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close this bookIdeas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (IIRR, 1992, 146 p.)
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View the documentWorkshop to produce an information kit on the ideas for action
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View the documentSave, recycle and do not polute: basic principles of ideas for action

Save, recycle and do not polute: basic principles of ideas for action


Saving can be applied to almost everything, including energy, electricity, water, gasoline, food and resources. Saving does not mean hoarding, but instead means lessening consumption to a minimum. Maximizing efficiency and doing without the unnecessary are two ways to save so that there will be less need to exploit existing natural resources. The main idea is to maximize consumption rather than to save goods or money. Some actions that reduce consumption may save you pesos but some will not. Some of them will cost time or effort.


Recycling is an extension of saving and has many benefits. Instead of throwing an item in the trash, reuse it as much as possible or try to turn it into something useful. By recycling or reusing paper, for example, trees can be saved. Also, recycling a product consumes less energy and resources than producing a new product, so the savings is twofold. Recycling reduces the amount of refuse that goes into the dump, taking up space for decades and leaching harmful substances into the soil and water. Be warned, however, that some things are easier to recycle than others. Some Filipinos may say that we should not recycle since many scavengers derive their livelihood from the garbage. However, most people agree that scavenging is not a practice to be encouraged and that it is not the most efficient way to recycle refuse. If it were, Smokey Mountain would not be so mountainous.

Do not pollute

Minimize the pollution you produce, because some items cannot be recycled and must be disposed of. Avoid plastics and other materials that do not degrade rapidly. Even if properly disposed in a garbage dump, these materials will not degrade and will take up space for years. Eventually, the dump will be filled and another new dump site will have to be found. More importantly, avoid producing toxic refuse or emitting pollutants which are harmful to human health and to the environment. The effects of automobile emissions, pesticides and factory waste are obvious. However, seemingly harmless products can also be very damaging to human health and to the environment. For example, detergents and cleaning fluids poured down a household drain can end up in the water supply. These toxic substances can enter the human body, directly through drinking contaminated water, or through eating animal meats or seafoods that have absorbed these poisons into their system. Also, aerosol sprays contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), substances that deplete or destroy the ozone layer of the atmosphere. This results in increasing amounts of harmful solar radiation passing through the atmosphere and increasing the likelihood of human health problems, especially skin cancer. The easiest way to avoid these harmful pollutants is not to use products which contain these substances. However, this may prove to be harder than one might think.


Adapted from: Mynardo Macaraig. How Green is Your Home. Earth Station Writers and Artists Collective, Inc.

Quezon City. 1991

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit November 23 - 28, 1992