If there’s a piece of good news worlwide lockdowns have brought, it’s the improved air and water quality reported in different parts of the world. Thanks to limited human movement, the Earth has enjoyed some reprieve.
It’s no secret that our environment is struggling to breathe, and it’s a stark reality we have to live with. Now, in addition to the usual pollution problems like single-use plastics, we’re dealing with the disposal of face masks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
It certainly takes a lot of courage and conscientiousness to help save Mother Earth. However, there’s always a place to start, no matter how small, like the following. If anything, we can always draw inspiration from the starfish story.
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution. But there are companies and organizations that accept old yet still usable items as part of their recycling initiatives, such as H&M and Caritas Manila’s Segunda Mana.
The Philippine Wacoal Corporation has also been doing a Bra Recycling Campaign since 2017. They’re having it again this year. They will be collecting any brand of used or worn-out bras until September 30. The bras can be dropped in Wacoal boutiques and direct sales branches.
The old bras will be converted into refuse paper and plastic fuel (RPF) or fluff fuel as substitute for coal, which is used at manufacturing industries like cement companies. Bra donors will not only get rid of unwanted bras in an environment-friendly way, they can also get a free gift from Wacoal.
- Company: Philippine Wacoal Corporation
- Campaign: Wacoal Bra Recycle
- Collection Period: August 1 to September 30, 2020
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineWacoalCorp/
- Website: https://wacoal.ph/
2. Be a BFF (Best Friend of the Forest)
The BFF movement of the Forest Foundation Philippines provides an avenue for anyone who advocates for the protection of forest. This is not an exclusive membership club but a means to inspire environmental advocacy through these passion points: conservation, social entrepreneurship, ecotourism, and arts and culture.
BFFs carry out their protection and conservation mission through a series of activities like learning workshops, tree-growing, and exploring focal landscapes. If you want to be a BFF, just send them your email address here.
- Organization: Forest Foundation Philippines
- Contact numbers: +63 2 891-0595; +63 2 864 0287
- Address: 2F Valderrama Bldg., 107 Esteban St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.forestfoundation.ph/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forestfoundationph/
3. Develop Face Masks (and Other Products) Using Natural Materials
The mandatory use of face masks has resulted in ingenious products. In fact the new COVID fashion collection includes bejeweled face shields and face masks with elaborate designs that even match clothes.
Several discussions have also been made about what face masks are effective and best to use. One of the pressing concerns is the waste produced after using face masks. But it is encouraging to know that the Department of Science and Technology Region X studied the efficacy of abaca as a potential material for face masks with favorable results.
DOST-X recommends accredited institutions to conduct more standard tests on abaca as a face mask material. Abaca or Manila hemp is naturally grown in the Philippines, and is considered as the strongest natural fiber.