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Spread environmental awareness. Spread love for our planet.

Once upon a time, in the outskirts of the beautiful Pasig River, a man threw out an empty PET bottle into the sea.

Little Johnny, circa 1900

This plastic bottle fancied to be called Johnny, a name he got from the back of a milk carton a few meters away from where he landed. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to befriend the aging Mrs. Milk Carton, since unlike our bida, her face is made of hard paper that goes overly-wrinkled in water and time. Nevertheless, he wasn’t dissuaded and started his floating career then and there.

It can go without saying that Little Johnny travelled the world. For a hundred years since he named himself, he got to see first the renowned Malacanang Palace, the mountain ranges of Cagayan Valley and Mayon Volcano the next, then the white sand beach of Baler. 

Truly, Philippines is Little Johnny's home country.

Overseas, he witnessed the Irish Dingle Peninsula, the Little Dix Bay in Puerto Rico and the 120-foot Christ structure in Rio de Janeiro among many others.

Just three of a thousand (and more) awe-worthy places of the world

As a child, Little Johnny met creatures whom he had the chance to travel with: a seal from the freezing cold of Antarctica, a 150-year old tortoise and a clown fish looking for his son, Nemo. He was amazed by the various stories his friends told him, as they are very different from the “bottled” life he’s living.

But it has been ages since he’s met a living organism; nowadays, he meets more of his kind: Styrofoam cups, half-eaten plates and lots and lots of plastic bags.

Oh, it wasn’t just his companions that changed throughout Little Johnny’s wandering years. Over time, he noticed that the sky grew a shade darker, rains that scratched his back painfully poured more often (he’s heard there’s such a thing as acid rains), and the sea where he spent most of his life wasn’t as clear as he first saw it.

The world is changing, and Little Johnny knew it. That is why when he heard of a place where his kind settles after years of floating, he vowed to arrive at that haven. Mountains and seas of plastic left by humans, he imagined..

One day, we would rule the world, said Little Johnny.

As of the moment, our planet is polluted with billions of little Johnnies all over, not to mention the enormous amount of plastic bags (or anything in plastic for that matter) that we use daily. And since plastic is non-biodegradable, it can live up to hundreds of years, even longer than the lifetimes of ten generations combined.  

These ordinary things that we took for granted had played a big role in deteriorating Mother Earth; for one, about 100,000 animals like dolphins, turtles whales, penguins are killed every year due to plastic bags.

Can you afford to kill, even inadvertently, such a heart-breaker?

So I asked, at this particular point of human civilization,

Do we really need to start looking for an Alter Space?

I, for one think there's still a lot of things we can do to save our planet. To embrace this obligation of taking care of our home won't be too much to ask, I hope?

And so goes what I believe is the most crucial step to saving Mother Earth. 

Step 1:


Going green is easy, but forgetting the very reasons for going green and reverting back to old habits are easier. To start with self and really BELIEVE this conviction is a solid foundation of going-green habits that hopefully would inspire other people.

I started my first step with this blog post.

And below are three easy-breezy things I think would make a good first step:

I. Watch Wall-E.

This movie, as endearing and touching as it is, also serves as a harsh manifestation of corporate consumer culture.

II. Join mass causes promoting environmental awareness.

Last March 26, millions of people took part in Earth Hour around the world. Now, I know there are a lot of people that are skeptic in this propaganda, what with the trivial amount of electricity that we can save in an hour compared to our massive electric consumption daily, but I think the major impact of this event is the collective commitment to an eco-future.

III. Try Alter Space.

Alter Space is the 1st Filipino environmental awareness game on Facebook.

It also has tips on conserving energy or lower-carbon emissions, best for kids and kids-at-heart who spend a considerable amount of time in the web, facebook in particular (a big e-hem to me).

Proud to be Pinoy!

Speaking of tips, here are 5 things I started doing for my going-green habits, you can do these too! And perhaps you can add some of your ideas in going green in the comment box below. =)
  1. I remind myself to always unplug electric appliances once idle.
  2. Reuse old plastic bags, bottles and just about anything that can still be reused.
  3. I walk rather than ride if i can help it (it's exercise too!).
  4. I read news in the internet rather than the bulletin which saved me 20 pesos a day and trees for paper production.
  5. And something I am quite proud of, I recycle!

Do you remember that Grade 5 Activity of bringing things to school that can be used as another object with a different function than the original? I do. There's actually something about the saying, "what I need to know in life, I learned in 5th grade", or something to that effect. I think they're talking about recycling. :))

Having said all this, I think I ought to tell you what happened to our Little Johnny, but I don't know. Between the Once upon a time and the We can rule the world stuff is Little Johnny's and our ancestors whereabouts a couple of decades ago. Though we know that one way or another, we've withered the plants and somehow participated on the planet's deterioration.

This wandering PET bottle story is one tale I wouldn't wish a happy ending for, at least for our bida.

But a happy ending for us, for a greener and healthier earth.

Parenthetically, the term Alter Space in the title is for alternative space, different from the Facebook game. 

Nostalgic with that ice cream commercial.

Laura & Steve first appeared here.