Zero waste advocates do the Zumba to urge cemetery goers to shun “Zombasura”, observe “Cemetiquette”

A few days before the commemoration
of the time-honored Filipino “Undas” tradition, green groups today
implore the public to show genuine respect for our departed loved ones
by trashing wasteful and toxic habits.

Through a
Zumba-inspired event cast by “Zombasura” and colorful actors/dancers in
pig masks held at the Manila North Cemetery, EcoWaste Coalition,
together with Miss Earth Beauties Jamie Herrell (Miss Philippines Earth
2014), Diane Querrer (Miss Philippines Earth Air), Maria Bencelle
Bianzon (Miss Philippines Earth Runner-up); MALAYA-Cavite;
representatives from the government of the City of Manila; Manila North
Cemetery Administration; Tzu Chi Foundation, and other civil society
groups from Malabon, danced to reverberate the call for a zero waste and
toxics-free “Undas”.

“As part of our yearly campaign
for waste- and pollution-free Undas celebrations, we took on the Zumba
craze to remind our fellow cemetery goers to keep in mind the
“Cemetiquette” or cemetery etiquette and do away with “Zombasura” habits
as a way of showing deep and genuine respect for our departed kindred
and friends. We ask the public to please don’t turn the cemetery into a
pigsty,” expressed Christina Vergara, Zero Waste Program Officer of
EcoWaste Coalition.

To highlight the appeal to observe
the “Cemetiquette” and trash “Zombasura” habits, dancers in pig masks
do the Zumba, at the background were placards and a banner with such
calls as “Sementeryo ay Irespeto; Huwag kang Baboy!” (Respect the
cemetery; Don’t be like pigs) and “Zombasura Huwag Tularan!” (Don’t be
like Zombasura).

According to the group, the
“Cemetiquette” aims to “promote environmental responsibility and
commonsensical good manners in the cemeteries and draw attention to
practices that show disrespect for the dead, as well as for the living.”

“Zombasura”, the “basura” or garbage monster, on the
other hand is a creative depiction of “pig-like” attitude and practices
of “wallowing in filth and mud”, the group’s figurative way of saying
wasteful and toxic attitude and practices.

For her
part, Miss Philippines Earth 2014, Jamie Herrell, stressed that “garbage
and anything that can make our surroundings ugly should have no place
in the Undas celebration. We join the EcoWaste Coalition in imploring
the public to keep cemeteries clean and safe as we remember our departed
dear ones.”

In the “Cemetiquette”, the group listed
down ten practical and sensible recommendations that the public can and
should adopt as we celebrate a long-revered tradition that is “Undas”:

1. Choose lead-free candles that do not yield
black fumes or soot. Set alight a limited number of candles to reduce
heat and pollution. Be cautious so as not to let candle fire touch
plastic receptacles or holders.

2. Offer local
fresh flowers, not plastic ones, or consider bringing potted plants and
flowers instead. Avoid wrapping floral or plant offerings in plastic,
which will sooner or later end up as trash.

Bring your own water jug to avoid purchasing bottled water. Discarded
plastic bottles add up to the country’s garbage problem. Plastic
bottles, which are petrochemical products, also require lots of oil and
chemicals to manufacture. Please watch The Story of Bottled Water to
find out why: http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/

Go for waste-free meals. Say yes to reusable carriers,
containers, and utensils such as lunchboxes and thermos, cloth napkins
and silverwares. Say no to throw-away bags, wraps, foils, Styrofoam
packaging, paper napkins, and forks and spoons. Also, refrain from
patronizing junk food and go for simple yet nutritious home-prepared

5. For food and beverage, buy and bring
only what you can consume to avoid spoilage or wastage. Bring bayong or
other reusable bags to carry your stuff and purchases, and refuse
plastic bags and wrappers from vendors.

6. Cut
your waste size by not creating trash in the first place such as by
purchasing products with the least amount of packaging and avoiding
single-use plastic disposables.

7. Don’t litter,
dump or burn trash in the cemetery. Do not throw cigarette butts, candy
wrappers, discarded packaging, fruit peels, and the likes on the
ground. Remember to leave the resting place of your loved ones

8. Put your discards into the
recycling bins if available. Better still, bring your own discards bags
and bring them home for sorting, reusing, recycling or composting.

Relieve yourself only in the proper place where one should. Keep
the urinal or toilet bowl clean as a courtesy to the next user. Do not
defecate or urinate in public places.

10. Refrain
from smoking in the cemetery. Show consideration for the children, the
elderly, pregnant women and others around you who may be saddled with
respiratory and heart ailments.