No sane person views himself as actively anti-environment.
In our own ways, we are all concerned about the quality of our air and water and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the safety of our food. We all notice our ballooning electric bill, we feel the mercury rising, and we noted how devastating the typhoons were.
Some of us are concerned about our dwindling forests, some feel an affinity to animals that are endangered, and some have marked the obituary posted by the scientific community on the Chinese river dolphin, the latest species to go extinct by our hand.
Many of these problems, such as climate change, traffic, and industrial mining and agricultural pollution, seem too big for us to tackle. And the truth is that, while we can make a difference in our own little sphere as individuals, in our homes or in our schools or work places, we really need the cooperation and perhaps the leadership of others to make a serious dent in the current situation.
That's where joining, volunteering for or even just supporting an environmental organization comes in. We have quite a number in the Philippines.
Some of them are connected with multi-national groups that warn of global threats and seek similar solutions in several countries at the same time. Others are homegrown and focus on, protecting, preserving and rehabilitating one plot of land- a coral reef, a forest, or a watershed, while others focus on one particular issue.MORE THAN MONEY
Contributing money is great, but contributing some of our time and expertise is even better.
And there is an even more pressing reason to link up with an environmental organization around us. As individuals, our passions wax and wane. We need the inspiration of those who have mush more experience, as well as of the young but driven who might need direction, but who we need to draw energy from.
Trying to fix the environment on your own is like trying to quit an addictive drug without any help. You have a chance of succeeding, but you can do so much more by involving those around you, or those with expertise.
And the friendships you make in these organizations will not only help you live your principles in your home or your workplace when you're not planting trees or campaigning in Congress or on the streets or leading tours in an ecopark, but might turn out to be your most fulfilling relationships.
One thing, when you make friends based on where you study, where you work or where you live; it's a different level of friendship when you make friends based on what you believe in and what you're wiling to fight for.
Below is a list of some of the organizations that do green work around our country. All of them are eager to hear form you
Some of them, you can join for photo contests, or tree-planting activities or beach clean-ups. Others need your help with their long-term projects.
Some of them will take you as you are, and give you the training you need to join them on the field. Others need you expertise in seeking grants or they need your creative energies with their advertising campaigns, your people management skills, your writing talents. They need help with their websites. They can use researchers in the outdoors or in the internet.
Whether you want to give up an afternoon or commit a few hours a week or a few weeks a year, your energy is welcome.MOBILIZING VOLUNTEERS
In this issue, we have Jed Santos of EcoRescue writing about his experience organizing volunteers for Bantay Kalikasan's La Mesa Dam Eco-Park, where much of Metro Manila's water comes from. Jed set up EcoRescue with his dive buddies so that divers can help enhance the coral reefs they love so much. He has since directed his knowledge into training volunteers, who used to assist marine park rangers, to assist forest rangers as well.
And while we emphasize the importance of participating in an organization as a catalyst for change, we must remember that what we do as individuals is also essential.
We cannot go about participating in beach cleanup campaigns and then not do anything about the garbage accumulating in the street drains outside our house, about the black smoke from our badly maintained car, about all the paper we waste in our office.
The structures where we live and work make as much impact on the world around us as our lifestyle. Traditional low-cost housing in the countryside are the best examples of using local materials, allowing in as much natural light, and letting the wind and the natural shade of trees to keep things cool.
Like what Dan Lichauco of Archion Architect and University of Santo Tomas, he showed us how some buildings in the city have adapted through environment-friendly architecture that goes beyond tossing in a few solar panels and compact fluorescent lights.
Patty Labrador writes about Greenpeace's campaign against genetically modified organisms in our food. She is extremely concerned that we are eating artificial organisms that may affect us in unknown ways.
Natural foods have been tested by our bodies for millennium. It is only in our lifetime that we may find out what happens when we consume plants with genetic sequences never thought up by nature.
It is ridiculously intimidating to approach alone the challenge of maintaining a healthy, wholesome and helpful lifestyle, of protecting our nature reserves, of cleaning up some of the damage that we and those before us have done.Don't succumb on art alone. Make your art inspirational to those who haven't realized how wonderful our environment is. Try to take a walk outside your house or have a vacation. Our environment sets our mind to something peaceful. It removes our stress from all days work. Please, join us in this wonderful campaign..
Contact one of these organizations, or a similar one you know about around you, so that you can multiply the effect you have on your environment and inspire yourself to be a better person.MOTHER EARTH, Philippines
Contact #: +632-6471181
Contact #: +632-9290376
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenpeace (International Organization)
Contact #: +632-4347034 local 102
Email Address: email@example.com
World Wildlife Fund(IO)
Website: www.wwf.org or www.wwf.org.ph (for Philippines)
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact #: +632-4109670 or +632-4152227
Email Address: email@example.com
Peacepond (Negros Occidental)
Contact #: +6334-7428500
Contact #: +632-6310369
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org