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How to have an eco-friendly Christmas


Christmas is one of the longest, merriest and grandest feasts in the country.

Unfortunately, the festive occasion is considered one of the most wasteful too.

To help save the environment without killing the Christmas spirit, authorities have urged Filipinos to have an environment-friendly celebration.

Data from the National Solid Waste Management Commission showed that an individual generates about 0.7 kilo of garbage on an average day, but it increases up to 1.2 kilos during the holiday season.

In response, a waste and pollution watchdog came up with a “Climate-OK Christmas Guide” to help the public eliminate unnecessary waste and reduce the harsh environmental effects in celebrating the holiday season.

“The extended Christmas extravaganza eats up enormous amounts of raw materials and fossil fuels, and produces huge quantities of waste that end up being dumped or burned, generating pollutants that trap heat in the atmosphere,” said Roy Alvarez, president of EcoWaste Coalition.

Among the group’s suggestions so Pinoys can have a "green Christmas" is to use recycled materials for decorations and to choose energy-efficient Christmas lights and electric decors.

The watchdog added that it is wise to use reusable party supplies instead of disposable plates, cups and utensils. People should also prepare just enough amount of food to avoid leftovers.

As for the gift-giving tradition, EcoWaste recommended non-material, locally-produced and eco-friendly products and services that support sustainable lifestyle. Choose gifts that can go without wrappers, the group said.

Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, supported the watchdog’s initiative saying that an environment-friendly Christmas is the perfect gift to give to Mother Earth this yuletide season.

"Enjoying Christmas and New Year should not be done at the expense of our environment,” Legarda said. "There's nothing wrong in organizing grand parties if we have the means to do so, but if we want to enjoy our future holidays too, then we must be mindful of our environment now."

By Shielo Mendoza

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