Have environmentally-friendly holidays and celebrations!

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

If the present and increasing garbage around you bothers you now, wait ‘til Christmas, New Year and Sinulog! These months for celebration are also the months for irresponsible throwing of more non-segregated garbage!

DENR Assistant Secretary Juan Miguel T. Cuna said, “Celebrating the Christmas Season and the coming New Year is the most awaited among the yearly events for every Filipino family. Expectedly, enjoying festivities during the holiday season has been one of the great producers of trash and intensifier of pollution.”

Can we all try, at least from this December onward, to consciously manage our waste more responsibly? Can we instead offer to ourselves, others and to the Lord, a cleaner environment and city from this season and all other seasons from here on?

These are some tips and reminders from us and DENR for more creative and environment-friendly celebration of the holidays!

1.) Segregate your waste, and rather than throw, find useful ways to manage kitchen/biowaste, paper, plastic, bottles, metals, others. Make segregation your daily eco-offering (DEO) to protect our planet/people and restore God’s creations back to him!

2.) Reuse repair maintain/repair durable products. Sell or donate goods instead of just throwing them out. Patronize goods that are reusable, instead of disposable items. Make your own gift-wrapping paper from old gift wrappers, old maps, newspapers, magazines, or from old decorated paper bags.

Give reusable tote bags, lunch bags, travel mugs, house plants, and hand-made items. Put cookies in a flower pot, chocolates in decorated canisters, or jewelry wrapped in handkerchief or scarf. Don’t throw away ribbons and bows, they can be used for other occasions.

Christmas trees have become very costly, so rather than throw, put in storage for next year!

3.) Reduce. Next time you throw away your trash, remember you not only save landfill space, raw materials/natural resources like energy, water, money. More importantly, you save yourself, other people, the whole planet, God’s creations from harm/destruction!

To reduce waste, always take your own shopping bags for groceries and marketing in your public market and/or malls. Choose products with minimal packaging; avoid individually-wrapped products.

Buy products in reusable, refillable, and recyclable packaging. Reduce packaging by buying in bulk. Remember the saying “cheaper by the dozen.” Avoid packaging fruits and vegetables in plastic bags. Buy long-lasting kitchen utensils, household products and clothing. Avoid wasteful consumption of goods. Begin by asking yourself: “Do I really need it?”

4.) Recycle. Consider waste as valuable resources that can be used as raw materials for the production of other goods and services or that others may find useful. Turn your accumulated things/materials into something useful that will not only provide you money/livelihood but will help regulate garbage disposal.

5.) Compost. Rather than throw your kitchen wastes, chop these and layer with soil (at the bottom and on top) and use as fertilizer to grow your own vegetables, herbal plants, flowers, fruit and other trees! Start your own garden for your steady food supply from next January through the years. Start your business by selling your compost or be a plantita, selling your plants or harvest!

By composting our kitchen wastes, you not only produce your own food, maintain your health, have income-earning initiatives. Compost also helps conserve moisture, prevent erosion, reduce not only weed growth but also reduce and divert waste from dirty, unhealthy dumpsites/landfills!

6.) Never burn. Not only is burning prohibited by law, it also has adverse effects on people’s health and environment, releases toxic substances (dioxins, furans, sulfur oxide, toxic ash, carbon dioxide) that pollute the air and deplete the ozone layer that protects the earth from the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun!

Celebrate Christmas, New Year and Sinulog by protecting yourself/your family and other people, our planet and God’s creations!


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