Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Green Building: A Game Changer by Florserfina Guisadio-Tañada*

            Sustainability is the new "buzz word" in the world of environmental advocacies. Thus, proposal on new development projects aiming to provide a better and effective way of consuming our natural resources is now being launch globally. Developers from other countries are now realizing the benefits of sustainable building and the opportunity of increasing the value of their assets as time goes by. 
According to the Emirates Green Building Council,  "sustainable buildings can save about 20 per cent of their energy bill through low-to-no-cost measures alone, that all pay back within 12 to 18 months with an internal rate of return upwards of 40 per cent".  Thus, sustainable buildings are beneficial to consumers and businessmen, as well as to our environment.
            One of the main proposals in Green Building is the use of renewable energy, such as solar energy panel. Solar power is one of the unlimited energy sources that we can take advantage of to reduce our carbon footprint. There are different types of solar power cells that will fit perfectly to the needs and requirement of an individual. These include crystalline silicone, ordinary silicon cells, thin film cells, and concentrator cells.

         Another proposal is on water conservation. It is emphasized that the protection of water supply should be considered when planning the life of the building. Builders should consider providing waste water treatment and water recycling units. It is also suggested to utilize low or ultra low-water-efficient plumbing fixtures and integrate other water-saving devices into buildings. Reducing water consumption and maintaining the high quality of water in buildings are key objectives of a sustainable design.

          The use of rapidly renewable materials, such as bamboo or cork flooring, is also one of the considerations in Green Building, for they have high recyclable contents. Using locally harvested and/or manufactured raw materials are highly recommended by Green Building advocates. This is to reduce the amount of energy needed to transport materials to the construction site.
               We are inevitably at the forefront of an environmental battle as we suffer the effects of our own trashes. The effects of nature's wrath caught the whole world unprepared, and we are rushing to find ways to appease the nature. Green Building is indeed a step forward, a game changer, in the environmental battle we are currently living in. Let us move, while we still can.

* Florserfina Guisadio-Tañada is a MENRM student

Using 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle): A Personal Experience by Isaac T. Abello*

Waste segregation is a habit forming action.

Based on my experience, change in mindset and tons of discipline are the key factors in a successful waste management.

I conducted a one-month waste segregation activity in our house last 2006. Before proceeding with the activity, I gathered a baseline of our average waste generated per day for a week. We average roughly 5 kilograms of garbage per day. These include kitchen refuse, bottles, cans, plastic containers, broken glass and plastics, dry leaves in our lawn, used papers and cartoons, sanitary napkins, and used toilet papers.
We followed the segregation scheme below:

The process of segregation is done early in the morning around 6 to 7 am. Each segregated garbage materials are weighed differently. This is to determine how much recyclable, reusable, compostable and residuals are generated daily.  Recyclables are being sold to scrap buyers roaming around the village.

Plastic containers
New papers
Kitchen refuse
Sanitary napkins
Glass jars
Used papers
(not wet)
Dried leaves and twigs on lawns
Used tissue
Old clothing
Broken plastic chairs and toys
Barbecue sticks
Used cottons

Tin cans

Used cotton buds

Broken glass

Used plastic bags

For the first week of implementation, it was exciting and tolerable. However, as the days go by, boredom and exhaustion sipped in. There goes the discipline that garbage segregation requires and so is patience.

I employed all the patience and discipline I have in order to reach that self-mandated rule for a month segregation.  Finally, I did it. The results were self-gratifying. Out of the average 5 kilograms garbage we generated per day, the garbage collectors are collecting around 10 percent, or 500 grams waste daily. These are the residuals, the garbage that can never be composted and reuse. This means that only 500 grams of our garbage go to the landfill of Iloilo City.

After that month of segregation, it is clear to me that a sense of accountability in our actions is what we need to implement the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). The system I adopted was all about forming a daily routine to have cleaner household surroundings in an ecologically sound manner.

By doing waste segregation diligently, I think it is possible that we can reduce our garbage generated every day.

