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Black Out! Green In! | Project Carbon Neutral

What is CARBON NEUTRAL?

Going Carbon Neutral means removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as we put in. How can we remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? We can do so by first understanding our school’s activities. This first step is referred to as “benchmarking”.

It entails taking an inventory of all sources of the carbon dioxide the schools produce. An analysis of data and information which leads to identifying options for mitigating the effects of these carbon dioxide producing activities will follow.

DLSU-D firmly believes that educating for sustainability should not only be confined in the classrooms or to the curriculum but should be vis-à-vis with its integration to the school’s practices and processes thereby reinforcing to the students that sustainable development is feasible and can be done through participation and collaboration.

BLACK OUT! GREEN IN! is an 10-year carbon emission reduction program of De La Salle University – Dasmarinas (DLSU-D) that was launched in 2011. The program is a response of the University to the impacts of climate change where the Philippines is considered to be one of the most vulnerable in the world.

Objectives

The main objective of Project Carbon Neutral or PCN is to benchmark and assess the status of the carbon footprint of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), the network of Lasallian educational institutions, with the goal of achieving a “green” educational network that is carbon-neutral or better.

At the end of S.Y. 2010 - 2011, the schools will have a clear picture of how much carbon dioxide each generates from its activities and how much of the carbon dioxide generated are offset by other activities. This will provide data and information from which administrators could decide which carbon dioxide-reducing activities it would undertake to do its part in addressing this global issue. It would also provide, by aggregating the individual schools’ carbon footprint data and information, an aggregated picture DLSP’s carbon footprint.

In response to this directive, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas' Black Out! Green In! is a two pronged program which aims to reduce carbon-emitting practices and replacing it with green or sustainable habits.

This ideal is achieved in two stages. First is measurement of the University’s carbon footprint coming from three sectors: Energy usage, transportation and waste production. This will be followed by carbon emission mitigation by sequestration (offsets) and by direct reduction by adopting green practices using four approaches (1) policy formulation and implementation, (2) process or engineering changes, (3) research and evaluation and (4) education.

Benefits

As good stewards of God’s creation, it is a great concerted effort to help preserve the environment. It is a meaningful step to survival for all of us and our future generations. Baseline data and information of schools’ carbon emission will serve as inputs to cost-benefit analyses for undertaking projects.

DE LA SALLE PHILIPPINES, through this initiative, encouraged other educational institutions to take action – resulting in a much greater participation by others in taking local actions to address the global climate change problem. It would truly be a significant centennial endeavor to be carbon-neutral or better for ONE LA SALLE.

In the past five years, the following were the project’s benefits to DLSU-D:
  1. Contributed to the national government’s reforestation program by planting more than 180,000 native Philippine trees in declared protected areas (carbon sequestration);
  2. Adopted the use of renewable energy in selected University areas and gradually replaced lightings with more efficient systems reducing the carbon footprint in these areas by more than 50%;
  3. Increased waste recovery from 42% in 2011 to 63% in 2015 and implemented measures that will adopt purchase of environmentally – preferable products;
  4. Encouraged use of bicycles and electric vehicles together with designating road networks only for pedestrians;
  5. Conserved the University’s biodiversity that contributed to the lessening of energy cost from ventilation systems;
  6. Developed monitoring programs that encourage students and student organizations to practice sustainable lifestyle;
  7. Increased frequency in the integration of sustainability in courses from various disciplines;
  8. Raised awareness in environmental accountability of stakeholders by adopting schemes that promote “polluters pay” principle.

Carbon Neutral Tips

  1. Climate change is real. It affects all of us and future generations. It is caused primarily by the production of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, a logical step towards addressing the problem is to minimize carbon dioxide emissions.
  2. Eat less beef. Beef produces 33% of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Chicken in lieu of beef is better. Chicken’s carbon footprint is 1/3 of beef.
  4. Drink filtered tap water Not bottled water.
  5. Recycle paper, metal and plastics.
  6. Use rechargeable batteries.
  7. Prevent unplanned pregnancies. Overpopulation is the single biggest contributor to the climate crisis we face.
  8. Exercise and control your weight. Walk, ride your bike and take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator!
  9. Bring your own bag when shopping. Revive the “bayong” brigade when going to the local market.
  10. Purchase recycled products.
  11. Say no to Styrofoam.

Achievements

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Global recognitions for DLSU-D environmental programs

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