The lockdowns are forcing us to spend more time at home, and with this comes the unprecedented increase in household trash. Waste management systems in the country have been overwhelmed by this increase, with the local government recording about 362,00 metric tons of waste in 2020, about four times higher than 2019.
With waste management and pollution being a persistent concern in the country, it’s important to see how we, as individuals or family units, can do our small part while maintaining the clean environment of our homes at the same time.
Upcycling or reusing. One of the simplest ways to upcycle store-bought containers, especially if they are glass jars, is to reuse it for food storage. You can fill it up with leftover sauces, herbs and spices, and jams. If you’re feeling artsy, you can turn your glass jars to a terrarium, or even use it as a vase.
Recycling. This refers to breaking down the material in order to create something new, in contrast to upcycling. There are many waste-recycling programs and non-government organizations in the Philippines dedicated to promoting sustainability and zero-waste communities. If your family is an avid consumer of beverages and find that you have amassed a number of plastic bottles, you can donate these to initiatives such as Blastik Project, Green Antz Builders, The Plastic Flamingo, and many others.
Donating. As overused as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If you have items in your home that you want to get rid of but are still usable, such as clothes, gadgets, or furniture, you can opt to donate it to your local thrift shop or even charity.
Composting. Food waste is also another contributor to pollution and climate change, and while throwing out rotting and “ugly” produce in the bin is most common, composting is a greener way to dispose of your trash.
You can make a do-it-yourself compost at home — all you need are a storage container bin, soil, leaves, and some greens. You can compost waste such as fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, hair and even your pet’s fur. Composting is a wonderful way to produce natural fertilizers which you can use if you are growing a garden.