#gerilenmbf: Saving Earth by Saving Pennies

With great power comes great responsibility, but no, we don’t need the ability to fly or become invincible. Sometimes, we just need to more sensitive in our surroundings and financial status.

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Global warming is real. The ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating while fruitless dry deserts are growing vast fast. .  The trees and sources of vegetation are getting fewer. What’s more? Wild fires are rampant, making vegetation and livable land barren and inhabitable.

The sea level is constantly rising; eating up shores and small islands along its way. The field of plants became factory plants; people are eating fake food – processed and instant.  The concrete jungle expands and reclaim areas not meant to be inhabited shooing away animals in the process and they are dying, heck, some are already extinct – Philippine Rhinoceros, Warty Pigs, Dwarf Bufallos, and Stegodon, to name a few.

Now that I am a mom of two, I refuse to cry in worry on the corner and die. Not without a fight! I want to fight back and save our Mother Earth by believing that just like how a small yet constant ripple could make a huge wave, how a domino with a push of a determined mommy finger can move hundreds, thousands of dominos in line, I, as a self-proclaimed environmentalist is still hoping for the best for our dearest Mother Earth.

 

When self-employment is not your choice. Ever since I graduated and passed the board, I was forced to be to a freelance designer. Well, having my post-heart surgery in my medical record and a lifetime blood disorder hinders me from entering the corporate life. It is a blessing in disguise for me as I can work while tending the house and rearing the kids. I also am grateful for having friendly (repeated clients) bosses, both foreigners and Filipinos.

 

But, freelancing can also be translated to isang kahig, isang tuka (one scratch, one peck) and I used to be a rich for a day and a beggar for the next six days. We have to adjust our lifestyles now that I am raising two kids of my own. Hence, I need to be smarter when it comes to our finances so I could stretch the peso bill as much as possible and make ends meet.

Sometimes, one plus one is one. I will never be a mathematician because I believe that one plus one is sometimes one – from finding lifetime love to fulfilling my mission to leave good footprints on Earth. No, I don’t need fame, and I apparently don’t have the money but I definitely have the perseverance to save Earth by saving pennies.

The air quality index in the metro is higher than the maximum safe level of total suspended particulates when measured in micrograms per normal cubic meter. How can children of my children enjoy life and appreciate nature when they go fishing and caught fishes with plastic microbeads on its digestive track? Will it still be possible to watch the beautiful sunset across the sea without the breeze of smog? How can they experience bathing in the rain when it’s already full of acid?

Answers to these questions are negatory, especially now that instead of picking fruits fresh from the tree, people are conditioned by big companies to microwave processed food claiming to contain real fruit extracts and bits.

No to Damsels in Distress. Superheroes are a blockbuster hit in the cinemas – subconsciously, we are longing for a powerful force to turn things around for the better without lifting a finger, but to be a woman in a field dominated by men, I learned to refuse to just look and see what happen. I have the capacity to analyze, to create and to make a difference, why just let it go to waste?

Saving Earth by Saving Pennies.

A Ripple Can Turn to Waves.

As for our household, we take advantage of the fact that they love superheroes & characters that makes a difference in spite of the mediocrity amongst them and using these references, Gerilen and jer sons are saving Planet Earth one penny at a time!

You don’t have to do grand things to end up with grand results. By simply incorporating good habits in our daily routine, we can surely make a difference. Here are some of our habits in saving Earth by saving pennies!

Segregate

Just like the process of segregation, it’s simply putting the same things in one place. In our household, we segregate everything as much as possible. Discarded papers are placed in a box to be used as scratch for manual computations. These are also where I make Kulayot practice his writing, after both sides are used, they are now piled as papers for pasting receipts for our BIR submission. We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

Recycle

Fruit seeds, veggie peels and other biodegradable that stray cats can’t digest (because we can’t afford to have pets yet, hence, feeding the strays) go straight to the plastic bucket that used to hold crispy fried chicken. Every day, the hubby take these out to be placed in our crude compose pit (a broken plastic basin – free organic fertilizers in the making.

15665935_1502245799788775_4028404500476329898_nFrom holding fried chicken, to white paint and now to biodegradable waste, we are happy to recycle this sturdy piece of plastic.15672550_1502245649788790_7038131936983427840_nOur crude compose pit with recycled ground coffee and fruit peels.

Did you know? According to Google: Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade! That’s a long time for even the smallest bottle.

Wine bottles become water jugs; plastic water bottles become mobile comfort for little gents nature call during traffic, we also use plastic bottle bottles as improvised trap for pests like roaches – simply spreading peanut butter inside makes an overnight success it could give you goose bumps.

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From time to time, we ask for free coffee grounds from our favourite albeit overpriced coffee shop and reuse them in our compose pit. We also use discarded banana-q sticks and plastic forks as our garden piko (pick mattock), plastic spoon as shovel when transferring seedlings to our tetra pack pots.

My babies didn’t get the chance to experience cloth diapers, so to make up for that, we use soiled (pee only) diaper gel as water retention in our garden to reduce our waste contribution and to less our water consumption in watering the plants. We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

Upcycle

Creativity is intelligence having Fun.

Plastic bottles can be upcycled as glitter bottles to settle toddlers during roadtrips. Instead of buying number stickers for Kulayot’s numbering of notebooks and books, the husband just cut out numbers from our wall calendar!

cocobank

We also use coconut husk as authentic coin bank – teaching them to be financially wise and environmentally friendly at the same time? Win -win! We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

Reduce

Instead of using plastic bags, we bring our own ecobags. What’s more? After reusing empty bottles as our mobile cr, we drain its content and with the rest of other discarded bottles, cut them in half. I’m a cheapskate and instead of buying fancy pots, I’m happy to say that we are reusing plastic bottles as plant pots, letting them hold life while they wait 450 years to disintegrate. It gives me the feels. Bittersweet.

Not just plastic bottles, we also updated our recycling program and gave tetra packs another reason to exist! Now, life is better for them than rot in a dumpster, or worse, clog the rainwater drainage or end up in the bottom of the ocean choking fishes and destroying coral reefs – the possibilities are endless and terrible. We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

There is no worse than Snicket’s attempt to retell the tales of the Baudelaire orphans, and still Violet, Klaus and Sunny make the best out of the resources they have (like serving Puttanesca sauce out of garlic, anchovies, tomatoes and pitted olives)  while doing their best in all their infamous unfortunate circumstances (but Count Olaf is insisting for roast beef). So with hope in our hearts, we’ll wait to see our ripple oscillate, became a wave and make a difference, too.

I do not know why superheroes wear their underwear on the outside but not all heroes wear capes and are able to fly, sometimes they just save pennies and save Mother Earth!

I am trying to save Gaia, ironically imagining myself like one of Rick’s half-bloods one candy wrapper in my pocket, one foodless plate on my table and a close tap while brushing my choppers at a time. Of course it’s not enough. My only consolation is that, my kids as early as now are aware of their responsibilities in keeping our planet livable and at least, while trying to save Earth, we surely are saving pennies!