Muni on this:
What if you somehow realized that living a “no impact” lifestyle could actually have a really high impact on your self, society and the planet?
This is one of the primary causes behind the the conception of Muni, and we could not have been happier to find a company like ADB taking the initiative to introduce No Impact Week to its employees and other like-minded individuals in government, business and civil society.
Muni had the unique privilege of being part of their forum on Taking Action Against Waste, but that was one part of the bigger picture. Each day tackled a different theme, with forums, workshops and exhibits. We managed to be around for Days 1, 3 and 5, and here are some of the insightful/delightful/shocking things we discovered, experienced and learned.
Day 1: Trash / Consumption
Through the Trash Day forum and inspiring fellow speakers, we found out just how much crap we really put out into the world, and how easy it is for us to actually reduce. However, humans are creatures of consumption, and it’s essentially a part of our lives, and it’s impossible to avoid it.
What then can we do to be better consumers?
We can choose to buy pre-loved, upcycled, or locally-made products or items with natural ingredients or components that are less harmful to the environment. To showcase some options, ADB invited MUNI, and we in turn, invited Jacinto & Lirio and Caleb’s Closet, and Rags2Riches.
The Muni PH sign made from fabric scrap-covered letters, newspaper, scrap Manila paper, and old sintra board
Dr. Lei Camiling-Alfonso of Caleb’s Closet telling customers about the benefits of cloth diapers (check out the little chalk board of money saved and trash avoided!)
Noreen Bautista of Jacinto & Lirio with their bags, journals and iPad sleeves from water hyacinth & lily plant leather, a pervasive plant pest that hastens flooding from rivers
Pat & Dette of Rags2Riches Inc., selling bags, purses, wallets, and other products made from discarded fabric scraps
Day 3: Food
We don’t think much about the food we eat some times, as we’ve become accustomed to either just eating so we can go on with our next task (having a fast food vs. slow food mentality), or sometimes, we’ve become so spoiled for choice that we simply look for food that tastes good. However, there’s a lot more to food than that, and the Food Day’s exhibitors drive the point that choosing what you eat can have a significant impact on health, farmers and food producers, and the environment, and that you can eat less meat without sacrificing taste.
Jastine & Rash of Dakila promoting brown rice as the good food, for its health benefits (high in dietary fiber, high in protein), its community benefits (it help farmers produce healthier and safer food options), and its environmental benefits (producing brown rice demands less milling than white rice, and therefore saves 50-60% of fuel)
Marco Lobregat of the Ministry of Mushrooms, which promotes fresh and dried mushrooms, convenient mushroom risotto packs (they also sell mushrooms you can grow on your own, but if that’s not your thing, you can always just buy ready-to-cook mushrooms from them)
Chiqui Mabanta of Corner Tree Cafe (along Jupiter street), who is one of the earlier advocates of veg food as tasty food to look forward to in Manila, here with Corner Tree quiche, dips and sauces
The congenial Denise Celdran of Edgy Veggy veg food delivery service, who has just recently (this month) set up her own Edgy Veggy cafe in Kapitolyo
Charlene Tan and company from Good Food Co., a “community-shared agriculture” endeavor that allows you to sign up for weekly basket of organic produce and brings you closer to your friendly local food producer
Day 5: Water
This was last day of ADB No Impact Week, and the days we were most excited about were over, this proved to be the most eye-opening one we experienced. In the morning, employees and guests were able to participate in a discussion on the impact of our food and product consumption on water consumption. Here’s a little collage of some of the things we took away.
A “The Water Footprint Is Right?” quiz show help in the morning also effectively engaged participants in really learning more.
Among some of the shocking factoids of the day were: 1. It takes 3-4L of water to produce a 250ml plastic bottle of water (bittle & water contents). 2. It takes 2400L of water to produce a 150g beef burger vs 125L to produce 1 apple. 3. In a measure liters required per kilo of yield, fruits were the lowest in water consumption, followed by grains, followed by meat (with bovine – cow – meat being the most water-consuming)…and followed by…coffee!! GASP! :-O
A No Impact Week For A Low Impact Life
With everything that’s been said and done, there really is no such thing as a “no impact” life, because as living, breathing, eating, pooping beings, we do have an impact, no matter what we do. We are all connected, in everything we do, and that makes the effort to live a lower impact lifestyle matter so much more.
Muni PH’s Jen Horn with ADB’s Maria Cleto (thank you for inviting Muni, Maria!)
In the end, it really isn’t about who started this initiative, but that having been enlightened, we should make it our own resolve to start acting, and to start acting now.
And again, it’s not about going cold turkey and adopting changes you can’t maintain. As we say repeatedly in Muni, it’s all about the little choices we make everyday, and recognizing your power to influence the actions of those around you through your own actions.
See links to the ADB No Impact Week exhibitors featured on this post here: