The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit watchdog group for a toxic-free environment, today urged the public to go for organic products and to compost biodegradable discards towards an ecologically sustainable food system and zero waste community.
As part of the Green Action Week, a global campaign spearheaded by Consumers International and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, the EcoWaste Coalition co-organized with the Barangay Philam in Quezon City an “Organic Food and Farming Fair” that lured citizens to “go organic” and also to exchange information and knowledge on ecological living.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Dr. Romeo Quijano, President of Pesticide Action Network-Philippines said that “patronizing organic foods will support our farmers’ efforts to curb extensive dependence on hazardous pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and restore ecosystem-based agriculture that is good for consumer health and is also climate and environment-friendly.”
Quijano, a toxicologist, added that the propagation of agroecology will protect farmers and farm workers from occupational and accidental exposures to hazardous substances used in the agricultural sector, many of which can cause serious injuries.
Christina Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, described “composting as probably the cheapest and smartest strategy that consumers as citizens can adopt to address our nation’s mounting waste generation and the resultant disposal problem, as well as deal with our soil’s diminishing fertility and the rising toxic load on our natural ecosystems.”
Composting, Vergara explained, is nature’s way of recycling biodegradable discards such as kitchen and food waste, garden and farm waste, and other organics, which constitute over half of the generated wastes nationwide.
“With composting, we can improve the fertility of the soil, provide essential nutrients to plants, protect plants from pests and diseases, and cut use on toxic farm inputs,” she said.
Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect, expressed hope that more communities will promote composting and organic farming to achieve cleaner, greener and safer communities.
At the event, the shoppers and visitors also had the chance of learning about urban gardening, composting and ecological solid waste management, as well as Quezon City’s collection program for busted lamps and used batteries.
Aside from Barangay Philam residents, the event also drew participants from community groups Buklod Tao (San Mateo, Rizal), Piglas Kababaihan (Quezon City), Zone One Tondo Organization (Manila) and the Cavite Green Coalition.
The event was also graced by Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan Miguel Cuna, National Solid Waste Management Commission Executive Director Eli Ildefonso, Barangay Philam Chairman Simplicio Hermogenes, former Quezon City Councilor Elizabeth Delarmente, Philippine Association of Supermarkets President Carlos Cabochan and EcoWaste Coalition Treasurer Eloisa Tolentino.
Among the exhibitors of fresh and processed organic foods and other eco-products were the Balangay Cooperative, Buklod Tao, Dumagat Tribe, Taguig Waterlily Livelihood Program, Shoreline Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran, Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya, Villar Foundation and several organic farming practitioners. .