Mindy's Musings: Save the Earth, Skip the Coffee Stirrer (Part 2)

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Last week, we started listing down little tips that collectively help the environment in a huge way. I found out about these steps from a website called 50waystohelp.com, and have picked the ones that will be most applicable to us Filipinos. Here is the rest of the guide.

  • Invest in your own cup. This wouldn't have mattered to our society if not for the recent boom of coffee shops and the public's addiction to coffee. With everyone now purchasing their coffee from Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, the waste coming from disposable cups is getting out of hand. One could argue that the cups are made from recycled paper; but still, the energy consumed in that process of creating and recycling can be lessened. How? Use your own mug or cup. Not only are you helping the environment, you are also helping your pocket, since most coffee establishments offer discounts or even refill for free when you bring your own container.
  • Skip the coffee stirrer (and straw). Since you are now saving paper by using your own cup, go the extra mile and skip the coffee stirrer. Each year we throw millions of those seemingly harmless plastic sticks to the trash, not knowing that they are very difficult to break down. You can use probably a stick of raw pasta, or just use your teaspoon. Also, skip the plastic straw if you can. Straws are used even more extensively in our country, and we must cut down on the consumption. How difficult is it to tilt your glass, really?
  • Maintain your vehicle. Oh, here we go. How can I overstate this? Maintain your vehicle. MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE. Especially you, Mr. Jeepney Driver. The reason that we have so much smoke on our faces after a day out in the city is we have so many drivers forgetting their vehicular check-ups and maintenance. A trip to the auto shop twice a year will not only help the environment, it will also make your machine very efficient and help save you precious gas.
  • Plastic bags suck. Five hundred billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year. This is a tragedy, considering that they are not biodegradable, and will eventually get into and infest the food chain. This has got to stop. Refuse plastic bags if you can, and bring along a tote instead. After all, carrying a plastic bag around is not at all fashionable!
  • Use rechargeable batteries. We need portable energy, especially today with gadgets being a huge part of our lifestyle. However, batteries, as we know, contain chemicals hazardous to the environment, so we should place a limit on their consumption. It is advised then that you ditch the disposable kind and use a rechargeable battery instead. It may be a little hard on the pocket, but if you consider that it has a lifespan of at least one year, well, there go your savings.
  • Share! Don't keep these tips to yourself. Share them with your friends, your family, with everyone, and help save the environment one person at a time.

Lolo José

Speaking of sharing and family, did you know that in 1988, Asuncion Lopez-Bantug, the grand-niece of our national hero José Rizal, wrote a one-of-a-kind biography about her grand-uncle? Entitled Lolo José: An Intimate and Illustrated Portrait of José Rizal, this book was unique in the sense that the point of view came from within the Rizal family itself, probably the closest that we had to the beloved Filipino revolutionary. It was filled with family lore and anecdotes about the hero that the Rizal clan has passed on from generation to generation, and for the first time, we were privy to such stories.

This coming December 9, Lolo José will be relaunched twenty years after its original publication by the Vibal Foundation as part of its Filipiniana Clasica series, a move which aims to keep culturally and educationally significant books in print. As part of the reprint, Bantug's storytelling will be accompanied by more than three hundred of Rizal's images, a complete bibliography of his visual, literary, and political works, as well as an illustrated timeline of his life. The book also contains a genealogical chart that identifies Rizal's ancestors and seven generations of descendants.

The new Lolo José will be launched at 6pm on December 9 at the Almacenes Reales in Fort Santiago, Intramuros. And to celebrate this momentous occasion, members of the Rizal clan, including the author, will reunite.

Of course, Mindy will be tagging along.

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Curious to see more? Then visit Mindy's blog at www.wikipilipinas.org! You can also send your feedback and comments to mindy@wikipilipinas.org.

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