16 April 2017

Group Pushes for Ecological Waste Management for Greener Pilgrimage Next Time (EcoWaste Coalition Scores Pilgrims for Trash Dumping and Burning)

 Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral, Antipolo City
 Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral, Antipolo City
 Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral, Antipolo City
 Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral, Antipolo City
 Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, San Jose del Monte City
  Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, San Jose del Monte City
  Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, San Jose del Monte City
  Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, San Jose del Monte City
 Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, San Jose del Monte City

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental group pursuing a zero waste society, exhorted the faithful to aim for greener spiritual pilgrimage next time by not dumping and burning litter.

To cap off its campaign for a trash-free Holy Week, the group on Easter Sunday took  litterers to task for spoiling popular pilgrimage sites and their environs by leaving behind tons of trash, including discarded beverage and food containers, snack packs, plastic bags, cigarette butts and improvised materials for sitting, picnicking and sleeping.

The group also chided those who set garbage heaps on fire for exacerbating the environmental mess with dangerous air contaminants such as particulate matter, which, if inhaled, can result to serious health effects, particularly to the heart and lungs.

The EcoWaste Coalition reiterated its disapproval and condemnation of trash dumping and burning after receiving more photo evidence of the unlawful acts committed during the holy days.

The group most recently obtained photos of mounds of trash, including bonfires (siga), taken on Black Saturday at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in San Jose Del Monte City, a popular Lenten pilgrimage site.  The photos can be viewed here:

http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com/2017/04/more-photos-of-waste-dumping-and.html

The group had earlier deplored the widespread littering that again marred the penitential Alay-Lakad to Antipolo City. 

“The dumping and burning of trash that happened in pilgrimage sites and the roads leading to them are totally inexcusable,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“There is no excuse for defiling the environment, the sustainer of all life, with pollutants that can cause harm to personal as well as community health,” she stressed. 

“Litterbugs cannot continue throwing litter anywhere they please because someone would pick up after them, or because they would be able to get away with it despite being a punishable offense under our national and local environmental laws,” she added. 

Both littering and open burning are forbidden acts punishable under Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and its corresponding local ordinances.

The EcoWaste Coalition expressed its hope “that pilgrims will mind their trash next time, and embrace the saying ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ to heart, especially when they carry out penitential acts.” 

“The activities in remembrance of the Passion of Christ should not generate ‘holitrash.' Instead of adding to our garbage and climate woes, the solemn week should inspire us to clean our hearts and strengthen our respect for Mother Earth and other beings,’ the group added.

“Wasteful penitential acts should die away as we struggle to live amid the changing climate,” the group emphasized. 

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