I don’t know why, how or when it started exactly. I guess it had something to do with age and how supposedly we mature more and become wiser as we get older. But one thing I noticed about myself is that I get more and more conscious about everything that’s happening around me. Maybe it has something to do with watching news everyday with my parents. I used to abhor watching the news, but sometimes I find myself even Googling it especially when I want answers or I want to be updated with certain issues. Maybe it’s also the wonders of technology and how I’m easily updated with the latest headlines and trends. But whatever it is that happened to me, I’m glad it did.
One particular thing that changed about me was how I suddenly care so much more than I used to about the environment. In high school, we were taught to use recycled paper to save more trees. And through the years, I really appreciated professors who asked us to print our essays or stories on recycled paper. Because of the early training, I’ve learned how to maximize the use of papers be it in school or at home. With me, clean bond papers go through three stages. The first stage is when I print something on one side. Once the paper has been submitted, checked, graded and returned, I then use the other side of the paper for a new essay. It doesn’t have to be for the same subject–it can be for any! Most professors don’t mind this, especially if you ask. This is the second stage. The third stage is when the second paper has been submitted, checked, graded and returned, I either: cut it in half and use it to wrap used sanitary napkins OR use the paper as Booboo’s “toilet bowl” or to pick up his poop. This also applies to my readings. By the end of the school year, I collect and sort out all of my readings for school. If I know it’s something I can lend or pass down to other students, I keep them. But if not, I apply my stages until I maximize the use of all these papers. Another thing I do is I also use newspapers as gift wrappers. I just decorate it or use ribbon so that it looks presentable. I think it really hit me when I rode the plane to Boracay and saw how Manila looked like from up in the sky. Instead of seeing a few green lands here and there, all you see is concrete! It’s not a pretty sight at all!
When it comes to shopping, I’ve made a few changes as well. Ideally, I bring a cloth bag with me where I can put all my purchased items to refrain from the tinderas using plastic bags. But in most cases where I forget to bring a cloth bag, the plastic bag from the first store I usually buy from becomes my cloth bag and there I can put all the other items I buy after. It saves you from carrying too many bags, and it helps save the environment as well. What I do with the plastic after? Use it as a trash bag for the trash can in my room, as a laundry bag for my disc clothes after training or games, or as a shoe bag for my cleats!
I’m not saying that everyone should start applying my Three-Stages-of-How-to-Recycle-Papers or use a cloth bag when shopping. But there are so many little things we can do to help our environment. Many of us may not think or believe it, but even the smallest and most minute acts do matter. Yesterday upon listening to the homily, the priest talked about Pope John Paul II and how each and every one of us are capable of becoming saints. And in achieving this, we only need to start with the small, simple deeds. What we need to remember? That it’s never too late to start.