The one and only “Manang Luz,” recipient of the EcoWaste Coalition’s “Zero Waste Champion” award in 2005. Photo from Jai Aracama’s Facebook.
Luz Escalante Sabas, the country’s pioneer Zero Waste advocate, environmentalist and founder of the Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines Foundation, died on June 9, 2017.
Manang Luz, as she was fondly called, launched her book on May 12, “Toward Zero Waste,” based on her thesis for her Master of Arts degree in teaching (major in health education) in 1979 at the University of the Philippines. The thesis discussed the “Four Fs Scheme of Total Recycling of Domestic Wastes,” particularly segregating the nonbiodegradable waste for factories from biodegradable waste for feeds, fertilizer and fuel. She trained countless groups nationwide and was a guru to the late Odette Alcantara and many other environmental advocates. Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act is based on her work, which is also reflected in RA 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010.
Manang Luz is survived by daughters Grace,Pearl, Irene, Hazel, Janet, Helen; son Leon Jr.; sons-in-law Dr. Rodolfo Raquino, Richard Thackray, David Campos, Joey Aracama; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her remains are at the St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Church, Chapel 2, Magallanes Village and will be buried at Himlayang Pilipino on June 14.