It’s going to be our 120th Independence Day in a few days, so I think this is the best time to bring this up. You know how when a Pinoy becomes successful abroad, even if they’re just like 1/4 Filipino, everyone is like YES #PINOYPRIDE! Not that that’s a bad thing. But if you’re loving what our fellow Filipinos are doing everywhere else in the world, are you also doing what you can to love your country itself? I’m not talking about loving the people who live in it, but caring about the actual place you live in.
I shared something about this last year, and I don’t think I’m going to stop talking about it until we own up to it. My point is: If we’re really proudly Pinoy, we have to start taking care of the Philippines and we need to stop destroying it with our trash.
Trash isn’t a joke. I’m sure you see all those articles and videos on Facebook about dumpsites with literal mountains of trash, bodies of water that are filled with trash, and animals dying because they keep getting mixed in trash. Actually, if you want to see how pollution affects real people’s lives, you can start with an episode of the documentary Years of Living Dangerously with Joshua Jackson. A part of it was shot here in the Philippines. I dunno about you, but this is not something I want to keep seeing happen.
As cliché as it sounds, I think if we want to see something change, it really starts with us. Here are some of my personal rules for dealing with trash that I hope you’ll make your own too:
1. Let’s start with the basics. Don’t litter. Littering is seriously TRASHY. If you’re eating in your car, don’t roll the window down and throw the wrapper out the window. If you’re smoking outside, don’t throw your cigarette butt on the sidewalk. Hold on to it you until find a trash can. You created the trash, so it’s on you to dispose of it properly.
2. Educate litterers. Don’t shame them ‘cause I would like to think some people just don’t know any better. They think littering is all good because no one told them how bad it can get. So if you see someone littering, talk to that person. And don’t get into a fight. Lol.
3. If you’ve got the no littering thing down, minimize your trash. Use boxes or bags when you go to the grocery so you don’t need to use plastic. Use a reusable tumbler instead of buying bottled water.The best thing is not to go for single-use plastics or items, but if you have to use it, at least choose material that’s biodegradable (and throw it properly) or reusable. I think it’s great that more and more people are getting into minimum or even zero waste, because now companies are considering the environment more and creating more options for all of us.
If you have more tips, I would totally love to hear it. Leave a comment and let me know what’s been working for you and what you do in your own little way to care for our country. Don’t forget that for most of us, we only get one home and that’s the Philippines. So let’s treat it exactly like we would our own homes—with respect and care. Happy Independence Day, everyone 🙂
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