
The world may be on pause but for many nonprofits, advocacy work continues. At this time of uncertainty, supporting your local NGOs’ causes becomes more important now more than ever. Earlier in April, reports of illegal logging in provinces under the Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan (MIMAROPA) region took place amid the quarantine.
Masungi Georeserve’s park rangers, for one, are still monitoring forests for potential fires and illegal activities such as quarrying and kaingin.
Whatever your personal advocacy may be—whether it is promoting the protection of wildlife or the preservation of forests or marine sanctuaries—your support for local organisations in whatever form would mean a lot. You may choose to donate, share their campaigns online and join in discussions, or even become a volunteer. You may also continue to support us by sharing our open letter and our upcoming campaigns.