MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis is known to care deeply about the environment. When he goes around Manila and Tacloban, will Filipinos follow his example and keep public places clean and orderly?
Millions are expected to be out on the street to see the Pope. As with any large public event, crowds are expected to generate tons of trash. Events like the Translacion at the Feast of the Nazarene or large rallies are often preceded by roads choked with garbage.
Some 2,000 volunteers have been tapped by the Ecology Ministry Network of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila to keep venues clean before, during and after the event.
But participants should be proactive in refraining from throwing their trash improperly, said green group EcoWaste Coalition in a January 12 press release.
“Let it not be said that the Filipino people rolled out a carpet of trash, instead of a green or red carpet, to welcome the pope,” said the groups’ national coordinator Aileen Lucero.
But garbage is not the only worry of the group. During this year’s Feast of the Black Nazarene, the groups’s patrollers observed how participants would urinate in the open, specifically on building walls.
1. Eat first at home to avoid eating out at the venue.
2. If you plan to stay the entire day at the venue, pack your meals in a reusable container. According to Malacañang, only transparent containers will be allowed. Make sure your food is easy to eat and does not spoil easily.
3. Bring your own water in a reusable jug to avoid buying bottled water or beverage on site.
4. Carry a litter bag in your pocket, which should come in handy if there is no garbage bin nearby.
5. Identify the nearest toilet or portalet to your position in the venue. To be safe, you may want to bring an adult diaper.
6. Bring a foldable reusable bag for things that you may want to bring home from the event.
7. Decline brochures, flyers and handouts that you will not read and keep.
8. Do not light up a cigarette and smoke, particularly in Rizal Park and other no smoking venues.
9. Never litter, not even a single candy wrapper.
10. Clean as you go. Pick up the trash around you before going away.
11. Support waste reduction efforts in the venue and persuade others to do the same.