Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Earth Hour 2012

If ever I was given enough resources to really push for an advocacy, it will be on things that relate to taking care of the environment.  The thing is, I dread the day that our 'home' will no longer be able to support life as we know it.  And with the continuous ways of how we treat Earth nowadays, amplified that by how many humans there is now, the impact is amplified many times.

So I am equally proud to be working for a truly GLOBAL company which is said to focus some of its resources and efforts to an ORIGINAL and EXCITING PROGRAM dubbed as 'Go Green'.  In the Philippines, I am proud to have been part of the group who was part of its baby steps when it was relaunched in our company.  For almost two (2) years, I was the lead in organizing and planning for yearly activities and even did the budgeting (ehe, so it was a gazillion effort from my part including those numbers and all). Now on to the present.  I may not be the current lead now as I have handed it down to another good team in our group, but as long as my time permits, I lend my ideas to them (sometimes even force it ehe) on what activities can we launch to sustain the program.  And this year, I had this longing to make it good for Earth Hour 2012.

After many showers (yes, I do my thinking in the shower), I came up with plenty of line-up.  And after a few more brainstorming, we gave birth to a 'week-long' celebration of everything environmental which culminates with the Earth Hour last March 31.  Below was our calendar:

So what did we have for this year?  The general theme was 'actively participating' and we even tied it up with the concept that there are rewards for choosing the 'greener' options.

For Day 1, we had a Garbage Out Day where all departments were invited to take out their trash and segregate them.  We sent out judges to look into them and decide who is the winner.  The criteria focused on volume, segregation quality and housekeeping of the actual work area.  Guess what, I was a judge.

For Day 2, we dared something not DONE before.  We declared a NO SMOKING DAY in our facility.  With our workplace being a no-smoking zone, what else was done?  Well, launched a signature campaign to ask smokers to quit for a day for the environment and even cancelled access to all smoking areas for the day.  I'd say we were successful for majority as we had people who really signed up and even helped in campaigning for it.  Glad we did not have any 'confrontational issues' with any disgruntled smoker, ehe.  People who signed up were given token of appreciations.

Day 3 and 4 marked our 'Photo Campaign' initiative in support of the 'I Will, If You Will' campaign of the WWF (Earth Hour.org).  We invited people to change their social media avatar and even made a make-shift sign board for people to write down their commitments. Automatic tokens were given to those who participated and as of this writing, we are awaiting for the 'best pledge' award.

Day 5 was declared 'No Plastic Day' and we managed to engaged our canteen concessionaire to participate in our advocacy by removing all plastics such as bags, straws and cups for that day.  And we even asked them to change the menu by offering the Filipino traditional 'binalot'.  And to push it further, people who bought the meal were given tokens as well as those who went to buy their beverage and brought with them their own cups.

Day 6 was the highlight as we helped in disseminating the information to turn-off lights at the strike of 8:30 pm.  Our facility has been participating in this for almost 3 years now.

Here are some of photos I took had related to the event.  My family also participated and it has become a yearly thing for us too!
A sample of the Pinoy 'Binalot' meal wrapped in leaves and paper
Our HR Lunch buddies in full support --- NO PLASTIC for the day

I never had a 'good shot' of myself so I cropped my photo and focused on my pledge, ehe
And how was Earth Hour celebrated in the rest of the world?  Here are some photos from http://www.earthhour.org/media-centre/images click on the link for more of the photos. And yes, you will see great images and not just plain black boxes, teheee. (credits to the owners)

Madagascar --- cooking using the sun
Germany, i think.  I was too mesmerized with this great shot
Brazil, I think ehe...

Now that the 2012 Earth Hour is over, let us not go back to our wrong ways and really start doing something for the environment.  Earth Hour Australia is now even asking for us to commit what we will do beyond Earth Hour.  So, what's your take on this and what are you willing to commit for our planet?

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