How to honor the dead while caring for the environment This Undas

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Here are some cemetery etiquette that visitors can practice to ensure a clean and green Andas festival.

MANILA, Philippines – Waste is expected to accumulate in cemeteries as the traditional Undas commemoration approaches and millions of Filipinos are expected to gather at cemeteries across the country.

In commemoration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1-2, what better way to honor our departed loved ones than by keeping cemeteries and other final resting places clean? Is not it.

According to environmental groups EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace Philippines, here are some cemetery etiquettes that visitors can practice to achieve a clean and green Andas Memorial Ceremony.

food and drinks
  • Purchase drinks from refill stations.
  • Choose food stalls that use non-disposable materials.
  • To reduce consumption of single-use packaged food, choose home-cooked meals and try to bring only the amount you can eat to avoid spoilage.

The Ministry of Health also encouraged people to bring their own food and water to reduce the risk of illness.

forever reusable
  • Reusable containers, cutlery, lunch boxes, and cloth napkins are your best friend. When eating out, ask for reusable cutlery instead of disposable cutlery.
  • Instead of buying bottled water for drinks, use a jug (preferably a large refillable water container).
  • When making purchases, please refrain from using plastic bags from vendors as much as possible.bring your own bayon Eco bags.
minimize waste
  • To avoid pest problems in the cemetery, please do not leave trash behind.
  • Please avoid littering. Please dispose of your trash in the designated bins depending on the type of waste, such as plastic, paper, cans, glass, biodegradable, etc.
  • If possible, avoid creating garbage in the first place.
  • When purchasing, always choose products with minimal packaging and avoid single-use containers.
others
  • Use lead-free candles.
  • Please bring potted plants or fresh flowers rather than artificial flowers.
  • Use toilets and urinals properly and keep them clean. Please refrain from defecating or urinating in public places.
  • Please be considerate of children, pregnant women, and people with respiratory illnesses and avoid smoking inside the cemetery.

“A zero-waste festival is essential to honor the final resting place of our deceased loved ones,” said Ochie Tolentino, a zero-waste activist with the EcoWaste Coalition.

The EcoWaste Coalition also called for strict implementation of Republic Act No. 9003, the Environmental Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, aimed at reducing waste volumes.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace Philippines requested the cemetery management to:

  • Install water refill stations to reduce the purchase of bottled water and drinks.
  • Encourage vendors to use refill dispensers and encourage customers to use reusable drink holders.
  • Place appropriate bins with appropriate segregation labels in visible locations at the cemetery.
  • Prevent vendors from selling products in single-use packaging.

“People always think that aiming for zero waste or living without plastic means making sacrifices or depriving yourself of things you love, but that doesn’t mean you have to be conscious about where you go and what you avoid. The best thing to do is to be selective and be prepared for a variety of eventualities, Marian Ledesma, a zero-waste campaigner with Greenpeace Philippines, told Rappler.

He also stressed that avoiding single-use plastics will reduce carbon emissions and reduce health impacts and social inequalities caused by toxic pollution from the “plastic lifecycle” that produces greenhouse gases. did.

“Given that 99% of plastics are derived from fossil fuels, reducing the production and use of plastics in businesses and communities is a form of climate action. Equally important is avoiding single-use plastics. , to prevent waste and pollution, and at the same time prevent/reduce health impacts and social inequalities,” Ledesma said.

Environment Secretary Antonio Loyzaga said during the Extended Producer Responsibility Campaign launched in August that the Philippines generates about 61,000 tons of garbage every day. She said Filipinos use more than 163 million sachets, 48 ​​million shopping bags and 45 million membrane bags every day.

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, at least 196 tons of garbage was collected at Manila North Cemetery and Manila South Cemetery alone during Undas 2022. – Kaela Patricia Gabriel/Rappler.com

Kaela Patricia Gabriel is a Rappler intern. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at the University of Santo Tomas.

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