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By Francis Ryan Pabiania | January 19, 2021

Silliman University Student Government Environment Committee (SUSG EnviroCom) urged the youth “to take a step forward” in amplifying information and action towards a zero-waste living even during a pandemic. 

“The youth of today is at the forefront of the climate phenomenon thus, we should also be at the forefront of environmental protection and conservation,” SUSG EnviroCom emphasized. 

Considering that there are many approaches or ways to achieve zero-waste, the committee emphasized that everyone should learn to embrace sustainability through zero-waste practices even in their homes and respective communities.

They also added that Sillimanians have to ‘embody’ the university’s effort towards a zero-waste campus and sustainability. 

“Start with yourselves and in ways most effective for you. You need not follow a certain standard because the road to zero waste is different for everyone,” the committee said.

Meanwhile, the committee decided to utilize online platforms, especially Facebook, in educating people not just about zero-waste but also on sustainable living, life on earth, significance of brand auditing, climate crisis and among other environmental practices and concerns.

Vice-Chairperson Merl Andrea Daarol, shared that they have to adjust to the demands online to continue their environmental missions. They are working to improve systems and projects to be implemented after the pandemic.

Coupled with the challenges of COVID-19, Daarol said that the country, especially in Dumaguete City, also needed to instill the importance of seas to communities. 

“As Sillimanians, we should also learn how to protect it (seas/environment). Blessed kaayo ang Negros ug beautiful beaches and it needs to be treasured. Tas dghan fisherfolks ga asa sa sea for livelihood nila. [Negros is blessed for having beautiful beaches, and it needs to be treasured. A lot of fisherfolks are dependent on the sea for livelihood] What are they going to do if the seas run out of fish because of too much waste and climate change,” she ended.

EnviroCom underscored the need for participation of all, especially the youth, in addressing the climate crisis. They said that the committee is among the youth organizations in Negros Oriental who “champion for environment.”

In celebration of the National Zero-Waste Month, the committee continued to strengthen its engagements with environmental organizations and conversations. 

According to Proclamation No. 760 s. 2014, January of every year in the Philippines is known as National Zero Waste Month; it aims to raise awareness about the zero waste advocacies in the country and promote systemic change.

Since last January 13, EnviroCom established a partnership with the Zero Waste Youth Negros Oriental’s line-up of events for the said nationwide celebration in advancing the zero-waste movement in the province. 

Several Sillimanians and EnviroCom joined the ongoing STORYAHANAY, a session talk series on Busting the Myths of Zero-Waste and Sustainable Living Amidst Pandemic, and the upcoming Zero Waste Youth Convergence on January 30.

The event is also in partnership with The NORSUnian, Association of Young Environmental Journalists, and Guihulngan Empowered Youth Towards Sustainable and Green Environment. 


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