The words “carbon footprint” are often seen in the news together with the word sustainability. As infants, the very first time we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, we create our first carbon footprint. As we grow up, we travel using our cars, ship or airplanes, we use fuel that emit carbon dioxide – we add to our carbon footprint. Every time we buy products from factories, burn trash, smoke, we add to our carbon footprint. Every time we add carbon dioxide into the air, we increase our carbon footprint.
This is not sustainable because we produce pollution. The carbon dioxide we produce as a mass of people make our atmosphere hotter which is called the greenhouse effect and causes global warming creating climate change, melting the snow caps causing avalanches and the El Niño and La Niña phenomenons of drought (El Niño) and too much rain (La Nina) causing floods. Fortunately there are ways to lessen our carbon footprint and I don’t mean walking 30 miles to work everyday.
“Planting 100 trees per person can actually offset your carbon footprint,” according to Tom Valdez of the Society of Filipino Foresters. “According to the World Bank, each Filipino is emitting 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That is how large each Filipino’s carbon footprint is. But when you plant 100 trees that produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, you are able to offset your carbon footprint and become carbon-neutral.”
This is what we Noble Queens did last week as part of the campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to make the Philippines “carbon-neutral” by the year 2030. “It is quite impossible to make each and every Filipino plant 100 tress BUT if a lot of Filipinos planted trees amounting to 7.1 million hectares of land in the Philippines, we can actually achieve carbon neutrality,” says Valdez.
Noble Queen of the Universe Patricia Javier, together with Noble Queen Earth Jill Chapman, Noble Queen Advocate Anne Natividad, Mother Queen Eren Noche and yours truly, Noble Queen International attempted to plant that day 100 trees together as a team – hahaha! But we ended up planting 10 each, so we owe DENR 10 more days to complete our 100 trees per queen and be carbon-neutral. “Doing something for Mother Earth really gives me an assurance that my children will have a better place to live in the future,” actress Patricia Javier tells Gossip Girl while planting her 10th tree in the middle of the sun.
Noble Queen Earth Jill Chapman, an American chiropractor practicing in the Doc Rob Chiropractic Clinic, tells Gossip Girl: “The effects of climate change extend far beyond warmer weather. With growing levels of carbon dioxide, global warming directly impacts the air we breathe and the water we drink. Combined with other health dangers such as COVID-19, air pollution is definitely putting our lives at risk. We can all do our part by helping DENR plant these trees. There are a lot of fruit-bearing tree seedlings available in the DENR QC compound. The volunteers will give you advice on how to plant them.”