Aliw Del Rosario: Purposeful Social Media
I can’t think of a better way to use social media than for purposeful work. I think that the way to change is to be conscious of the problem. When we are all conscious of the problem, that is when we can have the power and the initiative to change.
Plastics emit toxic chemicals such as BPA both in water and in the land.
It reached a point where I couldn’t stand to stay behind my screen and do nothing.
Last year, I saw how our garbage affects the environment, our health, and lives through social media use. After seeing the documentary film, "The Plastic Ocean", and many other social media contents about this problem, I began to have a new consciousness that led me to sustainability. I got drawn to like-minded people and organizations who are already solving this enormous problem.
I wanted to learn from these people and I got curious on how to lead a zero waste journey. Finally, I wanted to work together with these people to create a bigger impact in educating and encouraging others. It reached a point where I couldn’t stand to stay behind my screen and do nothing.
I think it’s a problem for everyone and I believe that there must be a collective action from everyone to be highly effective.
I think it isn’t just a problem of the government and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), I think it’s a problem for everyone and I believe that there must be a collective action from everyone to be highly effective.
I began to research on how I can help in my own community. Initially, I found out that barangays who can try a circular economy by recycling and reusing, instead of the traditional and linear economy of “take, make and dispose”, can save PHP 300,000 to PHP 400, 000 annually just by less usage of garbage trucks’ maintenance, fuel, and garbage collection personnel.
Barangays that have a materials recovery facility create value through recycled and upcycled items don’t only get to save, but also have more livelihood opportunities. It’s a great way to involve children and educate the next generation who will continue a more responsible way of handling waste. It also allows a sense of purpose to the unemployed and the retirees.
I also saw a huge impact if we can have businesses such as Green Antz in our city as they use sachets to make eco-bricks, pavers, tiles, and roofing, and these bricks are six to eight times stronger than regular hollow blocks against storms, earthquake, and even fire. Our country is a sachet economy because we are still a developing country. Many FIlipinos buy in sachets even if they actually pay more per gram because sachets allow them to afford their basic needs like toothpaste, shampoo, and coffee. I thought of an idea to incentivize garbage segregation until it finally becomes part of our culture.
Ready with ideas, passion, and action, I presented all my ideas to our city councilor handling the environment committee, but unfortunately, our city signed a partnership with a multinational company that will be in charge of collecting and taking our garbage. I know my proposed ideas are easier said than done, but this battle is far from over - I began looking for the next option to make these ideas a reality.
You have plastic in you if you have eaten seafood or eat/drink from plastic containers.
So finally, I decided to start Package Free Philippines as a community page for like-minded people.
As a working mom and student who wishes to have more than 24 hours in a day, social media became an accessible tool to take out my frustrations. I used social media not to rant or to ridicule anyone, but to encourage. So finally, I decided to start Package Free Philippines as a community page for like-minded people. Encouraging people to go plastic-free all at once may be overwhelming, but I wanted to start informing people that we should start refusing, if not reusing, packaging materials.
Our non-biodegradable trash is mostly made up of packaging. Aside from encouraging people to refuse single-use plastics such as straws and prefer sustainable products, this social media initiative is also to inform people about the real situation of our environment and how they can help by going package-free and plastic - free. It’s alarming that most packaging are non-biodegradable and non-compostable. And currently, only 9% of plastics are getting recycled.
I would like to do so much more, but for now, reaching people through social media to inform and encourage them to start making contributions to help the environment is something I can do. I can also repost and celebrate each smalls wins of like-minded people.
I hope and pray to reach more people. I can’t think of a better way to use social media than for purposeful work. I think that the way to change is to be conscious of the problem. When we are all conscious of the problem, that is when we can have the power and the initiative to change.