MANILA — Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje is encouraging the public to have a “green” Christmas by properly managing their waste during the season when most households produce more trash than usual.
“Christmas does not have to be a burden on the environment. There are a number of ways we can do in order to help reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season, including practicing the 3Rs of waste management – reduce, reuse and recycle,” Paje said.
The environment chief noted that Filipinos, who are known to celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world, generate more waste during the holidays than at any other time of the year.
He said it is only necessary for the public to be more conscious of the waste they generate and to observe environmentally-responsible Yuletide habits.
Since the bulk of holiday waste comes from gift wrapping and packaging materials, Paje suggested using newspapers, gift bags and other alternatives to traditional wrapping paper that can be reused, recycled or composted, and does not end up in the landfill.
He said people could consider alternatives to sending traditional Christmas cards like e-cards or making a donation to charity instead.
They could also buy gifts made from recycled materials as well as toys that do not use batteries, which eventually end up as waste, he added.
He said seedlings and plants would make great gifts to send this holiday season.
At the same time, Paje urged the public to patronize locally made products for use as gifts as the process used to make them come from shorter supply chain, which translates to lower carbon footprint.
He also suggested the use of energy-efficient LED as Christmas lights.
“These are just some of the positive things we can do to make Christmas greener,” Paje said. “A Green Christmas is a step towards redeeming the environment, and saving humanity and biodiversity from man-made environmental abuses and their consequences, which now can be summed up in the crisis that is climate change.”