Sunday, July 20, 2008

Look Ma, No Straw!

The straw is the most stupid invention, and only stupid people use stupid invention.

Straw is made out of plastic, and just like all other plastics, it would take thousands of years to disintegrate. Come to think of it, why would you use straw to drink a glass of ice tea? Is the glass dirty? Is it heavy that you can't lift to your mouth? People lived for thousands of years without straw, but why do some of us feel that we can't live without straws?

One friend asked before, "How about my Starbucks?"

Well, as the two pictures would tell you, it is possible. Yes, indeed it looks "jologs" or cheap, but I'd rather be cheap than stupid! What else would you call someone who knows one thing is not right and yet he/she keeps on doing it?

In the very rare occasion that I am inside a coffee shop (often for a meeting as I would never pay 180+ for drink voluntarily!!!!), I make sure that we use spoon. Yes, we do get some stares when we use spoon in our refreshments, but for us it is also a way to educate others about our advocacy. 
(And I would like to add, I do feel it is a crime against humanity to spend 150 pesos ($3+) for a cup of coffee when millions of people worldwide can't even drink a glass of clean water and thousands more die because of hunger. Your cup of coffee is more expensive the what most people spend for their entire meals for a day. And with your three cups of coffee, you can already sponsor one child for a month with World Vision.)

They say people use straw for convenience. I say people use straw out of selfishness. We'd rather pollute our one and only earth, destroy the habitat of other species and leave a legacy of garbage to the future generation than the inconvenience of not using straw.
With fellow Add Up! volunteers, Ryan and Cris
We don't need to change the world, let us be the change that the world needs. 
Join Add Up! Volunteers LAST STRAW CAMPAIGN! Be counted.

I am going home

I am in a crossroad. I am about to make one of the biggest decisions of my life.

And for this, I need to take some time off to reflect on what I really want and where will I be in the future. I am going home. I have been to so many places but there's no place like home - Guimaras and Iloilo.

And I am very excited to take this break. I am free. I need to be free.

I recently resigned from Mother Earth, from Camp Explore and from all of my other commitments. Tomorrow, I will be ending a two year relationship. I am crazy, I know that. But I need to do all of this. I need to be free. Only when I am free that I can make the right decisions.

I know I made a lot of people sad. I am truly sorry. But this is something bigger than all that I have right now. I can't share it yet, maybe when I have made that choice already I can share it here. But not now. I guess I can tell you that it is a choice between living a life that I want or living a life that I should. Soon.

I am excited. I am scared. But I know, once I made that choice, there's no turning back. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 7, 2008

How much paper have you used today?

In the US, the per capita paper use is 297/kg /person/ day while those in Cambodia use 2kg/person/ day. The world average is 54.

Watch the video and know these and other surprising facts here.

Paper or Plastic?

Choose REUSABLE! Why? Watch this video and see why.

Sometimes we assume that when choosing between paper and plastic, paper is the better choice. Yes, better may be but definitely not the best choice. Yes, paper comes from a renewable resource and is biodegradable - traits no shared by plastics. Still, we have to remember that these things all came from somewhere. And do we know where? Please do watch this video and discover these amazing facts:

World's Paper use has increased five fold since the 1960's
Per capita paper use is (kg/day/person) 324 in Finland, 297 in the US, 50 in Thailand and 2 in Cambodia (World average is 54)
Half of all the paper produced is used for packaging
Only 1/3 is used for writing or printing, mostly for advertising
In the US alone, 20 billion catalogs are being distributed every year and
90 billion Junk mails are being sent ot every year
The Pulp and paper industry is No. 1 in freshwater use
5th industry in energy use
3rd industry in emitting green house gasses

And a lot more!

So the next time you use a piece of paper, remember these facts.

How can we help? Well, aside from forcing the government and the industry to change, we can helping our own little way by:

1. First and foremost, reducing our paper use.
2. Second, reuse what we can. The other side maybe, or that envelope? Everything!
3. Recycle after. In the Philippines, we have to import used paper for recycling because not many people segregate their waste paper for recycling. Remember, keep it dry and clean!

Watch out for specific tips on how to reduce your paper waste in my next posts.

Greatest Love Story (1)

This has got to be the best story I've ever heard!

I've watched this video over 20 times and I still cry every time. As I've read in one of the comments, if only all the dads in the world are half a dad or half a man that Dick Hoyt is, the world will be a great place indeed!

This Dad and Son Team is one of my personal heroes. Indeed, YOU CAN!

This is a salute to all the great dads in the world. This is also a salute to the greatest man in my life, my dad - Frisco.

I love you Tatay!


What you see may not be what it is you think you are seeing. Try this one.

If you watch the above images from your seat in front of the computer,
Mr.Angry is on the left, and Mrs.Calm is on the right.
Get up from your seat, and move back about eight feet!!
They switch places!!
This illusion was created by Phillippe G. Schyns and Aude Oliva
of the Univiversity of Glasgow.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

8/11: My Cry

This is a repost from my Friendster blog.

I wrote this article when my beloved hometown - the island of Guimaras was struck with the worst oil spill in Philippine history. This article was subsequently published in some national newspapers, reposted on various websites and blogs and passed around various egroups.


I will forever be proud of being a Guimarasnon. More than the sweetest mangoes in the world and the most pristine beaches, more than the rich marine resources and endangered species like the turtles and the dugong, I take pride in the warm and resilient people of Guimaras.

I always dream of letting the world know of my beautiful hometown, of reading it the headlines of news papers, and of seeing on TV. But I never thought that this dream would turn into a nightmare. Finally, we are on the news. In fact, we are the news. We finally have a place in the history of this country – for having one of the worst (or the worst, incase the remaining oil would leak out) oil spill in the country.

