This past week, my timeline has been filled with news and videos about teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. On the runup to the climate summit in New York, Greta’s rallying call was for adults to protect the future that the children of today would face: a planet with a potentially deadly climate.
What swelled into a global movement of millions of children, teens, their parents, and other advocates began with Greta holding lone protests outside the Swedish Parliament starting in August 2018.
Now I’m not an environmental activist or vegan eating for the planet (though maybe I should be?) but I found it so interesting. If you think about it, how can one teen rouse the world and wake global leaders into a reality that is startling but has long been ignored?
As she says in her shock-and-awe line: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.”
Seeing a teen create such an impact on the world made me think about my own priorities in life and whether I am able to contribute where it matters.
Of course, not everybody can do what Greta has done and continues to do. But she has made me believe that the voice and action of one can multiply and be magnified into something that could change the world. Greta made me want to do something. I looked at my options and capabilities and found a way to start helping with one step.
I have been using mobile wallet GCash for my bills, money transfers, online purchases and just recently found out that it is also a platform to help the environment. I almost couldn’t believe I could do something for the planet by going cashless!
GCash Forest, a personal carbon tracker within the GCash app, allows users to help reforestation efforts at the Ipo Watershed, a 300-hectare area in Norzagaray, Bulacan that forms part of the watershed system that supplies water to Metro Manila.
What I just need to do is to use the app as frequently as I can for payments, fund transfers, cash-in, and other transactions. The more I use the app, the more I earn “green energy,” which I will let me plant a virtual tree. With enough green credits, that virtual tree will grow and let me adopt a native tree like yakal or narra. This is an actual sapling to be planted at the Ipo watershed.
GCash aims to plant 365,000 trees in one year, or 1,000 trees a day. So I can just start with one. There are 107 million Filipinos right now. Imagine what could happen if we all did the same. One person, one tree at a time to save our home.