Hailing from Baguio City, I am Maria Elena Guimpol-Balleta. I am a fun-loving person who is passionate about my family, my work
and travelling. Travelling strengthens my relationship with my family and enables me to reset and recharge for work. Whenever I do so, I ensure sustainable travel, which connotes eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility – I bring ecobags and spill-proof tumblers/water bottles, I pack lightly, I turn off the TV, lights and aircon when I leave the room, and I either use public transportation or I walk. I am committed to respecting local people, their culture, and the environment. These are just some ways on how to be a responsible eco-friendly traveler like me. No matter where I go, I leave nothing but my footprints.
According to WWF, "Plastic waste is choking our planet – polluting the air, water, and soil both people and wildlife need to survive. And as this crisis spreads to every corner of the globe, WWF is
leading the charge to help reimagine how we source, design, dispose of, and reuse the plastic materials communities most depend upon."
I share the same advocacy with WWF. This push was brought about by the formulation and implementation of my workplace's "green campus policy". I am currently employed at UP Baguio, where we are "committed to observe sustainable practices in its campus operations, preservation of campus green spaces, adherence to green building design, attention to efficient use of water and energy, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and efficient waste management." Since then, it has become an inclusive and high-impact eco-lifestyle for me.
Moreover, my hometown’s - Baguio City’s mission states, "We shall create a sustainable and enabling environment that will promote economic stability and ensure the general well-being of our citizenry." In order to adhere to its mission, one policy that was implemented by the city government to promote sustainable living, the "Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Baguio City Ordinance” (AO 45-2018), has gained ground since its effectivity. As a result, this has curbed the city's plastic waste by 30% after a year. There was a significant paradigm shift in the mindset of the people of Baguio. We became more conscious in our resource consumption and became active in reducing unnecessary waste.
The Eco-shift Story:
I believe that even small gestures to maintain or improve our green living can make a significant environmental impact. As a consumer, I know that I can still contribute to environmental causes in little ways by only using sustainable products, such as The Eco Shift essentials. It is inevitable to produce waste, but it is never impossible to reduce it to the most minimal amount. Being part of The Eco Shift, I can fulfill my advocacy by bringing more awareness to the use of sustainable products among my fellow city-dwellers and make them believe that even the smallest of actions can make the most difference. I made the shift, I am awesome. Now, it’s your turn!