An environmental watchdog campaigning for waste-free, toxic-free fiestas commended a barangay in Makati City for its effort to do away with wasteful single-use buntings.
The EcoWaste Coalition lauded Barangay Kasilawan led by Dr. Kristina Mae Casal-Reyes, Barangay Chairwoman and Rodel Marfori, Barangay Councilman and head of the Clean and Green Committee for their drive to use eco-friendly fiesta street buntings and arches to celebrate the Barangay Day and the Feast of the Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Abandoned) on May 12.
“We congratulate Barangay Kasilawan for infusing this year’s celebration with much needed concern and action to protect the environment,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“The inter-sitio competition promotes community teamwork that saw the entire barangay being spruced up and adorned with recyclable and reusable materials instead of the usual single-use fiesta decorations,” she said.
Last Sunday, May 5, the EcoWaste Coalition’s Basura Patrol visited Barangay Kasilawan, a community of 4,920 residents, and found its streets and alleys decorated with arches and garlands made of washable cloth, retaso (fabric scraps), used PET bottles, coconut shells and corn husks.
Both Kagawad Marfori and Kagawad Mac-Mac Gabriel told the EcoWaste Coalition that the cloth-based buntings will be stored and kept for future use.
The group has spoken many times against the use of single-use buntings, especially plastic-based ones, which indisputably add to the volume as well as toxicity of fiesta garbage.
On many occasions, the group has found some plastic buntings laden with excessive levels of lead, a chemical deemed as a brain and developmental poison.
The EcoWaste Coalition also applauded Barangay Kasilawan for procuring lead safe paints used for painting street gutters, trash cans and for decorating walls to highlight the sunflower fiesta theme.
In collaboration with Makati City’s Department of Environmental Services, Barangay Kasilawan launched the environment-inspired competition that will run from May 3 to 12.
The criteria for judging include cleanliness (20%), beautification (20%) and impact (60%), which will take into account originality (15%), neighborhood cooperation (15%), appeal (15%) and materials used (15%).
“We hope that their eco-friendly fiesta initiative will lead to a decrease in waste generation and to even greater recycling of discards all year round,” Lucero said.
Based on data given by Kagawad Marfori, Barangay Kasilawan for the month of April alone recycled 7,518 kilos of paper, 3,518 kilos of plastic, 1,248 kilos of metal and 1,400 kilos of glass discards.