I cried when I heard the news. I am not sure if I cried because of the oil spill and its effects, or because of how everyone reacted (or their silence). It’s sad when some would worry about the possibility of the spill reaching Boracay, when they have a disaster in front of them. It’s sad to know that our Coast Guard does not have the capabilities to respond to these emergencies. It’s sad to know that it would take more than a week for our national government to respond, only to say this is more than we can handle.

It’s sad to know that this oil spill is partly caused by an incompetent ship captain – causing damage to an island where some people are successful sea farers abroad. And it is sad for Petron to say that technically it is the responsibility of shipping company to clean up the mess. It sounded as if the people of Guimaras owe it to Petron for helping in the clean up of this mess. They are willing to share in the profits, but we owe it to them when they respond to the consequences of their negligence.

And the saddest story of all, after a few weeks of publicity, the world will forget the story of Guimaras. And we will forget whatever lessons we have learned from this tragedy – despite the fact that we have to pay a very high price to learn this lesson. Will the people of Guimaras get justice? Will we pass legislations to ensure that this never happen again? The future is darker than the oil spilled on the beaches of this island.

What is for sure is that the affected communities will definitely suffer for years – from lost livelihood to health problems, and for a home ravaged to point where it never will be where it was once. We are a happy people in a poor province. We see our roads paved one kilometer every election year, if we’re lucky. We have a barangay that does not have a budget, and thus no health center, no day care and other social services. We have seen our lands and beaches sold to foreigners. But we will always have hope, and we will remain to be just like our mangoes – the sweetest in the world.

I cried. But that’s not the end of it.

Froilan Grate

10 Little Things you can do for the Environment

1. Use a glass when brushing your teeth. Every year, we are wasting billions of liters of fresh water by simply not using a glass when brushing our teeth.

2. Don’t use straws. As they say the straw is the most stupid invention. They are unnecessary and only add to our waste problem.

3. Say NO to plastics when shopping. Bring your own reusable bags when doing your grocery. When buying single items like a book or cd, a plastic bag or even a paper bag is unnecessary.

To continue reading the post, please click here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Birthday Video

A friend of mine prepared this video for my birthday. What a wonderful gift! And I'm happy to share this with you.

Video Courtesy of Jo B. Thank you very much :)

Contact Me

Thank you for your interest to contact me. I would love to hear your comments or your questions.

Below are the ways that you can reach me:

By email: froilan[at]
(substituting [at] with @, just my way of avoiding thousands of spam)

By YM: dnonconformist

Keep them coming.

About Me

You don't really have to read this post unless you want to know me more.

OK, if you're really interested, here it is. Don't tell me I didn't warn you :)

My name is Froilan, but you may call me Froi. I'm Poy to my close friends.

I am an environmental educator, trainer and consultant. I am also a businessman and and a web developer.

Currently, I am connected with the following organizations:

Add Up! Volunteers, as its Chairman and Founding member. If you want to know more about Add Up!, please visit our website here.

Mother Earth Foundation, as its Vice President for Special Projects and as member of the Board of Trustees. If you want to know more about MEF, click here.

Camp Explore, as its Program Director and Head of Environmental Education. For more information, please visit the website here.

I am also a member of various environmental organization, if you want to know more, please visit my other blog Inside a Green Mind where I will showcase my advocacies.

I am a proud Ilonggo, growing up in Jaro, Iloilo and Guimaras where I had the best time of my life.

I studied elementary and high school in Colegio de San Jose - one of the oldest schools in Iloilo and the Philippines.

I spent my first year of college in UP Visayas, where we climb mountains and go the the beach to celebrate flunking our Algebra exams.

On my second year, I transferred to UP Diliman where I met some great people who are friends up to now.

My first job was with the Center for Environmental Awareness an Education. I will be writing a separate post on this experience.

What else can I share?

Oh well, I know I'm a bit crazy. I am a non conformist, a hard headed bull - being the taurean that I am. I enjoy traveling, whether alone or with friends (visit my travel blog - Lonely Pinoy Traveler).

I enjoy reading, from the newspaper used to wrap dried fish to novels by John Grisham and Ayn Rand, to Readers Digest and Time Magazine, to National Geographic - whatever I can lay my hands and eyes on.

I enjoy eating, from home cooked comfort foods to Thai and Viet Cuisine, to cakes and salads to Chocolates, I love them all. I used to not like Jap and Chinese foods thinking they are full of meow hairs, but now I ply the Chinatown and I super dig california maki! Yumm!

I don't like to party the traditional way. I don't like going to the bars. I would prefer to host a small party at home. I rarely drink and I don't smoke. (I will be writing a separate article on smoking soon.)

I love the beach and the mountains. I climb mountains regularly and I get my tan (or sun burn hehehe) the natural way - by spending countless hours under the sun.

I hate texting! I would rather talk with someone face to face.

That's it for now. If there are other things you want to know, I would love to hear from you. Otherwise, please keep coming back to this site and get to know one crazy guy and his take on things.




Welcome to my site and thank you for visiting.

This is my first post here. This site will be a collection of articles from my other two blogs (Inside a Green Mind and Lonely Pinoy Traveler) as well as select articles on other issues and topics that I am interested in. I will also be posting some personal stuff on this site.

My name is Froilan, and if you want to know more about me, I will be posting my profile in my next articles.

I will also be posting articles about my other two blogs later, but to sum it up, here is a brief description:

Inside a Green Mind
In this site, I will be writing about my advocacies, namely environment and volunteerism. To find out more about these advocacies, please check out the above blog.

Lonely Pinoy Traveler

In this site, I will be writing about my travels. Wondering about the title? Find out in my next posts or by visiting the blog.

I hope you will enjoy your visit and hope to see you back soon.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...