Thursday, September 30, 2010

Candidates Urged to Campaign 'Clean and Green'

Green advocates urged Wednesday candidates in
the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 25 to
avoid wasting resources and creating garbage to woo their respective

“Let us not forget the wastefulness of the May 2010 local and national
elections and together aim for an environmentally-responsible exercise
of our right to suffrage,” Ecological Waste Coalition (EcoWaste)
president Roy Alvarez said.

“As potential leaders in the frontline of public service, we expect
all the candidates to demonstrate their commitment to protect and
preserve the community environment by campaigning ‘clean and green’,”
Alvarez said.

The group noted that some of the environmental degradation committed
in the recent May 10 elections were the nailing of campaign materials
on trees and other places prohibited by the Commission on Elections,
wasting too much campaign funds and materials, driving smoke-belching
campaign vehicles, blasting extremely loud political jingles and
speeches, leaving trash in campaign sorties and not removing campaign
items after the polls.

It also noted the failure of most politicians to integrate the
environmental agenda into their campaign platforms and pledges.

EcoWaste is providing practical guidelines for a clean and green
campaign for barangay and SK candidates.

The environmentalists recommended that each candidate should assign a
person or team in the campaign structure who will be responsible for
“greening” the campaign strategies and activities.

It also asked candidates to refrain from using excessive campaign
materials, such as leaflets, pamphlets, posters, stickers, decals,
cloth and tarpaulin streamers, and other campaign paraphernalia.

“As much as possible, propaganda materials should be in post-consumer
recycled paper and carry a friendly reminder (to protect nature),”
Alvarez said.

“Candidates should refrain from using campaign materials that are
hardly reused or recycled such as confetti, buntings and balloons,
which often get burned or discarded in waterways, seas and dumpsites,”
he said.

The group also reminded politicians to spare trees from propaganda
materials that can harm and even kill them.

For litter-free campaign meetings, sorties and related activities,
EcoWaste recommended to shun throwing confetti, exploding firecrackers
or releasing balloons in campaign events.

“Refrain from using styrofoam, plastic bags and other single-use
containers for volunteers’ meals and drinks. Set up segregated waste
bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable discards in campaign
assemblies,” it said.

“Designate ‘eco-volunteers’ to look after the bins and guide the
public in the proper separation of their discards. Clean up right
after the campaign event. Hire eco-aides to handle the segregated
wastes for recycling and composting,” it added.

“We hope that all candidates will heed this urgent call for
environmental leadership and action by campaigning ‘clean and green’
and by putting environmental conservation and protection at the core
of their platforms to serve,” it said.


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