As the Philippines prepares for the commemoration of All Saint’s Day this week, an environmentalist group, Kalikasan encourages the public to help observe these seven simple tips and reminders for an environmentally-safe undas:
1. Use and reuse candles safely. Make sure that they are not left unattended at home or in the cemetery. Avoid placing them beside materials that can easily catch fire. Reuse old or leftover candles if possible.
2. Reduce waste. You can reduce the amount of waste by planning ahead for the long break. At the cemetery, food and drinks can be stored in reusable containers.
3. Prevent littering and use garbage bags. When in the cemetery, store any residual food waste, plastic wrappers, bottles, and similar discards in leftover paper bags or garbage bags. Don’t forget to segregate and dispose of these properly. Do your part in preventing the spread of litter by cleaning up after you go.
4. Don’t leave your home with any fire hazards. Before making that trip to the cemetery or to your hometown, make sure that your houses are free of any fire hazards. Turn off unnecessary switches and unplug power outlets.
5. Prepare for any trips beforehand and follow safety rules. Observe road safety and caution on the way to your destination.
6. Cultivate your sense of environmental awareness and responsibility everywhere you go, at all times. Encourage others in your family and community to do the same.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje also recommended the use of cloth diapers, cloth napkins, real towels and handkerchiefs, rechargeable batteries, reusable plates, glasses and cutlery silverware instead of one-time use products.
· Bring only a sufficient amount of food. Take home any leftovers and feed to your pets or use as compost.
· Place candles in reusable glass containers. Keep watch over lighted candles to avoid accidental fires. Collect melted candle wax to make new candles or sell to traders.
· Use fresh flowers without plastic wrapping, or potted plants to help purify the air.
· Throw out stagnant water that could be a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
· For those driving to out-of-town destinations, they can reduce their carbon footprint by car pooling or using public transport. Car owners should also ensure that their vehicles are well-maintained.