Walk the Talk

By Abigail J. Labadan, 2017 Corps Member

A man behind a desk talking with two young people.The Talk

Ten years ago, a 14-year-old me sat in a classroom in The Philippines and listened to my teacher discuss pressing environmental issues. She spoke with hope and enumerated ways to alleviate the problems. These solutions still trigger my adrenalin every time I hear them discussed, leading me to have a passion of creating a better world. In line with that passion and my desire to help mother nature, I pursued Environmental Science for my college degree.

Lucky me, I got an environment-related research job as soon as I completed my college degree and at the same time managed to enroll in a graduate program to further study environmental management. I have been involved on various environment-related research studies in the Philippines: river water assessments, natural resource mapping and analyses, and even a taste of solid waste management planning. Some output from these works were significantly used in my hometown and that lead me to self-actualization. But I know that there’s something that I have been missing.

What happens after you know all about the situation? What do you do after research and planning?

What happens after you know all about the situation? What do you do after research and planning?

Implementation! I knew that this was the missing piece in my loop. A lot of people are knowledgeable about our environmental issues (including me) and can even facilitate discussion about the cause and effects of our world’s degradation but are having difficulties on actual implementation. It is easy to identify and make a list of stuff that would be good for the environment (saving water, saving electricity, carpooling, etc.) but I for one is guilty about not really doing something of what I talk. Studying the theory is one thing, but going to the ground and getting involved is what is on the other hand.

Corps Member wearing a hard hat, working outside in an area with lots of foliage.

The Walk

Letting my brain learn about earth science is great, but letting my hands get dirty by touching the earth and contributing to environmental restoration makes me a better person. EarthCorps led me to have muddy shoes, soiled gloves, and a dirty face. Working outside, whether under a very chilly weather or under the heat of the sun using heavy tools is never easy especially for me who was used to be just indoor, working at my office desk and doing research. However, I must admit, I am learning and growing. It is literally the sweaty way of learning but it is definitely worth it as it is not just about me but also for my community and the natural environment. I’d say, being with EarthCorps hit that special spot within and led me to guiltlessly testify that, “I am walking and living through what I have just used to be preaching”.

The synergy of science and experience are major keys that elevates you and makes your perspective wider and your world better…and this I have experienced through EarthCorps.

How about you? What’s your “mother nature” story? How do you walk your talk?

Corps Member, Abigail J. Labadan, smiling with her fellow Corps Members.

Abigail is here in Seattle as an EarthCorps International Participant from Bukidnon, Philippines. Learn about what brought other corps members to EarthCorps on our Meet the Corps page.