May 23, 2024

Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu called on the public to use washable dinnerware and biodegradable packages for gifts to lessen “holiday waste.”

“The Christmas season produces the biggest volume of garbage in the country, especially in Metro Manila, where the waste generation baseline target for 2019 had already been surpassed as early as June. Because of this, we really need to cut back on our consumption and waste, and get back to basics to make life easier and to help the environment in the process,” Cimatu said.

He recommended the use of eco-friendly wrapping papers and gift bags, such as those made from bamboo, rattan, abaca and buri leaves, as these can be reused or wrap a gift in something that’s part of the gift like a reusable tote bag.

Because many gifts end up lost, broken or forgotten, Cimatu also suggested giving the gift of memory or experience like going to nature parks or visiting an orphanage, home for the elderly or hospice.

In hosting gatherings and parties, Cimatu advised people to use washable dinnerware and cutlery instead of paper plates and plastic cups, spoons and forks.

To avoid food wastage, Cimatu urged the public not to buy extra, cook just enough for everyone and make sure to have more vegetables than meat.

Cimatu also noted that meat products have larger carbon footprints per calorie than grain or vegetable products. Animal agriculture puts a heavy strain on the Earth’s finite resources such as land, water and energy, thus causing deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water and air pollution. – DENR release