Oledan: Shift to zero waste

ZERO waste living does not happen overnight, it requires targeted and deliberate messaging to enable individuals to shift their perspective and

reduce their carbon footprints.

Davao City is leading the Zero-Waste Campaign with other government agencies, including CSO partners and groups like the Interface Development

Interventions (IDIS) in actively campaigning for environmental protection.

The Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has also called on the public to lessen the production of solid wastes considering that there are only two available sanitary landfills in Region 11 to cater to wastes coming from 49 local government units.

On the policy level, the Sangguniang Panglungsod Committee on Environment is undertaking a study towards the drafting of an ordinance on single-use plastic ban. If passed, this would provide the necessary policy support to further reduce waste and strengthen the campaign. The challenge is on shifting the usual practices that leans towards wastage.

Behavior change does not come from a vacuum. Time and again, there is a need to remind ourselves that our choices and actions affect others and the environment. This means that upon waking up, our decisions on whether to refuse what we do not need and reduce our choices to the basic essentials could spell a difference. However, most could resonate how difficult it could be to walk away from the scarcity mindset which results in hoarding, oftentimes to fill up the emptiness inside, into one which encourages us to consume less and be grateful for what we have.

Zero waste opts to take the simpler but difficult path of minimizing our wants and being comfortable with what we already have. Among other environmentally-friendly ways, this may entail ditching establishments with their single-use and plastic containers, and opting home-cooked meals; opting to take public transportation like jeepney and bus, or even in remotely working from home to save on work-related costs.

It may also be on taking the time to grow food, albeit challenging especially with the increasingly limited space; supporting local markets and farmers, rather than retail and department stores, and on shunning away from environmentally destructive companies and its products. It is doing our own research and sharing it to others.

Education starts with zero tolerance on unnecessary wastes. It is hinged on a sound environmental framework and policy which helps the local community to fully appreciate the value of having enough. However, getting to the core of the why will provide a more solid basis to sustain any initiative. This goes deeper than Marie Kondo’s question on whether anything could bring or spark joy, though also a good frame in creating the shift. Email comments to roledan@gmail.com.


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