Climate Change in the Philippines and What We Can Do About It

Climate change in the Philippines is a topic that is very easy to understand. We all know its effects. In the last 5 years alone, we’ve experienced worse natural calamities than the previous 5 years. Yolanda, Maring, etc.

However, climate change is something that a lot of Filipinos don’t think about in our daily lives.

We often tell ourselves, “it’s the government’s problem” or “I don’t know what to do.”

The topic only comes up when we experience something drastic like extreme flooding and super typhoons.

And that’s not how it should be. If we really want to do something about climate change, we don’t need someone else to worry about it, nor do something grand.

It only takes one person to make a difference.

And your small daily actions can and will have a long-term effect on mother nature — whether that’s a positive or a negative effect.

Small Daily Things You Can Do to Help Positively Effect Climate Change

1) Avoid using plastics and straws

Filipinos love drinking sodas. Everywhere you go, you’ll find someone selling soft drinks — from supermarkets, convenience stores, and sari-sari stores.

The most common and accessible are the sari-sari stores. When you buy soft drinks at sari-sari stores, they often put it in a plastic and put a straw for you to drink (because you often don’t stay there for long).

Then what do you do after drinking? You just throw it away. Hopefully in an appropriate recycling bin, but let’s be honest here. A lot of times, these plastics just get thrown on the streets.

These plastics either clog the waterways or end up in our oceans.

And not to mention it just makes the streets look ugly.

Pocholo Espina, founder and CEO of SIP Steel Straw, advocates Filipinos to stop using plastic straws. Espina believes in a zero-waste society where every individual lives sustainably through responsible waste management practices. Find our more about SIP’s advocacy on their website.

2) Bring your own reusable bottle or cup

We all love coffee. And often, we go to our favorite coffee shops and get our caffeine fix.

However, one of the downsides of our coffee enthusiasm is the waste that it produces. Even if these coffee shops are selling their reusable tumblers and cups, we often forget to bring them.

In addition, even the shops that moved away from using styrofoam cups to the biodegradable ones, they have a lining that prevents them from being recycled.

Take a look at this video:

Starbucks recently had a reusable cup campaign. Of course, they are getting something out of it, because you need to purchase something. But it’s just one of those things that remind people about climate change and how a single person can help contribute in their own ways.


3) Make Captain Planet proud

For those people who still remember Captain Planet, he often talks about the 3Rs — reduce, reuse, and recycle. That’s part of the entire message of the cartoon series. (please tell me you remember him!)

However, according to Lara Head Salaysay of KaLIKHAsan, the modern world needs more. She argues that the 3Rs are no longer sufficient.

Salaysay proposes to make it 5Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle, Rethink, and Refuse

Here’s a quick summary of the 5Rs:

  • Reduce. How can I decrease and eventually cut down the use of plastics?
  • Reuse. How can i maximize its lifespan?
  • Recycle. How can I repurpose this? Would anyone else benefit from this? 
  • Rethink. Do you really need it? Can you use it more than a hundred times?
  • Refuse. #RefuseSingleUse What are the other ways to minimize single use packaging?

4) Grow your own food at home

Growing your own food at home is fun, cool, doable, and fulfilling.

You don’t need a lot of things to get started. All you need to consider are the 5 things:

  1. Space. Figure out the size and location. This will tell you what kind of plant you can grow. Access to sunlight.
  2. Seeds. Choose the right seeds
  3. Soil. Type of soil because this affects the plant you are growing. If you choose the wrong soils for a plant, it won’t grow properly.
  4. Water. Be mindful of over-watering or under-watering your plants because this is often the cause of many plant diseases.
  5. Container. Big enough for the plant and has holes for water to flow out to avoid overwatering.


Be mindful of these small daily activities. They all add up to make a difference. 

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