It is hard to explain, much more justify, how living in the middle of a pine-covered mountain camp right in the middle of a large pineapple plantation is considered environmentally-friendly. Issues of inorganic chemicals, biodiversity, fuel consumption among others will continue to besiege this place. I will make a separate post about those issues as I am still gathering data.
But as a resident, I can cite 10 reasons why Camp Phillips is the ideal place for sustainable living:
1. The climate is perfect for backyard gardening. There is enough land in every one’s backyard to put SM Hypermart out of business. And I am talking backyard – front yard is for flower gardens and landscapes. This week, I am starting a fresh herbs garden in the front lawn, but our backyard has some space for at least twenty kinds of vegetables.
2. There are plenty of small farmers in the vicinity. We can buy produce from local suppliers – rice farmers, poultry-raisers, vegetable gardeners. All within less than an hour from our house. I bought a bottle of fresh honey for 100 pesos from a local guy whose job is to roam around the forests to look for honeybee hives. Imagine that!
3. I get a supply of fresh milk every day. The camp has a cattle and dairy livestock nearby, and our local co-op retails fresh milk for a very cheap price. If only, there is an organic dairy farm nearby — oh well, that is asking too much!
4. Everything is within walking distance. Camp Phillips is a walkable, bikable community. Everything – offices, stores, schools, churches, videokes, cafes – is within walking distance. Just compute the amount of fuels we save because we choose to walk every day.
5. That’s another thing. Most of the supplies and needs are found in the co-op, so that means we practice collaborative consumption every day. Our gas station is owned by a co-op. The cable connection is owned and managed by another co-op. The internet connection is owned and managed by the co-op.
6. There is a vibrant sharing community. Camp Phillips has several organizations that are very active, which makes it easy to practice coordination and cooperation – essential aspects of sustainable living.
7. Sports and fitness venues are in the middle of the neighborhood. Sustainable living includes direct access to health and fitness centers, and Camp Phillips has a gym, a large soccer field, a playground, a basketball court, a tennis court, and a running track right in the middle of the camp, near the school and the church.
8. Electricity and water – while provided for free – are controlled and managed well. Every Saturday, we have a voluntary power outage for three hours.
9. There are several growing faith communities to help you nurture your soul. Neighborhoods are organized into Basic Ecclessial Communities, there are branches of the Couples for Christ, Singles for Christ. Heck, even Holy Cross alumni is very organized.
10. Lastly, we are literally safe from natural disasters. Camp Phillips, being part of Bukidnon, is not within the typhoon belt, no earthquake-prone faults, no active volcanoes nearby, and no dangers of flashfloods.