Give the Earth a break from garbage this Holy Week.
This was the appeal of two pro-environment groups to the Filipino faithful during the Holy week.
Caritas Philippines and EcoWaste Coalition urged the public to mark the Holy Week with acts that will prevent environmental pollution, especially through the reduced use of single-use plastics.
“As stewards of God’s Creation, let us celebrate the Paschal Mystery of the Holy Week with a deeper reflection on what is happening to our environment and the climate,” said Father Antonio Labiao Jr., executive secretary of Caritas Philippines.
He pointed out the need for everyone “to speak and act as one to defend our Mother Earth from being further degraded and harmed.”
“As we again commemorate the Holy Week at a time of a global public health crisis … let us reflect on the insidious throw-away culture that is turning our lands and oceans into dumping grounds for chemical and waste pollutants,” he said.
“Let us listen to the cries of Mother Earth who is choking from tons upon tons of single-use plastic waste, and act with compassion and urgency to save her from this sorry plight,” added the priest.
Jove Benosa, EcoWaste Coalition zero waste campaigner, also invited the faithful to explore and embrace practices that will help reduce the generation of trash in households and communities during the Holy Week.
Caritas Philippines and the EcoWaste Coalition urged the faithful to embrace a Zero Waste lifestyle and consider the following eco-tips for the Holy Week and beyond:
- Abstain from or better still quit polluting habits such as the arbitrary use and disposal of single-use plastics, the mixing of discards, and the open dumping or burning of garbage.
- Segregate waste materials at its source in order to reuse, repair and recycle inorganic or non-biodegradable discards, and compost organic or biodegradable materials.
- Turn food waste and other organics into compost, which can be used to fertilize the soil for home or neighborhood gardens.
- Opt for reusable cloth or fabric face masks – especially for non-medical frontliners – instead of single-use non-biodegradable and non-recyclable face masks.
- Safely dispose of soiled face masks, worn-out face shields and used gloves, tissues, wipes and other potentially infectious waste.
- Gather old and used items in good condition and donate them to charitable causes such as the “Segunda Mana,” the special donations-in-kind program of Caritas Manila.