By: Hanna Nel P. Inocencio
Kofi Anan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations often quotes this African proverb that says, “The world is not ours, the earth is not ours, it’s a treasure we hold in trust for the future generations”, aiming that the humanity will be dignitary of the credence they have given to us.
Did you know that destroying the environment can easily bring a negative impact in our lives? According to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), 92 % of people worldwide do not breathe clean air. Did you ever know how dangerous is that to our health? Now more than ever, calling the presence of the youth nowadays is what essentially needed predominantly the students that entail knowledgeable learnings on how to take care of the Earth. How about you? How about the Rizalians? Are you ready to fight and save our Mother Earth?
World Environment Day serves as an avenue reminding us of all the sacrifices that Earth has given to us and everything that we should be doing to protect and preserve it. Therefore, we have come up with a list of 10 Student Goals to save the Earth in simple ways. Rizalians can easily contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals #13 “Climate Action”, #14 “Life below Water”, and #15 “Life on Land “through these following actions:
1. Eliminate Waste from Lunches
ELIMINATE! Tired of seeing some piece of plastic and paper around the campus? What a waste?! Why not pack some veggies and fruits in a lunch box instead of buying in convenience stores? Isn’t it healthier that way? Buying bottled water and cold drinks? Why not try bringing your own mug or tumbler? That way, we can save money; we can be healthier, and; we can help the environment.
2. Stop Littering
STOP! Trash cans or trash bins are all around the campus. It is not that difficult to throw your candy wrapper in one of them, right? If there are no trash bins available, why not keep it first in your bag and throw it afterwards?
3. Reduce Paper Consumption
Papers, papers, papers! Done with the paperwork? Don’t throw your notes away! You can use it for re-printing an essay or article or even for some artwork! This won’t bite. Trust us!
4. Save Electricity
OFF! Turn off the lights if not in use. Unplug your electronics if not in use. Turn off the air conditioning units if it’s not needed. Just turn them off and unplug them, will you? You know how it works.
5. Save Water
DO NOT overuse water. Use it if needed. Got some used water? Water the plants with it. Plants have unique filtration capabilities to recycle water and turn it into its own food. Know that process? Yeah, partner it with carbon dioxide and sunlight and you’ll get photosynthesis, which by-products will give you clean water and fresh air.
6. Swap Regular School Supplies
FOR AN ECO FRIENDLY ONE! If our school supplies are not used anymore, why not try to donate it to the needy instead of throwing it right away? You’ll not just help the environment, but also the youth and the society.
7. Bring Reusable Bags to the Grocery Store
PLASTIC AGAIN! If you’re going to buy something in any store, why not try using reusable bags instead of buying plastic? In that way, you can help lessen pollution and waste in our nation! Invest in Eco-bags!
8. Walk to School or Take a Bike, Avoid Taking Cars or Carpool When Possible
TOO MUCH POLLUTION, LET’S BEAT IT! Gases that are coming from the vehicles are also dangerous to our health. If it’s possible to walk to the University, why not try it? You’re not just helping the environment, but you’re also exercising a healthy lifestyle!
9. Download an Environmental App
DOWNLOAD! Any environmental application can be your guide to save and fight for the betterment of the environment. This will be your tool to gain knowledge about how significant our environment is! HELPING+LEARNING!
10. Start an Environmental Club or Join to Different Conferences that tackles Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
START AND JOIN! Student perspectives are important in the society as they are entitled as the key for success. Collaboration and Engagement is what we really need. We need to grow and learn. Model United Nations is an avenue where delegates from need to be cognizant and mindful seeking a vital solution for the unstoppable issues that are propagating all over the nation.
As part of José Rizal University’s mission to develop our students to be useful and responsible citizens, we encourage our students to join organizations and programs that focus on environmental causes such as the Youth for the Environment Student Organization (YES-O) for Junior High School, Science Club for Elementary School and the Go Green! Campaign of the College Central Student Council, the Graduate School Student Council, and the Administrative and Human Resource Office. Moreover, The Community Development Office works together with academic division in facilitating tree-planting activities and clean up drives among others.
The environment has totally shown love and care to the humanity. Our beloved Earth is not just the one that must work but also the people inhabiting it. What is given can be taken. Let’s not forget that Earth is giving us life. Take care of it and it will continue paving prosperity; neglect it and it will wreak havoc upon us all. You know what’s right or wrong. You understand what’s good or bad. All you got to do is to act upon it. Let’s all work hand-in-hand for Mother Earth.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Global Goals by 2030 stands as the platform to solve multifaceted issues across the globe embraced by all United Nations Member States last September 15, 2015. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides compelling call for action by different countries all over the world prospering a global partnership. The SDGs were established in order to end poverty and other indigence that must go through with strategies that empower health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth .Additionally, tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests and conserve the environment. Based on a research conducted by the United Nations (UN), three years has already passed but the pace of progress is still uneven (UN, 2018). Hence, environment engagement must be empowered, teaching the youth and students how to be responsible in taking good care of the environment.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) annually organizes events for World Environment Day, which encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. As we celebrate this magnanimous event, we must educate the student on how to save the Earth for the future generation. They must light the candle and bring happiness to the world. They must walk to lightness and bring prosperity to all .Keep in mind that we should be celebrating our planet not just for one day!