Quezon City. To be Chinese and in love on February 14 of this year would be a double red letter day as the Chinese New Year will fall right on Valentine’s Day. The EcoWaste Coaliton, a group of eco-friendly lifestyle advocates, however, reminds the Filipino-Chinese community, to keep the celebrations as safe as they are happy.
The environmental group urges the Chinese community, known for their costly and elaborate firecrackers and fireworks, to forego the toxic ritual as they welcome the year of the metal tiger.
In addition to safety issues, firecrackers and fireworks also aggravate the poor air quality with smoke and dust loaded with harmful chemicals that can cause throat and chest congestion and other health problems, particularly for people with asthma and chemical sensitivities.
“Remember what the tradition of using firecrackers to welcome the new year is for: to drive away bad luck – so let us not deliver ourselves right to its doorstep by lighting up these dangerous things that pose more actual harm than any perceived good,” explains Aileen Lucero of EcoWaste’s Iwas PapuToxic Campaign.
“Instead of literally burning money away, we invite our Chinese friends to divert funds meant for firecrackers and fireworks to buy ‘tikoy’ and other goodies for indigent families and also to assist communities that were razed to the ground by recent fires,” suggest Lucero.
Says Commissioner Elsie De Veyra, Steering Committee member of the Coalition, a retired nurse. “Hindi lamang po kalusugan natin ang nailalagay sa panganib tuwing tayo’s nagpapaputok, pati po ang ating kapaligiran at klima ay nasasalanta sapagkat ang mga paputok ay lumilikha ng kalat at polusyon,” she adds.