The Switch: A Guide on Transitioning to Sustainability

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The Switch

Early April of this year, scientists standing up for a rally and protesting blasted the news. I got caught up on this issue when I was scrolling through Facebook and shared posts about the “Scientist Rebellion” that flooded my feed. Naturally, I was curious why there would be a global stand; an estimated 1,000 scientists took part from different parts of the world.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, announced a report alerting that the current minimal efforts to reverse global warming to 1.5ºC by the end of the century will not be enough to avoid extreme environmental disasters in the future. Thus, in the 3 to 5 years, there will be the demise of our coral reefs, worse weather patterns, and a catastrophic rise in sea levels.

The previous target (1.5ºC) set in the Paris Agreement was the rallying cry with scientists declaring that climate revolution should be done now.

NASA Scientist Peter Kalmus along with his colleague in front of the JP Morgan Building in Los Angeles. (Photo by: Scientist Rebellion)

The scientific community was concerned especially with the minimal efforts that everyone has done to work on the world’s environmental concerns including Nasa Scientist, Peter Kalmus, who chained himself in a JP Morgan Chase Building in Los Angeles, and three other colleagues on April 6. JP Morgan Chase was revealed to be a major funder in terms of fossil fuel projects in a report in 2020 by Sierra Club

. “It is now the eleventh hour and I feel terrified for my kids and humanity”,

Peter Kalmus, NASA Scientist

The authorities arrested the said scientists for refusing to vacate the area. Meanwhile, seven more were arrested for chaining themselves to the White House Fence.

Their plea is for President Joe Biden to take immediate and more effective action toward the climate crisis; the same protests were also done in Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, a month after the protests, it seemed like only a handful were deeply affected and were alarmed.

Transition Troubles

Around 5 years ago, I have tried doing the ‘switch’. By that time, I stayed in the Metro for 2 years. The reason for that ‘short-lived switch’ was fueled by my concerns about how we were preserving our natural resources.

I was at my grandfather’s hometown in Quezon Province, Philippines, a serene town near the sea. In my entire life, that’s the best beach I’ve ever seen; with its pristinely white & fine sand, the waters clearer and bluer than the sky, and a healthy ecosystem of mangrove trees thriving in the area.

At that specific moment, as the cold seawater touches my feet, I realized how beautiful this world is. Soon after though, thoughts about losing this beaut suddenly took upon me.

With the alarming concern with climate change and waste pollution, it might be in the nearer future when we cannot even appreciate or enjoy our natural resources. That was when I realized that I should make a change.

I first heard about the zero-waste lifestyle movement through a Facebook Group. Like-minded individuals who also are changing into a more sustainable lifestyle were also sharing their stories on one digital platform. And in all fairness, by joining that digital community, I’ve learned how we, every day, contribute to waste and produce our carbon footprints.

Bought a steel straw to stop using disposable plastic straws, and said no to plastic bags in favor of reusable Eco bags. I remember not purchasing on rare occasions if the seller uses plastic to pack their food.

But you see, it was, difficult, and overwhelming to be honest. There were times when I’d get weirded-out stares when I used my steel straw or reusable food containers, some of my holy grail beauty products aren’t eco-friendly, to say the least, finding commercial products & brands that promote sustainability are one-in-a-million.

And with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, I stopped using reusables altogether due to safety and health reasons.

Switch to Sustainability

Going back to the issue on the Scientist Rebellion, it has bugged me since then and sparked an idea with me on how I can help with the ongoing crisis and reevaluate the shortcomings that made me halt my previous goal of doing a sustainable lifestyle. Thus, the birth of ‘The Switch Campaign’ would chronicle a beginner’s transition and relearn what a sustainable lifestyle is.

At People Helping People, we are starting this campaign to better assess how to shift to an eco-friendly approach in life while making it sustainable and long-term.

We’d like to make the “switch” more convenient, welcoming, and easier for everyone who’d like to start their shift. This time, we’d also like to seek your help and hear your stories on how you could do your everyday life with zero waste and how you get to lessen your carbon footprint, even your struggle stories, and how we as a community can work on this together.

With the ongoing environmental crisis, living sustainably is the only way now. If you have any ideas or tips on leading a sustainable lifestyle, drop them in the comments below!

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