The EcoWaste Coalition has stepped up its advocacy for eco-sensitive holidays with an appeal to each and every Filipino household to reuse and recycle more for a low-carbon Christmas celebration.
The waste and pollution watchdog urges all families to separate discards at source towards increased recovery of resources that can be put into productive service through creative reusing and recycling.
“By recycling as much as we could during the holidays, we prevent valuable resources from being thrown into bins and dumpsites bursting at their seams with excessive Christmas trash,” said recycling trainor Ofelia Panganiban of the EcoWaste Coalition.
Government data show trash produced per person in urban places rises from 0.7 kilo on ordinary days to 1.2 kilos during the extended holidays. Metro Manila, which has a recycling rate of over 25%, generates some 7,200 tons of trash on a daily basis.
“If all families can be more ecologically judicious in their purchases and willfully reuse and recycle, we surely can enjoy cleaner and healthier homes and neighborhoods, while helping cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wasteful consumption and disposal,” Panganiban said.
A US study in 2008 shows that an American household that recycles all of its recyclable and compostable discards is cutting GHG emissions as much as it would by no longer driving a car.
According to the EcoWaste Coalition, typical holiday discards from the customary family and friend reunions, salo-salo and gift-giving are best reused or recycled to trim down the waste size.
Instead of tossing them into the bin or dumpster, the EcoWaste Coalition has come up with a list of creative reusing and recycling ideas for gift wrappers and boxes, bows and ribbons, greeting cards and other common holiday discards.
1. Rip not the gift wrappers, remove them carefully and set aside for the next occasion or use them to cover books.
2. Flatten gift bags and boxes and store them for future use.
3. Save bows and ribbons and reuse them to wrap or adorn future presents, or use them as accessories for art and craft projects.
4. Reuse holiday greeting cards as postcards, bookmarkers and gift tags, or turn them into collage or wreath decorations for next Christmas.
5. Wash, dry and sew drink pouches together to make purses, wallets, pencil holders and other useful items.
6. Turn bottles and jars of fruit jams, beverages and condiments into decorative or functional containers for home, kitchen, office and school articles.
7. Clean, dry and reuse tin cans as storage containers or organizers for pens and pencils, clips and pins, and screws and nails, or as flower vases and plant pots.
8. Keep containers and wrappings of holiday treats for future needs.
9. Share clean leftover foods with neighbors, recycle them into new dishes, feed to pets, give to pig slop collectors or turn them into compost along with other biodegradable discards.
10. Turn tin cans, plastic containers and product boxes into improvised maracas or shakers for a safe and climate-friendly welcome of the New Year sans firecrackers.
“Let us all strive to be eco-friendly in our consumption choices this yuletide season, and aim to halt wasteful habits for a greener 2010,” Panganiban stated.