MANILA, Philippines — With her critically acclaimed film “Bliss,” her successful TV series “A Love to Last,” and with her handsome, long-time boyfriend Ben Wintle by her side, Iza Calzado has so much to be grateful for this 2017.
With her birthday just around the corner, Iza shares that there is one thing she is wishing for. “Happiness, more projects, and the best of health, yun lang talaga,” beams the radiant, 35-to-be actress who graced the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines’ recent event, the Green Wanderer Travel Fair.
As one of WWF’s national ambassadors, Iza also hopes and encourages everyone to take up their roles as responsible stewards of the environment. “I wish for a better world for everybody, where nobody has to starve or go through life in strife. It makes me so sad seeing (the poverty and the struggle that many of our countrymen are go through.) Bakit kailangan ganito yung disparity?” she says.
She admits that all of us could greatly benefit if we were to treat each other with a little more compassion and kindness –that goes as well with how we treat the environment. “Thankfully, people have grown more aware about environmental protection and such, so what we need now is action,” she says.
It is never easy; making the right choices takes daily commitment, she reveals. “Even as one of the national ambassadors, I need to improve and make more conscientious choices everyday.I often have to remind myself – is this the best choice that I can make?”
Whether it is using sustainable steel straws instead of plastic ones, or swapping out plastic bags for more eco-friendly canvas bags to carry her gym stuff, she says, “You can always start small. I start with small choices that will have a big effect on Mother Nature…If you can become a more responsible, conscientious consumer, that’s all that matters.”
At home, Iza practices living green by turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and being more conscious of her water usage. “Running water is my ultimate pet peeve,” she reveals.
But even outside of the home, while exploring other countries, you can still live out the “clean and green philosophy” as a green traveler, she insists.
At the Green Wanderer Travel fair, held last August 11 to 13 at Central Square, Bonifacio Global City, travelers, including Iza, were treated to an exhibit of partners who are committed to providing an eco-friendlier, sustainable traveling experience. A project led by the National Youth Council of WWF-Philippines, in partnership with the SSI Group, Inc., the Green Wanderer Travel Fair featured sustainable travel options with uniquely curated itineraries at discounted prices, as well as products made by local artisans. The three-day affair gathered exhibitors,including El Nido Resorts, Skyjet Airlines, Banana Peel, and the Circle Hostel, among others.
“Travel fairs are common, but WWF-Philippines wanted to put a twist on this one… Travel takes on a whole other level of significance when done in a way that not only reduces harm, but is beneficial to the environment and local people and animals,” says Nikki Huang, fellow National Youth Council Member and active green traveler. “We hope through this event we can better bring together our passions of travel and eco-sustainability,” she ends.