Fetalvero: Green thinking

Noemi Fetalvero

NOISY mufflers and engines replaced the sound of hoofs.

As a child, I lived at my mother’s ancestral home in the corner of Pelaez and Sanciangko streets where “tartanillas,” a horse-driven carriage, plied in this downtown part of Cebu City. There were not many bakeries then. At about eight in the evening, residents anxiously await the call of a young man selling hot bread... “Pan, init!”

Sounds and landscapes have drastically changed through the years. I miss the sound of the rivers, and the breeze that emanated from the rustling of bamboo leaves. We seldom hear the sound of cicadas in the trees. I also miss my tweeting visitors and the butterflies that made my garden look as picturesque as a painting.

Seagulls no longer wander our beaches. Trash and shanties of informal settlers now cover our beach fronts.

The Real Estate industry has overcome our cities. What used to be farmlands are now subdivisions as a result of urban living. Fruit trees such as tamarind, chico, guava, iba, atis, caymito are no longer as abundant.

Altfuelsnow.com revived the discussion of green building technology where solar panels are installed on homeowner’s rooftops. Water tanks are provided to catch the rainwater from our roof gutters. This provision takes care for our toilet and garden use. Window panels are situated to maximize the use of sunlight and cross ventilation. “Green building technology therefore underlines efficient use of land, materials, water and energy thereby providing a healthy indoor environment for the occupants.”

The idea is no novelty. Cavemen championed the technology. Our real estate developers should start thinking ahead in designing houses. The goal is sustainability. Should government give incentives to our developers who are into green building technology? Let us invest for the future. There is still life after this generation.

While our Filipino developers flatten our mountains, Bill Gates, who built his house on the side of a cliff reportedly said that the soil on top cools down his house.

Prior to granting a building permit, government should require developers to provide a vertical farm facility thus, encourage homeowners to plant vegetables for their own domestic consumption.

There is a subdivision in Tagaytay wherein landowners are required to plant farm products in front of the properties. Fruit-bearing pineapple plants on both sides of the road is a delightful and refreshing sight for passersby.