MANILA, Philippines- In observance of Earth Day on Tuesday, the environmental group Ecowaste Coalition issued 100 "green tips" on how earthlings could help cool the planet and address the problem of climate change.
Using a "bayong" (woven buri bag) when shopping or cutting short your shower time may be your share in protecting Mother Earth, the group said.
The group's practical suggestions included tips on saving energy, conserving water, traveling wisely, and shopping smartly.
"These tips are potent strategies for preventing greenhouse gas emissions that every individual and household can emulate," said Manny Calonzo, Ecowaste Coalition president.
Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere necessary to maintain the earth's temperature. Like the glass roof of a greenhouse, they trap solar heat. Excessive greenhouse gases can raise a planet's temperature to deadly levels.
Here are some of the group's tips:
* Set your refrigerator temperature at 5 degrees Celsius. Leave sufficient room around the top and back to let the heat escape.
* Unplug your computer, television, stereo, microwave, cell phone charger and other electronic appliances and gadgets instead of just turning them off.
* Avoid air purifiers and fresheners as well as insect repellents that plug into electric outlets.
* Use the 'padyak'
* Choose a dual-flush toilet, allowing users to select a big or minimum flush as needed.
* Shorten your shower time, turn off the tap when soaping and don't use more water than you need.
* Walk, cycle or use public transportation such as the "padyak" (pedicab), mass railway transit, river ferry, and non-belching tricycles, jeepneys and buses.
* Organize a car pool.
* Avoid aggressive driving as rapid acceleration and braking can decrease gas mileage.
* Fresh foods better
* Buy fresh instead of processed foods, which require more energy to produce, starting from extraction, manufacturing, transport, advertising and marketing.
* Don't use straws for drinks and shakes.
* Use your mobile phone or your personal digital assistant (PDA) to read e-books. Conventional deadtree books need to be bleached by chemicals and shipped from across the globe.
* Read your daily dose of news on the Web.
Echoing the findings of a United Nations panel, Calonzo said from 1.1 to 3.2 billion people would experience water scarcity while 200 to 600 million would go hungry due to climate change.
An erratic weather pattern in the Philippines could translate into more humid and scorching summers, elevated sea levels and food shortages as droughts and floods ravage agricultural lands, Calonzo said.
He said that by living simply and following the "green tips," one could help decrease the demand for fossil fuels and curb the depletion of trees and, along the way, reduce the production of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
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