WE can have a lot of fun on Christmas without generating piles of trash.
The waste and pollution watch group EcoWaste Coalition has shared practical and eco-friendly ideas to lessen the environmental impact of this year’s holiday celebrations.
This season is an opportunity for Filipinos to rediscover the virtue of simplicity, said Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition.
“Amid the growing threats of throw-away plastic culture to health and the environment, we are reminded to relearn and relive the simplicity of the Nativity and avoid crass commercialism and wastefulness during Christmas and beyond,” Benosa said.
What you can do
Here are the tips from the group:
- Opt for party wares that can be washed and reused instead of resorting to single-use plastic plates, cutlery and cups.
- Avoid using cling wrap, as this cannot be recycled or composted.
- Planning to take home food from the party? Bring reusable containers for these and for leftovers so that there will be no need to resort to disposable containers.
- Recycle or share edible food leftovers with the needy.
- Reuse waste materials for holiday decorations.
- Make a shopping list to avoid impulse buying and overspending.
- Support local products made or marketed by farmers, persons deprived of liberty, cooperatives, church and civic groups.
- Bring your own bayong or reusable bag when shopping and refuse plastic or paper bags at the cashier.
- Go for eco-friendly products that are minimally packed, durable, and safe, and which can be repaired, reused, recycled or passed on to others.
- Create gifts with minimal or zero packaging.
- Segregate discarded items into different categories for safer and easier waste management.
No need for new gift wrappers
EcoWaste Coalition also advised the public to buy gifts that come with little or no packaging to reduce waste.
People could choose items that promote good health and ecological balance, such as vegetable seeds, kitchen herbs, flower bulbs, tree saplings, organic personal care and cosmetic products, eco-alternatives to plastics, and the like, it said.
They could also opt not to wrap gifts, or use old magazines, newspapers, fabric scraps, or native baskets if they want to wrap these, it said.
Those who receive gift-wrapped items could also open them carefully instead of tearing them open so that they could keep the gift bags, boxes, nows, ribbons, and wrappers for the next gift-giving season.