Group Asks the Faithful to Give Mother Earth a Break from Garbage on Holy Week (Zero Waste Group Seeks Earth-Friendly Holy Week)

As the Holy Week is
observed, an environmental group exhorted the faithful to give Mother
Earth a well-deserved break from garbage and pollution.
The EcoWaste Coalition, an advocate for zero waste, issued its plea for a low
carbon Holy Week on
the eve of Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of the week leading
to Easter.
“The Holy Week provides
a good occasion for Filipinos, especially the devout Catholics, to observe
low-emission, climate-friendly and trash-free practices for the sake of our
Mother Earth,” said Ochie Tolentino, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We can use the holy days
to perform acts that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, while conserving our
diminishing natural resources,” she said.
The group echoed the words of Archbishop Socrates Villegas who recently
exhorted Filipinos “to act together to protect the planet from the impacts of
climate change.”
“The right to a healthful ecology that the Constitution guarantees us all will
soon become hollow words when our wells run dry, our fields become arid as
wastelands, our air, heavy with lethal pollutants,” warned Villegas who is also
the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
“We are one with the church in calling for ecological conversion amidst the
changing and warming climate, and many, we hope, will find the Holy Week an
opportune time to make environmental amends,” Tolentino said.
Towards a low carbon, zero waste Holy Week,
the EcoWaste Coalition reiterated the following eco-friendly reminders:
1.  Abstain from, or permanently give up, acts that tend to degrade and
dirty the environment such as plastic bag use, littering, waste burning, etc.  
2.  Walk, bike or take the public transportation to the churches for the
Visita Iglesia (church visits).
3.  Use recycled materials for makeshift huts for the reading, chanting or
singing of the Passion of Christ (Pabasa).  If painting is desired, use
lead-safe decorative paints.
4.  Serve food for the penitential “Caridad” (food sharing) in reusable
containers that can be washed and reused all over again.
5.  Take part in making the penitential “Alay-Lakad” to Antipolo City on
Maundy Thursday litter-free.

6.  Pick up the trash along the route as part of the Via
Crucis (Way of the Cross) rites in the neighborhood.
7.  Adorn floats for the Santo Entierro (Holy Interment) on Good Friday
with longer-lasting mercury-free LED lamps and with locally-sourced flowers and

8.  Celebrate the Salubong at dawn on Easter Sunday without
lighting firecrackers and fireworks.
9.  Ensure that Easter fun games and activities are simple and not
10.  Gather old and used items in good condition and donate to “Segunda
Mana,” the special donations-in-kind program of Caritas Manila.
11.  Quiet down and opt for “staycation” at home for a meaningful bonding
time with family members.
12.  For those going for out-of-town vacation, please take the following
eco-mantra to heart: “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints,
kill nothing but time.”
“Please do not throw or abandon your discards on the road, park, beach and
churchyard.  If there are no bins available, kindly bring your discards
 home for composting, recycling or proper disposal,” the group
Also, the group appealed to politicians to do away with “Happy Easter”
tarpaulin greetings, which only add to the street clutter and to the garbage to
be collected and disposed of.