MANILA, Philippines – To mark Earth Hour on Saturday, March 30, the Venice Grand Canal mall at McKinley Hill in Taguig City had planned to sell floating lanterns to the public. However, it canceled its plan after drawing flak from netizens and environmental advocates.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, March 28, Venice Grand Canal said: “Yes, we hear you! No lights and no more floating lanterns.”
Earlier on Thursday, environmental group The Climate Reality Project Philippines started a campaign demanding that Venice Grand Canal scrap the sale of floating lanterns during Earth Hour. (IN PHOTOS: Philippines observes Earth Hour 2018)
“We perceive this notion to be exactly against what it claims to represent. In a period where environmental protection should be a priority, the potential use of sky lanterns (supposedly to show support for the fight against climate change) will actually be harmful to the environment,” the group said.
People found it ironic that the event was poised to generate more trash, when it is meant to be aligned with the global movement against climate change.
Facebook user Malu Gacuma referred to the gimmick as a “floating contradiction,” saying that the organizers of the event do not understand what Earth Hour is for.
According to The Climate Reality Project Philippines, “floating lanterns represent the unsustainable, wasteful, and ecologically insensitive practices that have led to environmental degradation.” (READ: Fire bureau warns vs use of sky lanterns)
“Despite possible claims of being biodegradable, parts of floating lanterns can actually take more than one year to degrade,” the group said.
In 2018, environmental organization Greenpeace also urged people not to use floating lanterns to commemorate Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which claimed thousands of lives in 2013.
While the sale of floating lanterns has been dropped, Venice Grand Canal’s Earth Hour event will still push through with the switching off of lights. – Rappler.com