Earth Hour Revisited – ROJoson@2015March28

Earth Hour Revisited – ROJoson@2015March28

Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHA, MHPEd, MSc Surg

March 28, 2o15

This year Earth Hour triggered another round of personal insights on the Earth Hour Ceremony, particularly along the theme of 2012 write-up entitled: Earth Hour and ROJoson and Health Care Organization.

In 2012, I wrote an article on Earth Hour which was published in the May to June 2012 issue of MDH Good Health.  I also published this article in my blog.  See link.

In 2014, I made a revisit and made concrete suggestions on impact.


I wrote (in 2014):

How I wish MDH can measure the impact of the annual Earth Hour ceremony not only in terms of practices in the hospital (which it has been doing), but more importantly, also in terms of practices of individual MDH workforce members at home.

In every year’s Earth Hour ceremony, since 2009, the MDH officials always talk about “going beyond” the Earth Hour hour (8:30 pm – 9:30 pm) and on the day, last Saturday of March.  They also always advise the staff to make the philosophy, principles, and practices of Earth Hour a “way of life.”  The strongest and most logical indicator on the “going beyond” and “way of life” after the March Earth Hour is a measurement of how many of the MDH staff are practicing “Earth Hour” activities at home.  An 80% target is good enough.  I know doing the impact analysis is difficult but if there is a will, there is somehow a way.  I will try to recommend one approach later after I revisit my 2012 write-up, resolutions, and promises to my readers.

Here are some excerpts from my 2012 write-up with some editing and updating.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement and advocacy to unite people to protect and sustain the planet earth particularly against global warming caused by climate change.   This is being spearheaded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) because of its mission to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and build a future where people can live in harmony with nature.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sidney, Australia, where 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour to take a stand against climate change.  In 2008, the activity was no longer limited to Australia as more countries joined the movement.   Philippines is one of them.

As a citizen of the earth and as a health professional, I subscribe to the Earth Hour movement and advocacy.  I have been celebrating the Earth Hour since 2009 by switching off lights in my house during the call time.  I attended the Earth Hour in Ayala Triangle in 2011.  Since 2012 up to 2014 (year of this writing), I have been attending the Earth Hour in Manila Doctors Hospital to show my support and serve as a role model.

Speaking of Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH), of which I am proud to be a member, because of its social vision, it subscribes to the Earth Hour movement and advocacy.  I hope all health care organizations are doing the same.  MDH has a very active Environmental Committee and it has joined Earth Hour celebration since 2009.

The annual one-hour-one-day-a-year Earth Hour of turning off lights on the last Saturday of March from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm  is but an initiation and an awareness event.  It is recommended to go Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on climate change.

Personally, as part of my contribution as a citizen of the earth, I have formulated the following framework:


For so many years now, I and my family have been trying our very best in doing positive things on waste management and resource conservation.

At home, we

  • segregate wastes; reuse them; recycle them; minimize use of plastics when shopping in groceries; dispose them as properly as possible;
  • bring recyclables to the junk shops (the money I get I give to my children for their allowance);
  • minimize waste of water in the bathrooms (this cuts down my family expenses also);
  • minimize waste of electricity (this cuts down my family expenses also);
  • minimize waste of gasoline during travels in the metropolis and out of town (this cuts down my family expenses also); etc.

In my place of work, I segregate wastes, particularly, medical sharps and white papers; reuse “scratch” papers; minimize use of papers for communication (I am heavy in the use of emails and digital documents); etc.  I am continually supporting and advocating waste management and resource conservation in Manila Doctors Hospital and Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.

There are still more that I and my family will have to do and refine.   I hope to be able to share the details on what I am doing Beyond the Earth Hour in the near future. (Statement made in 2012)

What are my update reports since 2012 write-up?

I still continue to do all that I mentioned in my 2012 write-ups.   See pictures.


2012 Segregating waste containers







2014 – Miscellaneous Wastes


I usually bring these special wastes to MDH and drop them in the box shown below.mdh_recyclable_box_metals_2013

This year, I taught our househelp on waste segregation.  I started giving her part of the proceeds gotten from the junk shops.

I have reviewed the framework on ROJoson Going Beyond Earth Hour Program and still find it relevant and useful.

I will add one item, however.  This is to conserve money.  I will avoid spending money on non-life-necessity things that will eventually constitute more wastes to handle and to recycle.   This will be part of avoidance of wastes strategy.

[Note: on April 2, 2014, I came across a write-up of Mr. Jesus Estanislao in Manila Bulletin entitled “A simple and sober life.” This article supports what I said above on conserving money.” See link.]

As to refinements which I promised in 2012 to make and share, here are some of them:

  1. Identify junk shops or venues that can properly recycle or discard non-run-of-the-mill wastes such as electronic stuffs, electric wires, glasses, plastic containers, plaques, etc.
  2. Conserve water during tooth brushing by using glasses.
  3. Conserve water during bath by using pails.

After that revisit on my 2012 write-up and resolutions with updates and sharing of approaches, strategies and activities on my Going Beyond Earth Hour Program, I will now present an approach on how an organization can make an impact analysis of its Earth Hour Advocacy.

After understanding and committing to the philosophy and principles of the annual Earth Hour and also of the Going Beyond Earth Hour Program, all workforce members make a pledge in writing on what they intend to accomplish during the year (from April to February).  The pledge must include key result areas and key performance indicators.  The KRA and KPI can be offered by the workforce members or they can be negotiated with the organizers of the program.  On the first or second week of March of each year, all workforce members will submit a self-evaluation (honesty system initially then random checking if needed in the future).  The organizers will collate; see whether the 80% target has been achieved or not; identify areas for improvement; and prepare for the next cycle of pledging on the last Saturday of March.

Below is a sample of a dashboard-pledge on Going Beyond Earth Hour activities with KRAs and KPIs.

Name of Workforce Member:

Name of Unit:

Date Pledged:

Pledge (YES)(NO) KRA Implementation KPI Remarks
All – most of the time Often No – sometime
Waste Avoidance and Minimization
Conserve Money (not to buy things not a necessity) Often at least
Reuse /recycle at home (writing papers) Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Reuse /recycle at home (bags) Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Reuse  / recycle at home (other containers) Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Reuse /recycle at home (others – specify) Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Waste Segregation Clear  methods of waste segregation Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Waste Disposal Clear methods of waste disposal(to garbage collectors) Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Clear methods of waste disposal(to regular junkshops) Often at least / At least 2 times of travel to regular junkshop in a year / Provide picture-evidence
Clear methods of special waste disposal Often at least / Provide picture-evidence
Conserve Electricity Clear methods of conserving electricity at home (specify) – turning off electricity when not needed Often at least / Evidence of control / reduction trend of electricity watt usage in a  year /Provide picture-evidence
Conserve Water Clear methods of conserving water at home (specify) – Use glass during tooth brushing Often at least / Evidence of control / reduction trend of water volume usage in a  year /Provide picture-evidence
Clear methods of conserving water at home (specify) – Use pails during bath Often at least / Evidence of control / reduction trend of water volume usage in a  year /Provide picture-evidence
Others (specify)
Others (specify)

Signature of Pledger


In 2015, I will continue “to use my power to change the climate change” using this framework:


Here is a picture of the waste segregation that I still do (picture taken March 28, 2015):


I also measure the impact of my effort of Earth Hour through the Meralco and Maynilad Water bills.  For the last 4 months, my Meralco bills have gone done.  Maynila Water bills have been maintained.

I don’t buy unnecessary things which will eventually be a concern in my clutter management as well as waste management.

Along the line of clutter management, I likewise tell my patients who want to give me gifts to do so based on what I need.



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