Friday is Earth Day, but given how sick our planet is, we should try to make every day Earth Day.
This year’s theme, Trees for the Earth, is extremely timely and appropriate. We have been suffering high temperatures caused by El Niño. In Mindanao, the drought led to the violent dispersal of hungry farmers. Mount Apo and one or two other mountains burned because vegetation had dried up.
Experts warn the situation will continue for a few more months.
In urban centers, we cut down trees for the sake of development and replace them with high-rise buildings. We convert forests into croplands and other agri-forest enterprises.
This year, Earth Day starts the countdown to its 50th anniversary by launching a campaign to plant 7.8 billion trees.
Among other things, trees help combat climate change by absorbing harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They clean the air we breathe by absorbing odors and pollutant gases and filter particulates by trapping them on their leaves and bark. They provide food, energy and income.
As consumers whose lifestyles have contributed significantly to unsustainable economic growth that increased consumption of fossil fuels and deforestation, we should try to do more aside from planting trees.
We can patronize green products and support green businesses. “A green economy not only protects ourselves and our planet, but can provide millions of jobs as we develop and install new technologies, rebuild and retrofit buildings, and devise new processes and modes of production,” the Earth Day website says.
We can also use our daily commute to help Mother Earth. By biking, using public transport and car-sharing, we can help lower emissions that destroy the ozone layer, which protects earth from the sun’s harmful rays. Let us demand efficient public transport and biking- and walking-friendly cities.
We can also plant trees and help generate more oxygen for congested cities even if space is limited. Container-planting, vertical gardening and other techniques have been developed for small spaces. Even fruit-bearing trees can now be grown in containers.
If you want to join the global campaign to re-green our environment, you may want to visit the joint annual show of the Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. (BSAPI) and the Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines, Inc. (CSSPI) on April 29-May 9 at the Quezon Memorial Circle’s Hardin ng Mga Bulaklak (near the entrance facing East Avenue) in Quezon City.
The show will feature commercial exhibits, where you can buy not just plants but gardening materials and supplies. You can also ask experts about propagation to ensure that the plants you buy will survive and flourish.
This year’s BSAPI theme is “Leveling up with the Black Scissors Society,” whle CSSPI’s theme is “Cactus Craze.”
Lecture-demonstrations will cover Basic Care of Cactus and Succulents for Beginners and Grafting, Advance Bonsai Styling and Penjing, Basic Bonsai, Advance Bonsai, Penjing, Suiseki and Bonsai Accents, Care of Succulents in the Tropics and Hypocotyl Grafting, Suiseki Basics, Stapeliads and Other Succulents, Cactus Uses and Benefits, All about Lithops and Mesems and Growing Cacti from Seeds, The Art of Tray Landscaping of Succulents and Cacti, and Succulents Mutation through Gamma Irradiation.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax no. 8974793/94; or e-mail [email protected]