Along with being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, the Philippines is also one of the most Eco-friendly countries in the world. Recycling is hugely promoted, along with re-using materials to avoid garbage (creates jobs too), and several initiative and recovery programs provided by the United Nations Development Programme. One project the UNDP is working on is the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of the Bohol Islands Marine Triangle (BMT). This cluster of islands provides a deep sea migratory passage for whales, dolphins and countless fish and wildlife. This project protects this area from pollution and damage. Several projects provided by the UNDP are underway. To read more about them, visit here. Here are some more sustainable things happening around the Philippines, all of which I am totally inspired by. Enjoy!
Jeepney: The most popular form of public transportation in the Philippines is also one of the most sustainable. They are US military jeeps left over from World War II, which were sold to the Philippines at the end of the war. Their insides were then stripped down and designed to seat several passengers, the outsides were decorated. The result? Really awesome forms of public transportation. There have been several generations of Jeepneys, with air conditioning, large seating capacities, chrome roofing, there are even electric Jeepneys or E-Jeepney. These electrically powered vehicles (which last for about 8 hours between charges) first hit the streets of Manila and Makati City in 2007. Most Jeepneys are no longer made from the original WWII jeeps, but they are made from second-hand Japanese buses. A terrific (and fun) example of re-use.
Tetrapak Bags: This is a recycling phenomenon that's been happening all over the world and especially in the Philippines. Recycling tetrapaks and turning them in to wallets, bags, purses, etc. is not only a terrific way to reduce waste, it also creates jobs. Tetra Pak has also created a program in the Philippines called Care & Share. The Care & Share program puts recycling bins in local schools and encourages kids to fill them up, instead of the trashcans. Whichever school recycles the most wins! A fun and competitive way to promote recycling.
"Dine-In-On-A-Plate": This is something I love! Its a very simple move towards sustainability and easily adaptable. Some fast food restaurants in the Philippines offer a dine-in-on-a-plate option to cut down on plastic and Styrofoam use. How can we do this in the U.S.?
If you're visiting or traveling throughout the Philippines, you can also visit one of their many green hostels, hotels and spas. If you know of other ways the Philippines is keeping green, let us know! Until then.