EcoWaste Coalition shares ideas for green Lenten “sacrifices”

Quezon City. As the nation prepares for the commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice, death, and resurrection to save humankind, environmental advocacy campaign network EcoWaste Coalition came up with a list of ideas for a green Holy Week.

The list came in a package called “green Lenten sacrifices” and were culled from thoughts shared by the secretariat and members of the Coalition.

“In view of the increasing environmental issues that we face today, we thought it would be good to share some of what our members do or think of doing as some form of sacrifice and/or “panata” (vow) to make the Holy Week green,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coaliton.

The list deals with such environmental issues as wasting, pollution, and climate change, as well as health.

The Coalition even challenged the public to perform their “green sacrifice” for the whole of the holy week or, even better, to turn them into “panata” for life.

To make the semana santa truly holy and green, the EcoWaste Coalition shared the following “green sacrifice” ideas which Christians will find helpful for a meaningful commemoration of the sufferings of the Creator Himself when He came as human to save the world:

· Go for meatless meals or, better still, go vegan. Aside from being healthy, vegan diet eases global warming and is good for the environment in general, as meat production requires lots of water, more land, fuel, and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

· Walk or bike to holy week destinations, such as when visiting churches during the Visita Iglesia. The visit to churches can be planned in such a way that walking or biking will become practicable. This will save fuel and minimize carbon foot prints, in addition to being good for health.

· Instead of going for an out-of-town family event, “sacrifice” a bit by putting it aside and consider giving the money saved to charitable institutions and events. This is a good way to do our share to ease energy use and minimize carbon emissions.

· Shun the use of plastic bags, plastic bottles, one-use cups and plates, and other single-use-disposable items by having eco-friendly ones, such as “bayong” and reusable water bottles, handy. This will help ease the increasing waste problems that we face.

· Do away with junk foods & beverages, fast foods, cigarettes, and other intakes that damage the health and the environment.

· Put aside electronic gadgets, such as cellphones, tablets, iPods, smartphones, lap tops, and the likes, and instead seize the occasion as an opportunity for meaningful bonding moments with loved ones and to commune with nature and God in prayer. This will also relieve us from too much exposure to radiation emitted by such gadgets, as well as save electricity.

· Turn off lights for longer hours than usual, avoid TV, use manual fan instead of an air conditioner or electric fan, conserve water, avoid food wastes, and do similar other resource and energy saving “sacrifices.”

· As many think it burdensome or a “sacrifice” to manage their discards, the holy week can be a good start to begin segregating, composting, recycling, and reusing items that are ready for disposal.

According to the Coalition, everyone can have his or her own idea added to the list. “Simply ask yourself the question, ‘What can I forego or vow to do for the sake of maintaining, or much better, improving, the integrity of creation?’”, the group explained.

“Make it a point that nothing is wasted and no one harmed,” the Coalition emphasized.

These “green Lenten sacrife” ideas were shared by the secretariat of the EcoWaste Coalition and its member organizations Arugaan, Bangon Kalikasan, Batangas 2 Fisherman Association, Buklod Tao, Concerned Resident Cysclists of Industrial Valley – Marikina, CYCAD, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Kupkop Kita Kabayan, Mother Earth Foundation, Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc., and Sining Yapak.