How to become an environmental hero for the new normal

August 31, 2020

Anjelica Ibuyan and Kitty Gamboa

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world to its knees as new positive cases and deaths continue to rise, causing fear and opening various discussions on issues surrounding the disease.

Experts believe habitat encroachment such as deforestation and climate change are the most striking trends that contributed to the increasing frequency of disease outbreaks, driving virus-carrying animals closer to human settlement.

As it is, the current pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for everyone to understand how the state of the environment can greatly affect human health. The link between the health of the planet and its people is a resounding call to make nature conservation a priority.

Despite restricted movements due to quarantine measures, there are many ways for anyone to become a hero for the environment.

1. Go for the reusable alternative.

Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is one of the most common ways to live more environmentally-aware as people have been recently using single-use items such as disposable face masks. We can practice using reusable alternatives such as cloth masks and hand towels whenever applicable to reduce our waste products. Not only environment-friendly, but also economical!

Some of the recycled materials and furniture on display at the summit.

2. Go and get cooking.

Many of us are also ordering food for delivery that often comes with a handful of single-use plastics like straws, cutlery, and food bags. Instead of calling take-out, we can start the habit of making our own fresh and healthy meals at home. It cuts down our plastic waste and your health will thank you for it!

3. Go urban gardening.

Speaking of good food, one brilliant idea (that has become popular these days) is having an own supply of fruits and veggies at home by growing them in the backyard, terrace, or even on the roof using various urban gardening techniques. Having our own supply of produce at home ensures that they are free from harmful chemicals and will eventually save us time and money spent on grocery shopping.

4. Go green in advocating.

Aside from living a sustainable lifestyle, we can also use our voices to take our actions for nature to another level. You can do this by showing support for green policies aimed to strengthen existing regulations that protect and preserve the country’s remaining biodiversity such as the Sustainable Forest Management Act. You can start or join a petition campaign or get in touch with your local representative. Remember that policies help ensure that conservation actions will become sustainable for generations.  

5. Go support an environmental organization.

Donating to a local environmental organization such as the Haribon Foundation (@goharibon) is a great way to support nature conservation. Funding is crucial for these groups to push forward with their cause, but the quarantine measures brought about by the pandemic may have halted most of environmental groups’ fundraising drives that support their conservation projects.

Group photo with Gab-E and Haribon members new and old. Photo by David Quimpo.

These are just some of the many ways we can help in the conservation movement as we move on to the new normal.

Through our collective effort, we can create a world that puts the environment as a priority. Remember, our planet’s health is our health. Together, let’s #ChooseTheEarth today!