We might not also see mountain-like landfills any more, or probably we can have a zero waste planet.

If all of us will be doing garbage segregation as part of our daily habit, I think we might have a greener environment. Possibly, we might not encounter “Ondoy-like floods again”.

* Isaac Abello is a MENRM student 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The UPOU Earth Ambassadors from The Learning Place held Hataw sa Kalikasan 2, An Eco-Storytelling Festival, on December 11-12, 2012 at the UP Los Banos Baker Hall. The theme of the event was Hataw sa Kwentuhan, mga kwentong may kwenta para sa kalikasan. The cast of characters for the storytelling were composed of the UPOU Earth Ambassadors from The Learning Place.

UPOU Earth Ambassadors from Dayap Elementary School also attended and participated in the event.
This is the second time that the UPOU Earth Ambassadors organized Hataw sa Kalikasan. The first Hataw sa Kalikasan was a concert for the environment which was held last year (http://www2.upou.edu.ph/component/content/article/78-news-2011/607-upous-fmds-co-organizes-a-concert-for-a-cause).

Dean Inocencio E. Buot, Jr. gave the opening remarks for the event. He expressed his happiness and pride in empowering “the little ones to think creatively and initiate in solving urgent environmental concerns in the community.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FMDS to Offer 4 New Degree Programs

The University of the Philippines Board of Regents recently approved four new degree programs proposed by the UP Open University's Faculty of Management & Development Studies  – the Diploma and Master in Land Valuation Management, and Diploma and Master of International Health.
The Diploma and Master of Land Valuation Management programs address the need for high quality valuation education that is accessible to private and government valuers and property managers throughout the country and elsewhere in the world. The Diploma program also targets those wishing to enter the valuation and property management profession. The MLVM program hopes to develop a perspective of land valuation and management for sustainable development. The DLVM and MLVM programs are ladderized so that DLVM graduates may continue to the MLVM program.
As most of the international health programs offered by universities in the Asia Pacific Region focus heavily on communicable and non-communicable disease control, the Diploma in International Health (DIH) and the Master of International Health (MIH) programs are envisioned to give equal emphasis to health promotion and health systems development. To be offered by FDMS, both programs are intended for entering and mid-career health professionals who are looking for graduate-level education and training that will prepare them for supervisory work in government health departments, local and international non-government organizations engaged in health and development work. The MIH program is particularly relevant to those who would like to pursue an academic career in international health.
These programs will be offered in the first semester, AY 2012-2013. For inquiries, please contact the UPOU Information Office at info@upou.edu.ph or the FMDS at fmds@upou.edu.ph. (with report from Anna Cañas)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

International Year of Forests at Kamalayang Kalikasan Blog Ilulunsad

Sa ika-3 ng Marso, 2011, ilulunsad ng Faculty of Management & Developmnent Studies (FMDS) ng UP Open University (UPOU) ang International Year of Forests (IYF) sa UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna.

Pasisinayaan ito ni Senador Juan Miguel F. Zubiri na magbibigay ng isang mensahe tungkol sa kahalagahan ng pagkalinga sa ating kalikasan. Ang pambungad na mensahe ay magmumula kay UPOU Chancellor Grace J. Alfonso.

Pormal ding ilulunsad ang “Kamalayang Kalikasan Blog and Balita: Digital Awareness Campaign for Forest Conservation.” Ang blog na ito ay nilikha para magkaroon ng espasyo ang mga UPOU Earth Ambassadors na malaman ang mga huling balita, gawain, at programa ukol sa IYF at maihayag ang kanilang mga opinyon at karanasan sa pangangalaga ng kalikasan. Maglalaman din ito ng mga trivia at munting kaalaman sa kalikasan.

Ilan sa mga inaasahang dadalo ay mga UPOU Earth Ambassadors mula sa Dayap Elementary School, Sto. Domingo Elementary School, at The Learning Place at ilang mga lokal na kinatawan mula iba’t ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan tulad ng DENR.