Lighting homes with Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light) solar light bottle

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MyShelter Foundation aims to brighten up one million disprivileged homes by 2012 with sustainable solar light bulbs built from simple plastic bottles filled with water, some chlorine and salt.

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Switch to Green, a Red Dot campaign

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Red Dot and friends invite you to the first eco-living bazaar in Ilocos Norte.

Not just some fancy trend, going natural.. making those little changes in our lives… choosing smarter products… embracing an environmentally friendly lifestyle will keep Mother Nature smiling back at us.

Don’t forget to bring your own eco bag.

Go Eco Ilocos!

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Watch out for the official announcement of the first eco-living bazaar in Ilocos Norte. It will be in Laoag… a taste of rural life in the city. Let’s go organic and natural.

via BlauEarth’s Blog

Ilocano organic farmer Nestor Acosta’s green message

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Old-style farming is considered to be modern again. The growing environmental concern in relation to unnatural farming practices such as genetic modification and the use of artificial chemicals has led many farmers worldwide to revert to quaint agricultural practices.

54-year old Nestor Acosta, a native of the town of Bacarra and a farmer for 34 years now, has gone back to the basics in regard to his farming methods. The year 2000 was a turning point in his life as a farmer. The words of a certain public servant — “Agpaili koma ti saba, ngem tattan isumetten itti agpaaway. Awan kadin itti daga itti away? (Bananas should be sent to the city, but now they are sent to the countryside. Are there no more lands in the countryside?)” — were like thunder to him. He took the public servant’s words as a challenge. He worked up a plan, leased additional pieces of land, and went back to natural farming techniques.

He uses only chicken manure fertilizer in his 10-hectare veritable organic vegetable and fruit farm. Through integrated farming, he is able to yield more high quality, better tasting gourd, bittermelon, papaya and long green beans which he and his family sell at their vegetable stall in the Bacarra public market. To date, he has 230 cinta and red lady papaya trees. His younger guapple trees are nearing maturity.

Manong Nestor has earned several awards for his outstanding efforts in sustainable agriculture. Four years in a row, from 1990-1993, he was awarded an Outstanding Farmer in Region I. He is also a Gawad Saka awardee for converting a wasteland into a year-round green integrated farm. In 2008, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Foresty, and Natural Resources Research and Development – Department of Science and Technology (PCARRD-DOST) sent him to Korea for a study-visit. “I learned much from that visit. It was an exchange of organic farming ideas between the Philippines, which I represented, and Korea,” he said.

I asked him what are the usual problems he encounters and he said, “So far, none.” He humbly adds, “It is good business for the family.”

Young red lady papaya fruits

Quality sitaw or long green beans

Balayang banana tree. Balayang banana heart is excellent for Filipino kare-kare dish.

Gourd (also known as patola or kabatiti) and ampalaya leaves are Ilocano favorites

“The whole town of Bacarra, as well as the entire nation, should adopt organic farming practices for better health and longer life,” Manong Nestor said when I asked him what he wanted to tell his fellow Ilocano farmers.

Nestor Acosta, Brgy. 40 Buyon, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines 63-926-6157764
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

BE INVOLVED! — A reminder from Pagudpud

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We chanced upon this poster on the main entrance of Kapuluan Vista Resort in Pagudpud, a town in Ilocos Norte with clear-cut objectives toward environment protection and conservation. To the LGU of Pagudpud, again, our congratulations on this great initiative. Clap, Clap, Clap!!

WALANG PLASTIKAN!! Fellow Ilocos Norteans, please support BM Kris Ablan in his effort to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags

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Late this afternoon, the LEAD Movement received a letter from one of the young and most dynamic politicians in Ilocos Norte, environment advocate Sanggunian Panlalawigan Member Kristian R. Ablan. He made known his desire to lessen the waste from disposable plastic bags through Draft Provincial Ordinance 2008-10-074, entitled “An Ordinance Establishing An Advanced Recovery Fee (Green Fee) For Disposable Plastic Bags And For Other Purposes”, sponsored by him, BM Mariano V. Marcos II, BM Jessie B. Galano and the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Walang Plastikan!!Environment Protection is our foremost concern. Plastics are dangerous to human and animal health. Improper plastic disposal results to degradation of our natural resources. The manufacture of plastic bags and other plastic products translates to the use of large quantities of non-renewable resources and adds to the acceleration of global warming. Plastics make the earth look like an astronomic trash can (click to view photos of plastic eyesores).

