2 minutes for change

VSU beach at dusk

This pandemic, the travel bans mean having more time for the other things we love to do. For me it was catching up with readings and my favorite documentaries or TV series on BBC Earth. I have always been vocal of my love for Joanna Lumley, the late great Anthony Bourdain (rerun heaven), and of course, Simon Reeve. Yeah, it was the easy smile that got me to take notice but it was the content that got me really hooked, promise! These TV presenters/authors simply give me an immense “travel” high (while at home!?) and an even greater dose of a sense of social responsibility and cultural awakening. To see the world (would I even get to visit the places they’ve been to?) in their eyes, thank God for cable TV.

Aside from giving their viewers glimpses of the world’s farthest nooks and crannies, they give light to issues that affect humanity and the environment. Simon Reeve is pretty vocal about climate change and water conservation. As I keep abreast with his social media, I become aware of the active campaigns about the environment all over the world. 

One thing that I was quite curious about was the 2 Minute Foundation, particularly, the #2minutebeachclean. It started in the winter of 2013-2014 in the United Kingdom. It became a charity in 2019. The foundation encourages everyone that for 2 minutes, one can pick up beach litter they see around the beach especially plastic debris which can turn to micro plastics. As large plastic debris breakdown into micro plastics, they are eaten by marine fishes or other main animals which in turn are consumed by humans. As plastics (yes, you may include people sunbathing in the category, being a contributor to pollution) pile up on shores all around the world, we are literally making a “plastic soup” out of our seas and oceans. Fishes eat these micro plastics because they smell like food (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/ ocean-life-eats-plastic-larvaceans-anchovy-environment). 

Most of us when we go out, we’re keen on take-out food and sometimes are not conscious where we leave our trash. The cycle is quite sad; we do take-out for the convenience, leave our trash somewhere because we get caught up in the joy of being at the beach, the plastic trash are taken away by the waves, fishes eat the smorgasboard of plastics floating around, man  catches fish, man eats fish and so on.

The 2 Minute Foundation is giving us something so easy to do. It may have started in the UK but you definitely can take on the challenge wherever you are.  

2 minutes! 2 minutes, guys!

We spend hours of playing beach volley, reading a book under the shade of coconut trees, and sipping a piñacolada but we can’t take two minutes of cleaning up around us. You know why this #2minutebeachclean is amazing? Imagine if all those who go to the beach would do the clean-up, then it wouldn’t be a mere 2 minutes, is it? It wouldn’t be so short a time for change to happen.

What gets me really psyched is that, as someone who works for agricultural extension, we can make campaigns as easy as this one. Teaching the youth about agriculture through games or challenges that can be accomplished in a short time is doable and can be mighty fun. It could be one plant at a time, one pot at a time, one compost pit at a time, or whatever. ATI people are creative people. We can do this!

In a world of convenience, and short attention spans, I think it’s about time we step back from making big leaps contrary to what has been believed as the only way for development or growth to happen. Maybe we should go back to taking “baby” steps for change. Fundamental growth and development needs time. For good habits to be imbibed, it’ll take time of repeating it over and over again until we do it without as much as a thought to it.

Okay, 2-minute challenges…think, think, think.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.