Human beings take resources from the earth and dump it all back as garbage. Trash even clutters in the streets, sidewalks, roads, rivers, and oceans, which is very dangerous to marine life and our health. People throw garbage in the ocean and landfills, animals eat the trash, and people eat the animals. We poison our environment, we poison ourselves. That’s the harm we inflict upon ourselves.
According to a 2015 report, the Philippines is the world’s third largest contributor of plastic that goes to the ocean. Plastic that can be consumed by marine life and contaminate our ocean, which eventually can be consumed by us through eating fish and even salt.
A United Nations report predicted that, by 2050, the ocean will have more plastic than fish if the plastic production, use, and mismanagement continues. This affects the whole ecosystem. If we don’t act now, we’ll swim in an ocean of garbage. Trash stuck in esteros will cause more floods. Storms and typhoons will be more extreme and destructive due to climate contamination. These are only few consequences we will be facing if waste mismanagement continues.
Zero waste advocacy is redefining this system. It promotes managing of products to lessen, and eventually eliminate, the volume and toxicity of waste materials. The goal is to maximize recycling, minimize waste, reduce consumption, reuse as much as we can, purchase sustainable products, and send nothing to a landfill.
This advocacy is also supported by non-governmental agencies and local government units in the Philippines. As the largest homebuilder in the Philippines, Camella also promotes proper waste management for their communities. Camella created a program focused on waste management and invested in technologies for proper waste segregation and collection.
To contribute to a cleaner and better environment, here’s how you could practice a zero waste lifestyle:
Learn to say no. Before making a purchase, ask yourselves: Is it for a one-time use? Could they be used again? Could they be recycled? Do you really need 20 pieces of pen and 10 unused notebooks? Think about the potential consequences of everything you buy on a bigger perspective. Refuse buying items that you don’t need. Refuse paper billings when you can sign up for electronic bills and statements. Refuse plastic bags and straws. Instead, bring your own reusable bags, straws, and jars.
Lessen your consumption and carbon footprint. Choose products that use less packaging. Unplug electronics when not in use. Always turn off the faucet. If you haven’t worn a clothing or used an item for a year or more, let them go.
Buy reusable items than disposable ones. Extend the lifespan of your items by repairing, donating or selling them. Shop at second-hand stores. Save papers and boxes that can be used again as packaging or storage. Donate or sell your unused and unwanted toys, clothes, books, and other items.
Recycling starts at home. Segregate the waste and place them in the right bags for collection. You can also buy products that are made from recycled materials to “close the loop”.
What can you compost? Food waste and kitchen scraps. You can use them as fertilizer and make a nutritious soil for your plants.
Practicing a zero waste lifestyle means a rubbish-free home. These small and simple acts can change the quality of your life and the future of our planet. Everything is interconnected. A simple decision have an impact on the only planet we are living in. Choose wisely.