SHARING COMMUNITY: EcoWaste Coalition’s members and partners celebrate the Green Action Week with the theme “Sharing Community” to stir up greater collaboration and sharing to promote sustainable access to goods and services and realize the envisioned zero waste and toxics-free society.
To mark the Green Action Week, a global campaign to promote sustainable consumption, partner groups and communities of the EcoWaste Coalition gathered today in Tondo, Manila.
The event attended by some 150 individuals, mainly from informal waste recycling groups based in Malabon and Manila Cities, was held to celebrate and strengthen the culture of collaboration and sharing within the network.
“While sharing is not an alien concept for our affiliates and partners, we have yet to take full advantage of sharing as a strategy that will connect our diverse membership and assist them in fulfilling their needs and aspirations,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Through ‘Project Share,’ we hope to kindle a more active culture of sharing that will help the network in advancing the envisioned zero waste and toxics-free society while promoting our rights and responsibilities as citizens and consumers,” he added.
Community leaders representing some of the most vulnerable and unprotected members of the informal recycling sector, including e-waste dismantlers, shared their stories on how they make a living out of other people’s discards, the difficulties involved and their most cherished dreams.
Sarilaya Secretary General Meth Jimenez enriched the conversation by providing insights as to how their group integrates a gender perspective in their community work to promote equality and combat discrimination.
As access to basic goods is a common concern for low and middle income families, participants had the opportunity to learn about container gardening to grow nutritious vegetables, home-made deodorant and toothpaste to lessen expense on personal hygiene products, and assorted crafts from trash that can augment household income.
During the event, campaigners also took turns introducing their advocacies and the opportunities for learning, engagement and participation. Among the initiatives highlighted were the safe management of e-waste, the protection of consumers from hazardous chemicals in products, and the threat from
waste-to-energy incineration, particularly to the livelihood of the informal recyclers.
Prior to the event, the EcoWaste Coalition conducted a membership survey to, among other things, assess the needs of member groups and prepare an inventory of resources within the network that can be shared with one another.
“This event marks the beginning of a more willful approach to cultivate a culture of sharing among our members,” said Ayeth Enrile, Membership Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, stressing “there is so much information, knowledge, expertise and other resources within the network that is just waiting to be tapped.”
Among the groups who participated in the sharing event were the Environmental Advocates Reaching Towards Humanity – UST, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Integrative Medicine for Alternative Healthcare Systems Philippines, Kanlungan ng Kalikasan, Kariton Empowerment Center, Maskara Green Stage Filipinas, Mother Earth Foundation, Nagkakaisang Lakas ng mga Mangangalakal sa Longos, Nagkakaisang Mananambakan ng Dumpsite Area, Piglas Kababaihan, Sambayanang Muling Pagkabuhay Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal ng Scrap sa Capulong, Sarilaya-National, and the Shoreline Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran.
The Green Action Week is an initiative of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and is implemented in coordination with Consumers International. The theme for 2018 and onwards is “Sharing Community.”