EcoWaste Coalition Appeals to the Public to Cut Back on Christmas Trash, Support Typhoon Odette Survivors

As Christmas is celebrated amid the threat of Omicron variant of COVID-19 and following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in the Visayas, Mindanao and Palawan, a waste and pollution watchdog renewed its appeal to the general public to prevent and reduce holiday trash or what it calls as “holitrash.”

“During this time of climate emergency and plastic pollution crisis, all of us are called to consume sustainably and make every effort to prevent what we consume from being wasted, burned or dumped,” said Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Through sustainable consumption this Christmas and beyond, we contribute to the conservation of our depleting natural resources, reduce the generation of more wastes, and prevent chemical and plastic pollutants from wreaking further damage on the environment, as well as satisfy our needs without depriving others, including the future generations,” he said.

Being one of the most wasteful festivities due to the crass commercialization of Christmas, the EcoWaste Coalition encouraged the public to repurpose, reuse and recycle the season's typical discards instead of simply throwing, burning or getting them hauled for dumping elsewhere.

Here are some timely eco-tips from the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental alliance working toward a zero waste and toxics-free society:
  1. Compost holiday food waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, eggshells and other organics into nutrient rich fertilizer or soil amendment.  Keep compostables separated from non-biodegradable and recyclable discards.
  2. Avoid food from spoiling, and spread the Christmas cheer by sharing excess food with the poor, with COVID-19 and Typhoon Odette survivors, and with individuals servicing your neighborhood, including the barangay health workers and "tanod," security guards, street sweepers, garbage collectors, waste recyclers, etc.
  3. Save Christmas cards, gift labels, wrappers, bows and ribbons, boxes, and red packets for the next gift giving or store them for school art and craft projects and other uses.  
  4. Reuse empty glass jars as containers for candies and home-made jams and preserves.
  5. Give used bottles, cans, corrugated boxes and other recyclables to itinerant waste pickers.
  6. Turn empty cans into do-it-yourself (DIY) alternative noisemakers to usher in the New Year in lieu of dangerous and polluting firecrackers and fireworks. 
“Let us celebrate the birth of Child Jesus by reducing what we throw away, preventing pollution, and by sharing our blessings with others,” said Benosa 

"As our hearts bleed for all the Odette victims and survivors, we urge every household to help in providing for their essential needs by donating to the emergency appeals from charity, faith, development and media groups and concerned individuals of your choice," he concluded.