Consumers urged to celebrate Xmas sans ‘holitrash’

A WASTE and pollution watchdog has urged consumers to celebrate the Christmas season free of “holitrash” or holiday trash.

The EcoWaste coalition said that this would be the best gift that consumers could give to Mother Earth.

“While some traditions are definitely worth keeping, the generation of ‘holitrash’ certainly shouldn’t be one of them,” said Roy Alvarez, president o the group.

“Instead of trashing Mother Earth even more this Christmas, let’s give her the appreciation and respect that she deserves. It’s time for us to start a new tradition, namely that of being more protective and mindful of our environment,” he added.

Metro Manila residents generate approximately half a kilo of trash daily per person, which goes up to one kilo or more during the festive holidays, according to the coalition.

“It’s bad enough that we have to contend with the mountains of trash that we generate throughout the year,” said Alvarez.

“Why do we have to add to the mounting garbage problem by buying into the consumerist philosophy that is pushed on us by commercial interests during the Christmas season?” he said.

The group’s campaign against holiday waste got the nod of a leader of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“As we recall with joy the birth of our Redeemer, I encourage everyone to observe it in simplicity and be watchful of crass consumerism and the ensuing garbage that it generates. Christmas should not be an excuse for reckless wasting,” said Caloocan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., head of CBCP’s Public Affairs Committee.

The coalition urged the public to replace toxic products in their shopping lists with eco-friendly alternatives.

It suggested rejecting plastic bags and goods with excessive packaging, and reusing unwanted items and leftovers.

The use of recycling glass, metal, paper, and plastic and composting kitchen, garden and other biodegradable discards was encouraged.

Consumers were also advised to think outside the box when wrapping Christmas gifts.

Used newspapers or glossy magazine pages, for example, could be used in lieu of store-bought wrapping paper.

The group said that pretty jam jars or biscuit cans could also be decorated and used to package homemade food items as giveaways.

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