Tzu Chi’s annual recycling activity during the All Saints’ Day holidays kicked off on October 31 in seven cemeteries across Metro Manila.
Tzu Chi promotes waste reduction through recycling with the aim of educating about preserving the environment. With the recycled materials, it also raises funds for future missions.
Tzu Chi volunteers in Metro Manila conducted their annual recycling activity on October 31, just as the holiday has families flocking to cemeteries.
In the yearly holiday of visiting the dearly departed, Undas, Tzu Chi volunteers went to various cemeteries to promote waste reduction through recycling. Seven cemeteries were the focus of this recycling activity: Loyola Memorial Park and Manila Memorial Park both in Paranaque City, Himlayang Pilipino and Manila Memorial Park (Novaliches) in Quezon City, and Manila North Cemetery, Manila South Cemetery, and Chinese Cemetery in Manila.
Since 2010, Tzu Chi’s presence has encouraged people during this time of year to properly collect and assess their trash. More than advocating environmental protection, the fruits of this cultivation are the people who now enjoy happier lives.
Stationed in Manila Memorial Park with 50 fellow volunteers, 34-year-old Sedy Barrameda explained that the significance of this activity is not just to educate. By recycling, people also get the opportunity to fund the fivefold missions of Tzu Chi. She understood the value of these recyclables as she was once on the receiving end of the foundation’s charity.
“I do this because I know it could help save the environment. And also, we are able to use these recyclables to fund relief missions for the less fortunate,” stated Barrameda, who once received medical assistance for her goiter before becoming a volunteer.
In Himlayang Pilipino, food stalls were spread throughout the park. Consistent demand for food generated quickly filled up the stalls’ trash bins. The volunteers asked permission if they can recycle some of the waste.
“I think Tzu Chi is doing a good job. First, they took the cardboards which decreased our waste. Second, the volunteers told me that Tzu Chi recycles these materials not only to maintain a good environment but to use the funds for scholars and beneficiaries,” said Gwendelyn Pasaje, manning a pizza stand.
She also stated that this inspired her to support the volunteers and the activity more, now aware where the proceeds would be used.
Tzu Chi volunteer Mercita Villas, 61, enjoys recycling as an environmentalist. She also knows that the activity will also benefit Tzu Chi’s beneficiaries as much as Mother Nature.
“The funds we acquire from the recyclables are going to be used for the future projects and missions of Tzu Chi. For example, right now in Tacloban, they’re building houses for those who were affected by the typhoon [Yolanda],” Villas narrated.
The recycling activity will continue in for the coming years as it has proved its effectiveness to the cemetery visitors and the volunteers themselves.