Monday, April 18, 2011

Editorial: Earth Day 2011

FOR the first time, the celebration of Earth Day, April 22, falls on a Good Friday. That gives this environmental event a religious tone. It’s only right, I guess. We are the stewards of the Earth. We have a responsibility to take good care of God’s creation.

“As stewards of God’s Creation, it is our shared responsibility to respect and preserve Mother Earth and protect her ability to support and perpetuate life,” said Kalookan Bishop Deogracias S. IƱiguez, Jr. in a statement posted in the CBCP news website.

The environmental group Ecowaste Coalition has released 12 down-to-earth suggestions for a greener observance of the death and resurrection of Christ the Redeemer. (http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com/). We edited them for brevity.

1. No littering please. Ensure that nothing is wasted nor littered as you accomplish your vows to the Most High. Remember: “Do not defile the land in which you live and in the midst of which I dwell.” (Numbers 35: 34)

2. Shun disposables. Avoid single-use items such as plastic bags, water bottles and beverage cups as you perform your Lenten plans. Be guided by this timely reminder from our bishops: “eliminate wasteful consumption” (CBCP Statement “Upholding the Sanctity of Life,” November 2008).

3. Power down. Drive less to cut fossil fuel use and slash greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and climate change. For planned “Visita Iglesia”, consider doing your pilgrimage online at http://visitaiglesia.net

4. Call off expensive, non-essential long distance trips and consider giving the money saved to the “Alay-Kapwa” program or to your favorite charitable causes.

5. If you are planning a family or “barkada” (circle of friends) outing to the mountain, lake or the sea, please abide by the eco-creed "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time."

6. Say no to plastic carry bags. Cut your consumption of wasteful plastic bags by bringing your own “bayong” or reusable shopping bags.

7. Save trees. Bring your own handkerchief or towel to limit the use of disposable tissue while you battle the heat during the “Via Crucis” (stations of the cross), penitential services and liturgical celebrations.

8. Go for tobacco-free and alcohol-free “Pabasa”. Keep the “pabasa” a healthy neighborhood spiritual affair by making the “kubol” and its immediate vicinity a “no smoking, no drinking” zone.

9. Say no to Styro. Choose reusable over disposable cups, plates and cutlery for meals and drinks served to "pabasa" readers;

10. Avoid overdoing the "carrozas” for the Good Friday “Santo Entierro” procession, enhancing them only with biodegradable stuff like sampaguita and other natural flowers and plants.

11. Go for simple, eco-friendly Easter "Salubong" sans firecrackers and confetti to commemorate the heavenly encounter between the risen Christ and “Mater Dolorosa” (sorrowing mother).

12. If you are planning to do Easter egg hunt, only use natural ingredients or dyes to color the eggs. Promote a healthy and balanced diet by not giving kids junk food treats.

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