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The EcoWaste Coalition, watchdog group for chemical safety and zero waste, has asked for the help of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and the entire Catholic clergy in beating the throw-away culture that is defiling Mother Earth.
Cardinal Tagle yesterday told the participants of the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu City to, among other moving messages, live simply, stressing that to “live by restraint, we can go against the throw-away culture.”
“Cardinal Tagle’s call is most timely as the nation marks the Zero Waste Month this January, and as various sectors gather in Luneta over this weekend for a Zero Waste Fair to give a much-needed push for waste prevention and reduction efforts to beat the country’s persistent garbage woes,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Now more than ever, we need the Cardinal’s solidarity to tame the ‘basura monster’ that is projected to reach 40,087 tons daily this year up from 37,427 tons per day in 2012,” she emphasized.
At last year’s celebration of the “Season of Creation,” Cardinal Tagle also urged the faithful to “avoid (the) throw way attitude propelled by materialism,” as well as the “throw everywhere habit that produces mountains of garbage.”
“We fully support his denunciation of the throw-away culture and humbly request him to take his call further by initiating ecological reforms in our vibrant faith-inspired activities such as Christmas and the fiestas that tend to consume too much resources, while creating tons upon tons of trash, much of which get burned, buried or tossed into the rivers and seas,” Lucero said.
“All the country’s bishops and priests, we hope, will take their cue from the respected Cardinal and assist in building eco-friendly, non-toxic parishes and communities,” she added.
“We need the help from all faith groups in rousing our citizens to abide by Republic Act 9003 (the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), as well as in moving our mayors and other officials in enforcing it along with our other environmental laws,” she stated.
Reacting to Cardinal Tagle’s call to stop the throw-away culture, Father Roberto P. Reyes OFM, a partner of the EcoWaste Coalition, said: “This why we need a new kind of Holiness, a Green Holiness characterized by voluntary simplicity, which celebrates the beauty of the best things in life that are priceless and precious.”
Also known as the “running priest,” Father Reyes proposed: “Instead of having things, we can begin to celebrate the blessing of deep and lasting relationships between couples, parents and their children, neighbors, and fellow workers. Instead of having things, we can begin to celebrate what Pope Francis often refers to as the Caress, the Compassion of a merciful and loving God.”
“Instead of having things, we can now begin to appreciate the grateful caress of Mother Earth whom we no longer poison with our garbage and wound with our profit-obsessed activities from mining to agricultural land and forest conversions to malls, factories and expensive high-rise condos and subdivisions,” he added.
“Indeed, happy is the person who has nothing but the love of God, neighbor and Mother Earth. She truly is the happiest and richest person on earth,” he concluded.