WHAT ABOUT SUNRISE? What about rain? What about all the things that you said we were to gain?” (from Michael Jackson’s Earth Song). Indeed, without taking a stance for the present, how can we move forward for our future?  

Go green! As college students, we are used to acquiring information. So, we are quite mindful that our country is at stake due to pollution. Yet, we are responsible for shielding the planet from harm as part of the seven billion people who inhabit this planet as well. So, Bedans, as we celebrate the annual Earth month, let us answer the clarion call of stewardship and pursue the conversation for the wellbeing of our planet—a legacy, a home, and a future. 

Reduce using single-use plastic waste 

Fortunately, some shops and restaurants have made their move for Earth’s sustainability by utilizing silverware and eco-friendly bags at the expense of plastics. Unfortunately, on the other side, not all have adhered to such an ecological pursuit.  

The call to use plastic might sometimes linger within our thoughts, but the act of maintaining stewardship must never waver within our grasp. Grasping the eco-friendly way can be feasible by bringing one’s silverware utensils everywhere, investing in metal straws, and carrying tote bags, water flasks, or tumblers, which all in all is not only good for clout, but it can also help to save a few pesos while simultaneously helping the world to take a huge breather.  

Find other ways to get around 

One thing worth noting about Bedans is how we always keep going while creatively finding more alternatives to procuring our pursuits. Studying in Manila is a training ground to discover new ways to cope with the hurly-burly brought about by city life.  

Manila is a place of endless possibilities. Finding alternative modes of transportation to reach specific destinations is very much plausible. Riding in a car might be good to compete against the unwelcoming rage of the sun’s heat. Still, ironically it directly contributes to the ongoing mass of greenhouse gasses, which would, thus, cause climate change!  

Being creative Bedans that we are, we can find alternatives to go from one place to another, such as riding a bicycle, taking the LRT and MRT, or even commuting via Jeepneys, which can also help solidify that advocacy of not phasing out that much-beloved vehicle. Furthermore, it would also be an add-on to discover the realities of the Philippines, which were once invisible in the window of a car’s passenger seat. 

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle  

Though cliché as it may sound, recycling still plays an integral role in sustaining the environment. Now that we are facing a massive crisis with climate and scarcity, much more about how recycling remains relevant to date.  

The only infinite thing here on Earth is its possibilities. Life and resources are finite, considering the growing population and want of the people. As Bedans, we can create separate bins for metals, plastics, and paper. We can also use them to design a new project.  

Buying clothes and items at the thrift store 

Let’s be honest here—shopping at the thrift store might not be every Bedan’s go-to boutique. But from a Google quote stating that “thrifting is an everyday adventure,” maybe we should start taking that quote with a positive outlook. 

They say that good things come to those who thrift; there is no lie in that! Several YouTubers/Tiktok stars show how they were able to garner designer clothes and slow fashion in the piles of ukay-ukay! How cool is that?  

Shopping at thrift stores encourages recycling. Such act simultaneously decreases landfill. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, considering how the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions every year, shopping at that last boutique where you would shop can delay the time leading to your last shopping spree.  

Save energy  

San Beda University (SBU) opens and expands the experiences of many. For some, staying in SBU may not completely modify one’s current lifestyle. But for those entering new heights, adjusting to the conditions of living in a dormitory, condominium, or apartment might be challenging, especially with the strict allowances given to us.  

Living in an unfamiliar land with a limited budget begs us to question, ‘How do we survive?’ Well, that’s easy. Saving is the key! Living independently might demand us to stray away from our old habits. In this case, saving energy by turning off lights when not in use, limiting the air conditioner, shutting down big appliances, and the like cannot only decrease pollution and your carbon footprint, but it can also be good for your bank balance. 

Decrease meat and dairy consumption 

To the thrifty and vegetarian Bedans reading, this one’s music to your ears. Not only are meat and dairy harmful to animals, expensive, and unhealthy if taken at alarming rates, but livestock also emits methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.  

Opting for the healthier option, which involves eating fruit, fish, and vegetables, is a possible alternative while staying within the budget, protecting the environment, and maintaining good health. There are many products in the market whose costs are friendly to a student. By decreasing one’s meat and dairy intake, your whole world will go greener literally!  

Creating an advocacy  

If there’s one thing that every Bedan is proud of, it’s how the university remained steadfast in its advocacy infused with the spirit of volunteerism.  

SBU has etched its roaring mark in the community with how it has achieved a myriad of accomplishments to uphold the vision of creating a fully human, wholly Christian, truly Filipino, and globally competitive community. As her students, we can simulate our university’s practices by creating eco-friendly programs, finding partners to support our claim, keeping the premises clean, using social media to spread awareness, etc.  

As the well-known musical Hamilton conveyed, “Legacy is like planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” True enough, the future is unwritten. But this does not undermine our commitment to strive and to make a hopefully better tomorrow than it is today. Therefore, Bedan,s let us take matters into our own hands not because it is Earth month but rather of a sincere desire to answer the call, take proactive measures, restore the humanity of humankind, and save our home from despair.  

(With Gian Marcel Chiu)

Artwork by Mauri Fernandez