The Pasig River has made international waves being identified as one of the most polluting rivers in the world, contributing over 63,000 tons of plastics to the ocean every year. This is according to a study by Ocean Cleanup, a Netherlands-based nonprofit organization, that also ranked the Philippines among 20 countries that are major contributors of plastic wastes globally.
While the government and various organizations continue to find ways to address the plastic waste crisis in the country, we individuals are also an important part of the solution. Living sustainably, for instance, is a big step towards creating a better environment.
Take a cue from these Nestlé Philippines employees who took inspiration from their company’s commitments on sustainability. To help save the planet from home, they made time for the Isabuhay sa Bahay Challenge, which aims to help deepen and live out the company’s commitments to the planet that were declared during the Net Zero Fair last April. This encouraged them to become ~heroes from home~ as they accomplish different tasks and challenges for a better environment.
Watch this video to see how they did it:
Just like them, you too can practice a more sustainable lifestyle from your home, and later, bring this to your community. Below, all the ways you can get yourself started:
This one is never easy. Whether we like it or not, single-use plastics are a big part of our lives and households. Reducing our consumption of these plastics and becoming zero-waste can be challenging, but not impossible at all.
Start with baby steps like bringing your own reusable water bottle to work or school and foregoing plastic straws, cutlery, and containers when eating out or ordering takeout. When doing the groceries, why not make it a habit to bring your own bag and containers, too? There are many sustainable online stores nowadays that sell reusable, and not to mention, cute produce bags you can use for shopping!
Buy in bulk
According to a study by the World Wide Fund for Nature, only 40 percent of packaging waste in the Philippines is collected and only nine percent is recycled. To help reduce plastic waste from home, choose to buy in bulk when it comes to your groceries and other necessities.
Collect and recycle
Though the concept of recycling is not new to us, there are still some who aren’t practicing it due to lack of knowledge, time, or access to recycling facilities. You can take it day by day and gradually develop the habit of recycling by first knowing what waste materials from your home are recyclable. Then, identify collection sites and recycling centers near you. You can recycle paper, glass, metal, and plastic items–just make sure these are clean and dry before dropping them off.
Aside from recycling, upcycling is also a good and fun way to reduce your plastic waste and channel your inner creativity. There are plenty of upcycling and DIY channels on YouTube you can take inspiration from when it comes to repurposing your *trash*.
FYI, kitchen waste can be turned into compost instead of ending up in landfills. Your barangay is required by law to collect your biodegradable waste but you can also decide to compost this yourself. If you live in a limited space like a condo or apartment, which makes backyard composting not possible, you can still try indoor composting either through the Bokashi method that uses bran to ferment waste in sealed buckets, or vermicomposting that involves the use of worms in the process.
Practice proper segregation
Segregating may seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming task, but it’s actually an effective way to lessen the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and bodies of water! It increases recycling rates, too. Start segregating now by categorizing your household waste into recyclables, residuals, and biodegradable waste, and assigning a respective bin for each.
Know more about how you too can be a Kasambuhay for the Environment here where you can also download a copy of its solid waste management modules and view a list of locations where you can drop off your soft plastics for collection.
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