eco living

ECOlta Fair

Since I’ve married, there’s only a handful of times when I got to go out alone. And this is one of those times! So I was pretty excited to have ME time and going to a fair that I was interested in. I was so excited that I went to the event 30 minutes past the opening time (which was 9am) and alas, I was one of their first visitors. Some booths haven’t finished decorating and some haven’t even opened yet. The upside is I was able to get a good glimpse of the opened booths “peacefully”. Here are some of the photos I took:

The program started at 12nn. Greenpeace Philippines talked about the need to reduce plastic pollution because recycling and reusing are no longer enough. So they’ve been appealing to big companies to think of ways to reduce production of plastic and to people to reduce the use of plastic. After the talk, they taught us about the types of waste in order for us to segregate it properly. So here are the types of waste:

1. Recyclable waste – materials that can be converted into new materials of equal or greater value. Examples are tin cans.

2. Downcyclable waste – materials that can be converted into new material of lesser value. Example is hard plastic like softdrinks bottle. Once converted, it can no longer be used as food packaging.

3. Hazardous waste – waste that has potential threat to public health or environment. Gadgets like mobile phone are good examples. This waste should be handled separately and should not be directly put in the landfills.

4. Infectious waste – waste that has biological risk like surgical gloves and needles.

5. Residual waste – waste that cannot be recycled, re-used or composted. Single-use plastics like straws, diapers, shampoo sachets, coffee sachets belong to this group.

6. Biodegrable waste – organic waste that can be composted or broken down into simple organic molecule like food waste.

We even had a game to test our new knowledge and got some prizes from Greenpeace Philippines. Here are the prizes we got:

The next part is the introduction of Kahilom, a local business that support environment-friendly practices like using organic materials and promoting “naked” products which means not using any packaging. You can find their store in Hub: Make Lab even after the ECOlta Fair is done.

ECOnversations was next which featured fashion designers who support sustainability in their industry. They talked about upcycling your clothes instead of buying new ones and repairing your clothes and not disposing them immediately. I was sure there was a lot more that they talked about but I’ll be honest, my mind was somewhere else. Sorry. ✌🏻

The last talk was about Buhay Zero Waste. This was the talk that I was waiting for because it was primarily the reason why I went to ECOlta Fair. The speaker talked about how to have a zero-waste life. The big part of it is really refusing and reducing the use of plastic because our trash is mostly composed of plastic. She gave these tips in achieving Buhay Zero Waste:

1. Use reusable straw instead of single-use plastic straw. It can be metal, glass, silicon rubber or bamboo.

2. When doing take-outs or drive-ins, ask the staff if he/she can put the food in your reusable container.

3. Use reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water.

4. Use eco bags when shopping. But you have to plan your groceries carefully so you can bring enough eco bags.

5. Use cloth diapers and cloth pads or modern pasador.

6. Make your own food or make your food from scratch as much as possible like pasta, cookies, tomato sauce to forego the packaging that comes with ready made food that we buy.

7. Compost the biodegradable waste. For me who is a condo dweller, she suggested the Bukashi compost. I will research about it and tell you what I found.

I know these are unconventional and inconvenient to some extent. That’s why it takes a lot of commitment if you choose this lifestyle. If you cannot avoid the plastic packaging, then you have to do something to atone for it. One way to do it is to cut the plastic into pieces and stuff it into a big plastic bottle until it’s full and compact and you have now an eco brick which is used in some houses particularly walls. Here is an example:

Right now, the speaker only takes out trash once a month so imagine how little their trash is to think that they’re a family of four. However, their goal is to have only a small jar of waste per year. Wow! For me, this is still very far, far away but I hope I can do it.

Of course, I won’t be going home without a haul. I bought a metal straw, bamboo toothbrushes and my personal favorite, the plastic pillow (that’s what I call it). The plastic pillow has no stuffing yet when you buy it. You’ll be the one to cut your plastic and stuff it into the pillow case. Another DIY Project for me! That’s why I love it! In addition, you can also account for the amount of plastic waste you produce in your house. My haul:

This is the first ECOlta fair organized by Hub: Make Lab and Greenpeace Philippines. Since I attended, I could safely say in the future that I’ve been part of this event since the beginning. 😊

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