EcoWaste Coalition Proposes Austere Christmas Celebration in the Face of Tragedy

12 November 2013, Quezon City. “Make it simple.”

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watchdog, aired this three-word direct appeal to all Filipinos observing Christmas, the nation’s most festive celebration.

The group’s plea for austere Christmas festivities came on the heels of super typhoon Yolanda’s wrath that killed countless people and devastated vast agricultural, commercial and residential areas in the Visayas and other places.

“We invite members of the society, including the government and business sectors, to aim for the simplest celebration of Christmas and use the funds saved to support the huge relief and rehabilitation needs of the victims of the monster typhoon,” Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Compassion is the call of the hour and a leaner, kinder and greener Christmas is one way through which we can show our solidarity with the disaster victims,” she added.

“An austere celebration will not in any way diminish the real meaning of Christmas, but will, in fact, unravel the true meaning of the season,” she pointed out.

Among the things that can be toned down, according to the group, are the extravagant decorations, shopping splurges, lavish parties as well as over-the-top bonuses of some government and business executives.

Among the things that can be completely given up are the firecrackers and firework displays, especially those paid out of public funds, “which are not only costly, but dangerous and polluting as well,” the group said.

An austere celebration will also translate to less “holitrash” (holiday trash) resulting from the all-out consumption spree, the group further said.

For example, Metro Manila’s waste generation of 8,400 to 8,600 tons daily increase by one-third during the holiday season due to the extended festivities.