EcoWaste Coalition Urges Catholic Filipinos to Respond to Pope’s Environmental Plea, Proposes “6Rs” for Earth-Friendly Holy Week

A waste and pollution
watchdog has appealed to Catholic Filipinos to heed the new Pope’s plea for
environmental protection.
In a statement issued ahead of Palm Sunday, the EcoWaste
Coalition echoed the call made by Pope Francis last Tuesday for the people to
be “protectors of the environment.”
During his inaugural mass at St. Peter’s Square in
Vatican City, the Pope told the faithful: “Let us be protectors of creation,
protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of
the environment.”
“The Holy Week is a timely occasion to affirm our role as
stewards of God’s creation,” said Ochie Tolentino, Vice-President of the EcoWaste
“Regardless of your age, gender, job and possession, you
can do something real and beautiful to protect the Mother Earth and help her
recover from the ill effects of human excesses,” she said.
“For example, you can start by consuming responsibly such
as not wasting rice, not dropping any litter and not dumping or burning your discards,”
she pointed out. 
“Let us partake in this common task of protecting our
fragile environment from being further degraded, especially during the Holy
Week and beyond,” she reiterated.
Towards the path of ecological conversion, the EcoWaste
Coalition encouraged the faithful to include the following “6Rs” as “acts of
penance and reconciliation with the environment:”
1. Resist the consumption of single-use, disposable
products in favor of eco-friendly substitutes that can be reused a number of
times.  For example, use a water jug
instead of buying bottled water.
2. Refuse plastic bags and proudly use native bayong and other reusable carry bags and containers when you go to your favorite sari-sari
store, palengke or supermarket.
3. Reject products packed in excessive paper and/or
plastic materials.  Look for and
patronize products with less packaging. 
4. Reject all acts of littering from throwing cigarette
butts out of car windows, tossing candy wrappers on the streets, spitting on pavements,
to not picking up after your dog.
5. Refrain from driving a car for your Visita Iglesia and
other Holy Week activities. Save gas: walk, cycle, take the pedicab, jeepney or
bus, or car pool in fulfilling your spiritual vows.
6. Reduce electricity and water usage.  Consume less by avoiding wastage and
following basic conservation tips such as by turning out lights, unplugging
appliances when not in use and fixing
dripping faucets and pipes.
“These ‘6Rs’ are simple starters towards eco-living.  Why not challenge yourself on how much you
can do without, and discover just how little you really need.  You and I can definitely do more to lessen
our impact on our fragile planet,” Tolentino said.