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Baguio Students Push For Mondays As Earth Day

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Students of Saint Louis University are proposing to make every Monday as “Earth Day” in the campus, where various initiatives geared towards protecting the environment will be undertaken.

Aileen Refuerzo, city chief information here, on Wednesday shared that the SLU students came up with the proposal during a city government-initiated event on eco-consciousness and sustainability lecture for college student-leaders from different universities in the city.

SLU’s proposal for every Monday as Earth Day will include shutting off lights and other electricity-consuming gadgets from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m., a 15-minute daily technology break to encourage socialization, which is also aimed to benefit health and wellness; establishments of bike parking areas for students and teachers; use of compost bins to produce compost soil for vertical gardens, which got a boost during the pandemic; and donation drive for used school uniform and education materials, including gadgets, to benefit younger students.

“They also proposed that each student bring their cutlery, food container, and water canister to avoid generating garbage of plastic or styro-based food packaging not just on Mondays but regularly as a contribution to the environmental protection and preservation initiative,” Refuerzo said.

Refuerzo said the students also suggested home-based environmental measures that include the mandatory bag labelling of segregated garbage, home gardens in compost bins, rainwater collection for household use, and the use of eco-friendly packaging materials such as woven leaves and homemade baskets instead of the plastic shopping bags, and installation of drinking fountains in villages for convenience and to minimize the use of bottled water.

The other proposals include the conduct of studies on starch and fish scales conversion to bio-plastics; use of activated charcoal for water filtration, anthocyanin from onion skin as edible food wraps to detect food spoilage, banana peelings as fire retardant, betel nut husk as adsorbent for chemicals, and biotech enzyme to degrade plastics for conversion into energy; and conversion of plastic and rubber wastes into asphalt, tin can into wheelchair or other household items.

She said the students will also start a petition for the adoption of their zero-waste activities in the communities.

The SLU leg of the lecture series is the last for the five academic institutions and was attended by about 400 student leaders.

The lecture series started last July and has tapped SLU, University of Baguio, University of the Cordilleras, Baguio Central University, and the University of the Philippines-Baguio.

“Each event produced different proposals and suggestions from students who came up with home, school, and community-based environmental protection schemes, projects, and proposals for possible adoption,” Refuerzo added. (PNA)

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