May 23, 2024
ECO-WASTE MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY FAIR — An event held on March 17 at Session Road has enabled individuals to exchange items that they no longer use for another item. There were also stalls that promoted recycling such as the repurposing of used coffee grounds into charcoal. — Neil Clark Ongchangco

Baguio City continues to uphold its commitment to environmental sustainability and women empowerment with the Ecological Waste Management and Sustainability Fair held at Session Road on March 17.

The Eco Fair, with the theme “Kababaihan Para Sa Kalikasan,” featured diverse booths from women, local artists, environmental groups and other organizations that aim to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and, at the same time advocate for women’s contributions in the community.

“Women’s Month is a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women throughout history,” Mark Solano, officer-in-charge of the Solid Waste Management Section, Environmental Management Bureau said during the opening program of the fair. “Women have always been at the forefront of environmental activism advocating for clean air, water, and land for future generations.”

Among the activities during the said event were a zumba performance by the city’s women street sweepers, games organized by Zero Waste Baguio and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation and a pledge of commitment to taking care of the environment during the Opening Program at Malcolm Square.

The 37 booths lined up along Session Road aim to advocate for a more sustainable lifestyle through the electronic waste collection booth, household item exchange, recycling booths, urban agriculture, start-up and innovation projects, buskers, information and education campaign (IEC) and advocacy campaigns.

Some organizations also sold organic and eco-friendly products such as handcrafted items from recycled materials, vegetable-based soaps, and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

One of the highlights of the eco-fair was the household and book exchange where people lined up to donate or receive items, reflecting a community committed to reducing waste and embracing eco-friendly practices through sharing resources.

The said booth recorded 27 donors that consisted of items such as toys, shoes, breast pumps, appliances, and clothes for children. By the end of the exchange program, a total of 160 locals received a maximum of three items each.

“Activities that encourage community participation are very effective in helping change the habits of people, and if we normalize events like this, hindi malayo na makamtan natin and adhikain ng Zero Waste Baguio at ng lahat ng environment advocates na mapabuti and kondisyon ng ating ekolohiya,” said Engr. Doy Tabilog, Executive Assistant I of Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

The Baguio SK Federation also led a Chalk Art Festival where nine participants showcased their talent and creativity with the theme focused on celebrating women’s contributions to the environment.

“I really like how Baguio SK Fed organized this chalk art competition,” Chalk Art Festival first-placer Weniboy Felipe said. “We enjoyed the event so much.”

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda hopes that government activities such as the eco-fair serve as a reminder of the importance of the community’s collective efforts in taking meaningful steps toward a more sustainable future.

City Environment and Parks Management Assistant Department Head Marivic Empizo said organizers are grateful for the result of the event which showcases collaboration and commitment to protecting the environment.

The fair is in line with the ordinance institutionalizing the Eco Waste and Sustainability Fair in the city authored by Tabanda where local government partners with private sectors, barangays, and other entities in conducting programs that will promote public awareness on sustainable waste management.

Due to the clamor of the exhibitors who benefited from the activity, a second part of the fair is being planned to be held on March 24. – Gess Baylon and Ayra Tamaray