It’s that time of year again.

UP deserves better than being a big trash can of election paraphernalia.

Let’s reduce the waste produced by the elections.

The simple things you can do:
• Just say NO! Don’t accept election paraphernalia (pins, statements, posters, etc.) if you don’t plan to read, wear, or post it.
• Get to know more the candidates, parties, and their GPOAs online.
• Document! Take a picture of how clean (or not) different places in UP are and share it here.

For the candidates/parties:
• PICK IT UP! When you see your paraphernalia on the ground, pick it up. You are responsible for the wastes you produced so please take action right away.
• Don’t leave paraphernalia lying around tables and classrooms. After leaving the classrooms you have been campaigning in, collect all the unused/unaccepted paraphernalia.
• Prioritize in online and paper-less campaign strategies.
• It’s not enough to say that papers can be recycled at the end of the elections, collect all your paraphernalia and bring them to recyclers yourselves.
• Using recycled, thin, white, or whatever variant of paper is NOT A SOLUTION. You are still using and wasting paper. Stop using this excuse and start doing the SMART thing leaders are supposed to do.

Being a responsible student leader starts during the campaign period. Show UP how much you care. 🙂

Level Up

by Marie Fatima Gaw

Do your best in whatever you do.

This has been one of my mantras for years now. Indeed, it is my deliberate fight against human race’s tolerance of mediocrity. Every time I work on a project, regardless of it being short-term or long-term, I make sure that I put my best foot forward. After all, it’s just that one shot.

If saving the Earth, or at least trying to save it, is just that one big shot, would we win it?

It’s a fantasy that the environment would suddenly come back to life from one great act, for it took millions of irresponsible human activities and thousands of unsustainable years for it to end up at this current appalling state. People have not changed and they continue to make the same mistakes they are very much aware of. As Environmentalists, we take a proactive role in this fight. We do our best to stop, or at least slow down Mother Nature’s degradation by means we are capable of. Or are we really doing our best?

I read an article once in Reader’s Digest Asia written by man baffled by the ways his daughter keeps her eco-friendly principles intact while behaving otherwise. While his daughter firmly insists he turns off the lights every time after he use it to save energy, he came to realize that she was consuming even more energy than of that little light bulb. She was listening to her ipod, while using Facebook, while she charges her camera, in a well-lit airconditioned room with her door slightly open. He was appalled: his daughter was an eco-nazi.

As much as skipping the straw, or using tumblers instead of availing the disposable plastic cups are good ways to reduce waste and practice our environmentalism, it seems that some ‘environmentalists’ see it as fancy heroic acts and take pride that they’re part of this great cause to save the planet. In reality, these kind of practices are just bare minimums. They do not require much effort. They don’t cost you a peso (in fact you even save from it). They won’t keep you from having fun. Simply put, they are acts of inhibition: you do less, but you don’t necessarily provide an added value. It’s true, that it is hard to do something that would make a difference without collective action.  But somehow, it is also absurd to aim to do a greater project if we can’t even fulfill the bare minimums.

All arguments on us inevitably consuming are conceded. Of course we need to eat, we have to consume electricity, we have to use plastic, etc. But we do it by means that have the least impact on the environment. Yes, it’s good that we take these little steps, but I believe we could do push ourselves a little more. Most of the time, we don’t consciously limit our consumption, especially in quantifiable amounts. We don’t tell ourselves: Hey, use your PC for 3 hours only today to save energy. Or, don’t buy that new phone, your phone’s still working. Or I’ll just walk home instead of riding the jeep. Just to be clear, I’m not forwarding an extreme kind of environmentalism here, to the point that we hamper the normal course of our daily life just to be more eco-friendly. My point is, if we can do more, if we can do our best to practice what we preach, we will end up to be better environmentalists. We just need to challenge ourselves more. We will never know how significant our actions are for our cause we fight for.

In whatever we do to forward this cause, let us do our best to live up with our battle cry. We must not just be environmentalists by name, but we must try to be the best environmentalists we could ever be. Who knows, maybe saving the Earth is this one big shot. Surely we don’t want to miss it.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

quote by Marshall McLuhan, 1964

Just a little something to think about. Hey. Imagine the planet is our very own spaceship. Well, everyone aboard runs this spaceship.

There is just this problem. Some people do not know that they are already on board, and they get a lot of resources from the limited stock.

Think. Are you one of these people? Or could you be one of the responsible ones? How could you help?


image credits:  http://sxc.hu/

Join UP Haring Ibon!

Living Earth

by Joy Nathalie Avelino

Yep. The Gaia hypothesis says so. Developed by Dr. James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the late 1960’s, it hypothesizes the biota and the spheres of the Earth (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere) evolved to be a single living system. It reacts to change similar to homeostasis in human beings. Because of the change, it can control the global temperature, atmosphere and other climatic and biochemical conditions to attain ecological equilibrium and for life to carry on.

One of Lovelock’s examples that would explain the concept is the “Daisy world”. It is an ecosystem comprises of black and white daisies. Black daisies absorb light from the sun and warm the planet while white ones reflect light and cool the planet. Domination of black daisies heats the world and therefore difficult with their situation but favorable to white daisies. White daisies dominating would make the planet colder, making it a better place for black daisies that can absorb heat.

It still remains a hypothesis, not a theory or a law because of its failure to support its claims from scientists who are against the notion. When there’s an imbalance, things change to achieve a new balance. That’s why life forms either evolve to adapt with the change or become extinct because they can’t. The environment is suitable for living because we’re the result of the change. Other critics also say that the idea is just a spin-off of ecology, a weak version.

SOURCES: [1], [2], [3]

Join us!

143: 1 Tree for 43

NapuPUNO ka na ba ng PAG-IBIG?

The UP Haring Ibon Internal Affairs Committee has tied up with UNTV’s Add-a-Tree Planting Project as their income-generating project.

The Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School’s Environmental Project is the beneficiary of this project.

For more details, contact Egee (09163559060).