The Hesitant Advocate

According to the dictionary, an advocate is someone who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause. While I support many causes, I feel a strong affinity for the environment. As a high school student, I volunteered for Clean the Pasig River events. I supported our school’s recycling campaigns. As a homeowner, I taught our household helpers how to segregate our trash and sell the items that could still be recycled. My husband and I bought appliances that had better energy ratings. When I became a mom, I used cloth diapers to reduce my consumption of disposable ones. I made crafts from recycled materials, and using the same craft techniques, led a team that held livelihood classes for unemployed women.


But before you begin to believe that I am a champion for the environment, let me tell you that I use an air-conditioner to cool off, I have a vehicle that I use to and from the office, and I frequently forget to bring my reusable bag when I go shopping. Which is why I don’t go around publicly waiving a green flag.

This is my dilemma in supporting a cause–it’s hard to be consistent. I love to recycle, but I also find fulfilment in creating new things, which of course leads to more consumption. As I write, I use electricity for my laptop. When it’s hot, I take a bath twice. Frankly speaking, I also find it hard to let go of the conveniences presented by modern day living. Sometimes, I feel like a hypocrite, teaching my child to be an Earth-lover, when I myself cannot always practice a more ecological way of life. It would come to a point that I would ask myself if I should just quit altogether and forget about having a cause. But, when I read about the struggles of other “tree-huggers,” I realize my dilemma is not that unique after all. When people choose to live a greener life, they will always judge themselves harshly. In the end, you just have to believe that each green step you take, no matter how small, is a step towards a better planet. And this goes for all people who have a cause near and dear to their lives. It is always about the journey.


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