EcoWaste Coalition Hails “Zero Waste” Mothers, Cites Women as “Green Heroines”

In celebration of Mothers’ Day, the EcoWaste
Coalition, an environmental watchdog, paid tribute to Filipino women who are in
the frontline of the nation’s struggle against waste and pollution.

“As key adherent of the Zero Waste vision, we say ‘thank you’ to our ‘nanays’
and ‘lolas’ for showing us how to manage our families and households where
nothing is wasted,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste

“They are our first Zero Waste teachers who taught us a lot – from nourishing
our babies with breastmilk, the first Zero Waste food, to appreciating
hand-me-down clothes, books and toys, to making fried rice and  recipes
from common leftovers, and to recycling things that would have been thrown
away,” she pointed out.

“In our homes, our mothers were the first to remind us not to dispose of used
containers such as the versatile ‘garapon,” which can be ingeniously reused
countless times,” she added.

“Their maternal instinct to spend money wisefully and save for the future has,
without doubt, helped in reducing the volume of trash that goes to the bins and
ultimately to dumpsites or incinerators,” she pointed out.

“We see Zero Waste mothers in our communities creatively turning discards and
scraps into functional or decorative items that are sold to generate extra
family income,” she said.

Lucero cited how magazines, newspapers, “Yellow Pages,” condiments sachets,
juice packs,  fabric scraps,  flour bags, rice sacks, tarpaulins and
even plastic sando bags are transformed by Zero Waste mothers into useful
products such as bags, purses and accessories.

“Even in the environmental movement, we see our Zero Waste “nanays” and “lolas”
actively taking part,  inspiring and leading,” Lucero said,  citing
environmentalists Elsie Brandes-De Veyra, Merci Ferrer, Ines Fernandez,
Angelina Galang, Annie Guerrero, Neneng Joson, Maricar Limpin, Marie Marciano,
Sonia Mendoza, Tessa Oliva, Esther Pacheco, Ofelia Panganiban, Annette Papa,
Leah Paquiz, Irma Percela, Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, Lyn Ramos, Baby Reyes, Velvet
Roxas, Luz Sabas, Eileen Sison, Chi Tulao, Shally Vitan and many others for
their green activism.

The EcoWaste Coalition’s recognition of the Filipino women as green heroines
came on the heels of a presidential proclamation supporting ‘Zero Waste.”

President Benigno S. Aquino III on May 5, 2014
signed Proclamation No. 760, declaring every January as “Zero Waste Month.”

According to the said Proclamation, “zero waste  is a goal that is
ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in changing their
lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all
discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

It added that “zero waste is an advocacy that promotes designing and managing
products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and
toxicity of waste and materials, and to conserve and recover all resources, and
not indiscriminately dispose or burn them.”