Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Filipinos dreaming of a green Christmas

Health and pro-environment groups are calling on Filipinos to celebrate Christmas free of waste, noise and pollution.

The EcoWaste Coalition yesterday launched a campaign to persuade the public, particularly young people, to refrain from letting off firecrackers this holiday season.

The group said there are more creative means of celebrating Christmas and ushering in the New Year that will not endanger life, limb, property and ecosystems.

In the southern Luzon province of Albay, residents will celebrate a “green Christmas” with a 58-foot Christmas tree fashioned from used fuel drums painted green and decorated with flickering solar-powered Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights.

Albay province, which has been declared by the United Nations as a global model for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, launched the “Green Christmas Initiative” to sustain its campaign for environment protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

LED Christmas lights are highly favored by environmental advocates because they last longer, use less electricity and reduce risks of fire.

In Quezon City, at least a thousand pupils at Kamuning Elementary School demonstrated yesterday for a safe and environment-friendly holiday celebration by holding a noise barrage inside their campus.

Instead of using firecrackers, the children use noisemakers crafted from items commonly found at home.

“Firecrackers are putting our children’s health and safety in danger, as the bloody statistics show,” said Roy Alvarez, president of EcoWaste Coalition.

“As responsible adults, it is our shared duty to safeguard our children from toxic exposure and injuries that could jeopardize their health and development,” he added.

“A little creativity can go a long way toward keeping our children and environment healthy,” Alvarez said.

Aileen Lucero of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats) said every firecracker that is lit this season “contributes to the already worrisome cocktail of toxins in our bodies and environment.”


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