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Small steps, small changes for a greener planet!

I have always thought about ways to help the planet. Over recent months, I’ve seen stories in media about how much danger Earth and its inhabitants are in.

There’s the threat of climate change, which has been causing extreme weather events, including deadly monster storms and winters. There’s the plastics crisis, where single-use packaging that humans use out of convenience is left littering our land and oceans, never to break down in hundreds of years. There’s the degradation of the world’s ever-declining forest cover.

Pine trees in Baguio City

And so I’ve been looking for ways to contribute. There’s only one Earth, and the goal is to keep it liveable for as long as possible for future generations.

Some changes I’ve made are simple. I carry a reusable water container instead of buying bottled water at work. I bring my own spoon and fork to avoid having to use plastic ones during meals. I bring my own shopping bag when doing groceries.

And one more thing I added to my list of Earth-friendly tasks: I contribute to GCash Forest.

GCash Forest is a feature on mobile wallet GCash that allows users to plant trees at the Ipo Watershed in Bulacan just by using the app. That’s easy for me because I use GCash for almost all of my regular transactions: paying bills, transferring money to banks, buying load, even eating out and doing my groceries.

By frequent use of the app for transactions, GCash users earn green energy points. Upon earning enough points, users may choose a native tree to adopt. The sapling will be planted at the watershed, where GCash aims to plant 365,000 trees in a year, or 1,000 trees a day.

I have been working towards earning my first sapling, and hope to do that soon. I heard the first batch of trees have been planted at the watershed. I’m really hoping to plant my own yakal tree within the year.

One mindset shift that I think would help us appreciate and take better care of trees is by regarding them as pets. We all know how Filipinos love dogs or cats or whatever pet we have at home. If we could only give the same care and regard for trees as we do our pets—nurture them, help them grow, respect them—perhaps replenishing the world’s forest cover would be easier.

Think about it: if pets give us love, loyalty and laughs, trees give us the air we breathe, shade from the sun, lumber for shelter, even protection from landslides and storms. It boils down to giving trees the value they deserve. It’s really not that hard.

GCash Forest

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