As the Christendom celebrates the birth of the Redeemer, a waste and pollution watchdog appealed to the faithful not to let garbage spoil the festive celebration.
The EcoWaste Coalition urged kids and adults alike to mark the joyous occasion by repurposing, reusing and recycling the usual Christmas discards instead of simply tossing them to the bins, sidewalks or street corners.
“Let us honor the child Jesus by spreading love not garbage on this special day. We can do simple steps to stop useful materials from reaching the dumps and getting wasted,” said Sonia Mendoza, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Making Christmas less wasteful is not rocket science. Everyone regardless of age, gender and socio-economic status can prevent and reduce the holiday trash with some creativity and common sense,” she said.
“We hope that everyone will do their part to keep our communities glistening with safe Christmas lights and eco-friendly decorations, and not stinking due to abandoned mixed rubbish,” she added.
To reduce the volume of residual Christmas garbage, the EcoWaste Coalition has come up with the following waste prevention and reduction tips.
1. Get creative with edible food leftovers, which can be recycled into amazing meals. To spread the Christmas cheer and avoid food wastage, consider sharing spare food with the poor, jobless and homeless, as well as with people servicing your neighborhood such as the village guards, garbage collectors, waste recyclers, etc.
2. Carefully unwrap Christmas gifts and save the bags, boxes, bows and ribbons and wrappers for the next gift-sharing occasion. Christmas wrappers can be repurposed as book and notebook covers, Origami crane, paper garland or as materials for school art and craft projects.
3. Save holiday greeting cards, gift labels, ang pao envelopes or red packets, which can be used as bookmarkers, or as Christmas tree, wreath and lantern decorations for the next celebration. Christmas cards can be made into new cards or gift tags.
4. Transform empty cans of pineapple juice and evaporated milk into improvised noisemakers to welcome the New Year. Fill the can with some bottle crowns, coins, keys or seeds and attach a wooden handle to make an instant maracas. Tin cans can also be used as garden pots or hanging planters, or as containers for school and office supplies.
5. Reuse empty jars of cheese spread, fruit preserves and mayonnaise as containers for home-made achara (pickled green papaya), halayang ube (purple yam jam) and other holiday delicacies.
6. Save all other recyclable discards such as soda cans, plastic bottles, corrugated cardboard boxes, etc. to sell to junk shops or to give to itinerant waste pickers.
The EcoWaste Coalition also encouraged families and businesses not to put their garbage outside their houses or establishments or in street corners and vacant lots, and wait instead for the waste collection service to come.
The group further requested citizens who will go to Rizal Park and other recreational spots on Christmas day not to drop any litter from candy and chip wrappers to food containers and leftovers to cigarette butts.