But Greenland, the North Pole, the Alps, or Siberia are so far away from here---it's almost inconceivable that what happens on the other side of the planet could affect us. So here's one that is closer to home: the shoreline at my mother’s hometown in Negros has been retreating for years. The beach that used to be our playground in the 70’s is now a stretch of cement with a 10-foot concrete sea-wall. In another coastal town near my grandfather’s house, the barangay road and houses near the beach are gone and it’s now a shoreline. The wet land where our neighbors used to grow kangkong (swamp cabbage), where my brothers and the other boys fished native catfish (hito), is now an arid piece of land. Even the small stream in my grandfather's property has dried up. I was surprised to learn during my vacation last month that the huge Chico tree in my mother's backyard was no longer there…the leaves turned brown and fell one by one, what was left of the tree are its brittle branches and dead trunk. It was due to the heat, an uncle told me. The tree shaded a bamboo bench where we hang out during hot summer afternoons, eating halo-halo.
The threat to every inhabitant of this planet is very real. We are causing global warming and the effects are devastating. And don’t say that we can only pray because there is something for every one to do---small things, big things. From managing our garbage to searching for alternative energy sources.
When you pray, move your feet.
~ An old African proverb
Simple things we can do to help stop global warming:
Change a light
Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit more often. You’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don’t drive!
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste.
Check your tires
Keeping your tires inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere!
Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of CO2 saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year).
Avoid products with a lot of packaging
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.
Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
Turn off electronic devices
Simply turning off your TV, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Do you not see that God has subjected to your use all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, both seen and unseen?
~ Qur'an 31.20
And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
~ Bible, Genesis 1.28