Environmental group urges public to observe ‘waste-free’ Christmas

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MANILA, Dec. 10, 2013—A month after the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda that hit the Visayas, an environmental watchdog called on Filipinos to celebrate Christmas without spending much and wastefulness. 

The EcoWaste Coalition on December 8 called for a simple and waste-free celebration of the holiday season, in solidarity with those who are still coping with the tragedy in the Visayas.

Ochie Tolentino, Coalition’s vice president urged the Filipino people to celebrate the Christmas season in a “subdued manner reminiscent of the spirit and simplicity of the first Christmas,” in solidarity with those affected by the typhoon. 

Tolentino pointed out that by toning down seasonal revelries to bare essentials, “we avoid falling victims to frantic consumerism that has drown out the genuine meaning of Christmas and literally wrapped our surrounding with trash.”

For her part, Coalition’s zero waste campaigner Tin Vergara, explained that “the money saved from lavish gifts, extravagant festivities and wasteful fireworks can be used to help survivors reconstruct their homes and rebuild their lives.” 

“We’re not asking people to cast aside Christmas, but to adopt a ‘simpleng pasko’ and find abundant joy in responding to the call for humanitarian help from disaster survivors,” Vergara said. 

The coalition meanwhile asked the public to scrap planned fireworks shows and instead, divert the funds allocated for such to aid grief-stricken families in reconstructing their houses and in dealing with their psychological and economic loses. 

The ‘simpleng pasko’ campaign of the coalition would require a conscious effort to cut down holiday expenses and reduce waste generation and rejoice instead in an austere and eco-sensitive celebration of Christmas.  (Jandel Posion)

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