ArchivesDecember 2010Students get awards for climate solutions

Students get awards for climate solutions

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Fighting the effects of climate change need not require knowledge of rocket science nor a specialized degree of some kind. Many times, addressing the effects of climate change only needs some common sense.{{more}}

A panel of judges led by internationally-renowned scientist Dr. Angel C. Alcala chose three ideas submitted by college students as practical and replicable household solutions to climate change.

The winning entries were a rainwater conditioning and processing unit, the practice of natural pig raising and the idea of painting roofs white.

Friday’s contest at Silliman University was joined by students from Silliman, University of San Carlos in Cebu, and Central Philippine University in Iloilo City, and was funded by the World Bank and Smart Communications.

Students from USC presented the proposal for natural pig raising and for painting roofs white. Natural pig raising, they said, is more environment-friendly when done the natural way as against the commercial way because it would need mostly indigenous materials and waste products, saves electricity and water and, among other things, reduces flatulence and belching in pigs.

The idea of painting roofs white, attributed to U.S. Energy Sec. Steven Chu, will make houses cooler than if painted with dark colors. The USC group proposed that because the color white absorbs less heat than dark colors, homes with white-colored roofs tend to use lesser electricity for air-conditioning.

The idea of collecting rainwater and processing them into drinking water was an idea presented by the students from CPU. Rain, they said, is one of the biggest sources of water that is hardly utilized for drinking. Making drinking water out of rain will reduce a household’s dependence on commercial potable water.

The ideas, which could be implemented for less than P15,000, were judged on their scientific soundness as well as the ease of replicating them in other households.

This exercise, Alcala said, is long overdue. “The important thing that has emerged is that the young people are challenged to respond to climate change. We have got to know the science behind all these changes.”

He expressed hope that the students who joined the contest will be inspired to strengthen their science backgrounds.

The two other judges were World Bank Partnerships focal person Henry Grageda and Nova Concepcion from Smart Communications.

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