Kababayans, please support our latest campaign by endorsing this draft ordinance and writing the Province of Ilocos Norte Sanggunian Panlalawigan asking them to pass it ASAP. Sir Kris, green thumbs-up for you! May God continue to bless you with muscle and spine.

Click to read plastics that aren’t recyclable.

“GREEN is the new black.”

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love the earthIn the Philippines,  due to the current state of the environment, there are already consumers  who have started to be eco-conscious and finicky about the environment-friendliness of products they buy. I was browsing through the net and  stumbled upon several green and fair trade options which are locally available, making them doubly cool. I’ve listed them down.

  • Holystic Haven House of Healing products —  Bentonite clay cleansers, toner, moisturizer and scrub that are paraben-free and  phthalate free. There are no mineral oils, lanolin or petrolatum added. The company is proud that they don’t test on animals, and their products contain no animal derivatives and by-products. While going through their website, I discovered that the owner, Suzanne Jocson-Bangsil, is a former-classmate of mine… well, another case of serendipity. Knowing how exacting Suzanne is, she won’t promote and sell anything that she doesn’t believe in.
  • INDIGObaby — life-saving products to enrich mother and baby’s life. Products include stay dry cloth diapers (Say ‘NO” to disposable diapers!), all-natural bath and body essentials, chemical and deet free homemade cockroach killer, all-natural mosquito home spray, baby and pet pouches, eco bags made from recycled flour sacks, reusable bags, etc. Think healthy! Their Multiply site is worth a visit.
  • Ilog Maria sustainably farmed products. They are made from honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom from their own honeybee farm. In their product catalogue, you can find beauty and health products, such as anti-aging soaps enriched with natural beta-carotene and Vit. A, Cinnamon Soap for acne, eczema, ringworm and other skin disorders, royal jelly hair oil, fresh frozen royal jelly, honey cider vinegar, extra virgin honey, propolis all-pupose ointment, propolis anti-bacterial throat spray and breath freshener, propolis bath salts with premium Dead Sea salts recommended for psoriasis (It is also an aroma therapeutic body, hand, and foot scrub). All their items are reasonably priced.
  • EchoStore products. Check out the first sustainable lifestyle store in the Philippines, located at Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Global City. They have fair  trade coffee beans, organic rice, natural personal care essentials, nutritional products, recycled products made by urban poor women, Messy Bessy biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning solutions, home decor, gifts, fashion accessories, books, music and so much more.
  • Greengrab eco-friendly handwoven recycled bags carefully made by urban poverty-stricken families. Each piece of recycled paper is tightly hand-woven and specially laminated to make them dust-proof, tear and spill free.  The bags and clutches are statement pieces and are fun and functional, as well. To order, check out  www.surprisehobby.mutiply.com.
  • BAGAY-BAGAY very hip one-of-a-kind quality bags, hand-crafted from old shirts, jeans, skirts, scarves, jackets, coats, and basically anything and everything that can be recycled in the world of textile.
  • BURT’S Bees products, available at Beauty Bar stores nationwide.  Burt’s Bees goes by the tag line, Earth Friendly Natural Care for The Greater Good. The company has won several awards in recent years.  Among their awards from various award-giving bodies are: Best Green Company, Best Business Recycling Program, Sustainable Packaging Leadership Award, Top 8 Most Socially Responsible Brand and Best Green Company for America’s Children. Their natural skin and hair products range from sun and outdoor protection to mom and baby care essentials. I swear by their Natural Remedy Survival Kit which contains travel size all-purpose Res-Q Ointment, Poison Ivy Soap, All-in-One-Wash, Hand Salve, Beeswax Lipbalm, and Therapeutic Bath Salts that is great for sore muscles — very effective and convenient for nature and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Eairth sustainable eco-fashion, a combination of the elements earth and air. Interestingly, it is a love story between New York designer Melissa Dizon and The Filipino Culture. She used to be the head designer for Todd Oldham and Victoria’s  Secret’s Express line. The clothes are made from organic materials harvested by indigenous tribes, pigment from natural ingredients like coconut husks, talisay leaves and indigo, hand-woven fabrics done in old-style looms, and organic fibers such as pina, abaca, silk, cotton and wool finished with an artisanal touch. Eairth is for those who can afford sustainable luxury. When buying one of Melissa’s über-chic clothing, one gets to help rescue ancient artistic techniques from getting extinct, help preserve indigenous communities, and promote the use of sustainable fabrics and lifestyle. You can check out Eairth at a showroom, which she shares with her aunt, Yola Johnson (also famous for promoting natural fiber products), in Makati (Bormaheco Building, Zapote Street corner Metropolitan Avenue).

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