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Bishop, environmentalists call for “Green” Holy Week

MANILA, April 13 — A Catholic Bishop and an environmental network promoting Zero Waste and sustainable living are jointly calling for a “green” Holy Week as Christian Filipinos prepare to mark the last week of Lent from April 17 to 24.

“We are inviting the faithful to celebrate the Holy Week with a pledge to cut back on garbage and pollution as part of our spiritual works of penance, charity and reconciliation,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

Alvarez said abstinence from wasteful consumption during the holidays and beyond augurs well for both Mother Earth and the future of the Philippines, climate change-threatened nation.

“The fact that Earth Day this year falls on Good Friday is indeed good for the environment as this should mean less cars on the streets, less energy use in malls, less noise, less non-essential consumption and less garbage. Let Good Friday be a Good Earth Day as well,” he added.

Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. concurred with the group's call for a green Holy Week as it complements the theme of this year’s “Alay Kapwa” (a lenten evangelization-action program of the Catholic Church): “Our Neighbor and Environment, Our Responsibility.”

“A green Holy Week is a timely call in response to the wastefulness and greed that is blatantly trashing our fragile environment. I encourage everyone to plan for an earth-friendly and spiritually-nourishing week,” the Bishop of Kalookan said.

To inspire and guide all citizens in observing the Holy Week with the planet in mind, the EcoWaste Coalition has released 12 down-to-earth suggestions for a greener observance of the death and resurrection of Christ the Redeemer.

These include no littering;shun disposables;power down; call off expensive, non-essential long distance trips and consider giving the money saved to the “Alay-Kapwa” program (http://caritasmanila.org.ph/alay-kapwa) or to your favorite charitable causes; abide by the eco-creed "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time;

Say no to plastic carry bags;save trees; go for tobacco-free and alcohol-free “Pabasa” (chant reading of the Passion of Christ); say no to styro;avoid overdoing the "carrozas" (floats) for the Good Friday; go for simple, eco-friendly Easter "Salubong" sans firecrackers and confetti;and,use only natural ingredients or dyes to color the easter eggs. (PNA)

DCT/fpv/PR/mec

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