Friday, June 21, 2024

Cool for the Summer: Earth – Friendly Edition

by Keisiah Dawn Tiason | April 15, 2023

The sun is most awake during these days–it is summer time! March to May is Philippines’ Summer Season. Before the pandemic, people usually spend their vacation with sand between their toes and gentle waves. However, summer is now composed of normal school days. No beaches, no mountain-climbing, and no staycations, just tests and papers to submit. In Silliman, the campus beside the sea, the heat seems impossible to beat. 

It is natural during summer time to crave for cold drinks, sunscreen, fancy treats, and things to help forget the burning skin. But, students must still keep in mind their environmental responsibilities even during summertime. 

Here are some recommendations to achieve a guilt-free summer fun:

1. Use a Non–chemical Sunscreen.

Sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that pollute the environment and somehow do harm on the human skin. Though a typical sunscreen do protect the skin, ingredients like oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate, and parabens are actually not the best option. Mineral protections with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are way better for the skin, and for the environment. 

2. Choose fresh air over air-conditioning.

Air-conditioning harms the environment. It uses a lot of energy and is responsible for 3.4% of greenhouse gas emission annually. Its energy consumption creates pollution in the form of trapped gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, it causes a great increase in the electricity bill.

3. Prepare your own cold drink.

Buying cold drinks from stores and coffee shops is usually convenient, and preparing your own drink sounds like a lot of work. Making your own drink on the other hand means using reusable bottles and containers. It is also a great idea to invite friends over to help you make a smoothie, or just prepare one for each of them too.  Besides bonding with friends, you are being friendly to the Earth too. 

4. Consider a beach clean-up drive:

Find a friend with the same passion towards the environment, and organize a clean-up drive together! Beaches are home for many sea creatures, but as time passes these places become more and more polluted. Plastic bottles, picnic containers, sunscreen residue, and many more. Start by collecting the garbage from the shore, and segregate them properly. 

If this sounds like an enormous job, consider setting an example through making visual representations of how to segregate your wastes and put it beside the beach’s disposal area. 

5. Do not hoard swimwear.

Buy only if necessary. Hoarding swimwear, beach clothes, tank tops, and all other types of clothing is unsustainable. Too much clutter becomes impossible to keep or clean, and will result in disposal. Plus, the carbon emission of fast fashion production is of great concern. 

This summer fun, fashion, and skincare are essentials but so is the proper response to the call of being a responsible individual. Maintaining, preserving, and protecting the environment in our little ways favour not just humans, but also the other species. 


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