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Calling on all bloggers! Help make a difference by simply adding the 350 challenge badge on your blog. It is called the 350 challenge because their goal is to offset 122,500 lbs. of carbon of the first 350 bloggers to submit on their site. That means, when you post their badge on your blog, they’ll offset 350 lbs. of carbon in your name. 🙂 Isn’t that just COOL?350 Badge

Let’s face it, reducing our carbon footprints on our own is somewhat very, VERY challenging. Humans, being creatures of habit, makes it almost impossible to reduce our current carbon footprints if we don’t make a conscious effort now. Even with the dedication and focus, there’s only so much we can reduce. Unless you want to fall off the face of the earth and not use any of our creature comforts like electricity, I commend you for being so supportive of Mother Earth. But seriously, that is not too realistic so every little thing helps. 350 lbs. of carbon is like using your car for two weeks. So, I say, yes, it could really help.

What they don’t make painstakingly clear on their website is that they’ll offset 350 pounds of carbon for THE FIRST 350 people who submit their sites (I had to find this out on the website). It also doesn’t say how many people have already submitted their blogs but since it’s a relatively new campaign, they can always change the rules at some point. I’m hoping they do.

After a few clicks, what I found was even more rewarding. I learned about and Brighter Planet. Check them out! Brighter Planet uses credit card points to fund and support renewable energy products while 350 is an organization that is campaigning for awareness. They want the word to spread out that we need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 387 ppm (parts per million) to 350 ppm to avoid any more drastic climate changes. Since we currently increase 2 ppm each year, this means we have to stop adding to our carbon footprints now and start reducing it.

Every little thing helps! I may or may not have been able to make the first 350 bloggers to post the badge, but the things I learned because of posting it here is even more invaluable to me. It has spurred me to write and help spread the word. As James Thurber once said: “Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” So let’s stop laying blame or give up on our future, let’s use the awareness we gather and move forward. Reduce our carbon footprint now.

TEACH... meditating

Do you have a friend that you’ve seen on and off through the years but when you see each other again it was like you just spoke yesterday? That’s how it is with my Teach… our pet names for each other because when we met, he was teaching me all the *uhm…* “ways” of the internet world. While I, on the other hand, taught him how to live life outside the confines of his monitor. Well, not actually taught him… more of reminded him that there’s still life outside the internet. Luckily, he fell in and out of love during the years I’ve known him and at times when I was almost ready to give up on him ever going to have a life outside the internet. Oh, how I praised the heavens!

He’s a character in more ways than one. Always striving towards perfection in every endeavor he chooses to pursue… and brags about it! LOL! He has every right to do so as do anyone who has accomplished so much on their own. He deserves a pat on the back every time he does something commendable because he really does pour his heart out whenever he does something. Like right now, he’s into photography. He’s like a boy with a new toy during Christmas morning. He’s spending every free time he has to honing his photography skills. He has also given me his word that he’ll be my official photographer for this site. He knows I am going to hold him up to his word. I know he won’t disappoint me.

The photo above was taken with Teach’s new toy during his honeymoon in Cambodia by his lovely wife, Lorena Croft. Who, by the way, I believe with all my heart has THE EYE for photography (I’d tease him that she is more talented than him… and he hates it). He’s such an affirmation-whore. LOL! But that is what makes him my Teach.

Despite our friendship, there were times when I wasn’t such a great friend to him. I fell short of being a friend during my “dark phase”. I forgot those who were close to me, those who truly cared and he was one of them. Yet, he never judged, even when he tried to reach out and was shunned by me. He knew me well enough to know that I always considered him one of my best friends and I would reach out to him when I’m ready.

This entry is dedicated to him simply because he has been elemental to this site. He has always encouraged me throughout the years to keep writing and berated me when he found out I stopped. He threw my excuses unto the ground and stomped on them, refusing to accept. Thanks, Teach. Throughout the years, you have remained a true friend. Even through the miles, you still managed to teach me a thing or two. I am eternally grateful to have you as my friend.

Isn’t it great that there are establishments out there that are really thinking and doing things out of the box? The Bronx Zoo, an advocate to wildlife preservation and education has a really cool restroom in their midst. Here’s the video of what they are doing:

New York City has one the biggest per capita water usage in the United States. So, every big or small effort in conserving water can make a huge impact. What they do not say in this video is that the toilet system was installed by Clivus Multrum Inc., a manufacturer of composting toilets and greywater irrigation systems and that it cost US$1.6M to install. I really don’t know if it was billed to the zoo but from what I know, it was the Wildlife Conservation Society who commissioned the work to Clivus Multrum.

I don’t really see it becoming a trend any time soon. The fact is it costs a lot to implement and it is difficult to go about and redo the plumbing of every existing building in New York. Plus, everything that goes down the drain or the toilets has to be non-toxic. It’s just not that realistic to get every household to change their cleaning materials and habits now. But it’s a start.

I came across a lot of blogs that are numb with the progress of eco-friendly technologies today. They think that the politicians only found a new platform to use in their campaigns and speeches. They’re usually people in their 50’s and up. I can’t really blame them because it was their generation that started the whole think green, save mother earth thing (you know, the hippie movement back in the 60’s?) and they do not have much to see now. I bet there were a lot of them who eventually just gave up and caved in to the daily routines of life. But it’s this very same generation that paved and are paving the way for us now. There are those who never gave up and as a result, awareness is here, it’s broad, and it’s unavoidable. Everywhere we go, we are constantly reminded of going green.

These eco-restrooms are just but one of the great technologies out there that can start helping mother earth today. The least I can do as an individual is to prepare for these toilet systems in case it comes my way any time within my lifetime (please let it be soon). The best thing to do is to avoid toxic cleaning materials in my own home. Which I have started, by the way. I used a combination of lemon (or lemoncito in our native tongue) and baking soda to clean my washing machine, stove, oven and refrigerator. It works like a charm and smells really great too. For more non-toxic cleaning ideas, go and visit Care2‘s website. Let’s start doing our part now!

The Search

Credits to the design of the blog entry:

Grass Brushes –
Old Paper Brushes –
Tree Brushes –


I wrote this poem in October 10, 1999.

Everyday is a Tropical Day

May 2008


Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge