Decluttering is forever

Decluttering is forever

Long before i heard of zero waste or minimalism, i’ve always been uneasy with stuff. Of course, growing up in a Filipino middle-class consumerist culture, i’ve had my fair share of enjoying giving and receiving gifts and buying stuff just in case or just because. But as i am really more of a simple, nature-loving person, i find stuff just generally overwhelming. Plus, i just hate how capitalism works.

Anyway, i hadn’t realized then that i could do something about my stuff. I kind of thought, just as i did with trash before, that stuff just happens. So i was so glad to have stumbled upon Annie Leonard’s internet film The Story of Stuff about two years ago. My discomfort with stuff and hyperconsumerism in general had never been so well articulated before: stuff is made for the dump. In other words, we are trashing the planet thru mindless consumption of stuff. The short movie also made me see my clutter in a different way. Suddenly, all my stuff were magnified and i felt so overwhelmed. And i was never even a shopaholic or a hoarder. This might seem exaggerated, but i once did feel a slight anxiety a year ago when i did a general cleaning of my room: there was so much useless stuff and i didn’t know what to do with them but to either keep them or trash them away. Either way, i got slightly anxious. 

Believe it or not, i have been decluttering for a year. I quit my previous job a year ago and started decluttering since. I’m still decluttering. It. Never. Ends. But then again i don’t do it regularly (because thesis ugh) so maybe that’s also why it’s taking me forever. 

And so i am challenging myself this month to do the 30-day minimalism game. This game is inspired by The Minimalists. But because i don’t think i’d be able to get rid of 465 things in a month or afford to get rid of them all by midnight each day–also since we’re talking about just my stuff, not my family’s–i’ll have my own rules. 

And here are the rules of my own #MinsGame:

1. Each day, i will put at least three items in my “good-bye box.”

2. At the end of June, books will be donated to our local public library.

3. At the end of June, clothes, bags, and other stuff will be donated to Segunda Mana or any of these organizations.

My “good-bye” box already has some stuff in it as a result of my decluttering. I’ve also donated an earlier batch of books last March to my local public library and i already have another batch waiting to be donated. The stuff already in the box, as well as the books, won’t be counted for this game.

This game starts today. Wish me luck! 

On habits, culprits, and some good bits

On habits, culprits, and some good bits

Zero wasting, to me, is about changing habits and lifestyle to achieve the utopian vision that is sustainability. It is being mindful of your choices and actions so that you generate as minimal waste as possible.

As such, ever since starting this journey i’ve learned to let go of old habits and develop new ones. The following are just some of the simplest examples.

I used to buy bottled water when thirsty, but now i bring a reusable water bottle everywhere i go.

Before, i just unconsciously accepted plastic bags when buying anything. Anything. Even stuff that can be simply put in my bag. (Oh the things we do if we aren’t mindful!) But now, i always bring reusable cloth bags and refuse plastic bags. That said, i’ve also learned the art of refusing and asking for an alternative. (Well, not really. You’ll see later.)

I also used to just use/accept disposable plates, cutlery, and cups when eating out. Not anymore, tho, as i now always bring my own baunan (lunch box), cutlery, and cup when going out. Hence, my bag has been bigger and heavier since zero wasting!

      Other new habits include segregating and recycling. I no longer put my trash into one bin. They are properly segregated–paper, metals, plastics, ink cartridges–in a cabinet for recycling. Trash that can’t be recycled go into my ecobrick can, which i will drop off at The Plastic Solution once it’s full. These simple habits reduce trash big time, saving a lot of garbage from going to landfills.

      Also, i’m trying to get into the habit of not buying anything new. I’ve never been a shopaholic anyway so this is easy. And really, i don’t need anything new. Since zero wasting and, in effect, minimalizing, i’ve found out that i already have everything that i need. In fact, i have more than what’s needed that i’ve come to see my stuff as overwhelming. Hence, decluttering has become a new habit too.

      Another reason why i’ve decided to not buy any new stuff for myself is because people will do that for me anyway. Now this brings me to what i call “culprits.”

      A while ago i said that i’ve learned the art of refusing. Well, not really. As i’ve said in a previous post, we Filipinos love giving gifts and souvenirs. And gifts aren’t something you can easily refuse: it’s not even because one likes receiving gifts; it’s just considered rude to refuse a well-meaning gesture. That said, gifts and pasalubong are the number one culprits of my trash.

      Thanks but no thanks. My four months of trash–the result of decluttering and so much pasalubong (gifts/souvenirs), which often come in packaging.

      Another culprit is attending conferences. I’ve already been to three this year and realized how wasteful these events can be. Conference kits have so much unnecessary freebies inside. I admit i haven’t really learned how to politely refuse or return these useless giveaways, so here they are adding junk to my clutter. And then there’s also the food. Two out of three of the conferences i attended served food in single-use plastic containers and with plastic cutlery. Lack of foresight and, thus, preparation, is therefore another culprit. Had i foreseen these, i would have brought my own food instead of ending up guiltily accepting them. 😭 In both instances, tho, i used my own spoon and fork.

      Anyway, as i’ve said before zero wasting here is not without its challenges. But once you see your trash in a new light, there’s no turning back: there’s only striving to become better as you go. 

      That’s what i’m doing. And i’m so glad to have found a community in the Philippines who are also doing the same! They’re mostly on instagram where they actively share zero waste tips. Our community of “zero wasters” is not yet that big as in other countries, but i believe we are growing. Recently i’ve learned that my university (UST) gave away free reusable metal straws to students in an effort to make the campus straw-free. Ayala malls are also now plastic bag-free. More and more schools are doing The Plastic Solution’s #StuffItChallenge. And menstrual cups are now getting social media attention. These may be tiny bits of good news, but they mean valuable efforts nonetheless. They mean that people are making efforts to change their habits, as well as address the culprits.

      We’re only in the first half of 2017 and so much has happened already, although not always for the better. And while it’s still rather early to tell that this year is better than the last, i can feel that, in general, we are trying to get things right this time.

      HP’s closed-loop ink cartridge recycling program

      HP’s closed-loop ink cartridge recycling program

      Note: All opinions on this blog regarding a product/brand/company are solely my own. I do not receive any compensation from anyone for these views. (Just thought i’d make this clear just in case someone mistakes this for a paid/PR blog post.)

      When i first learned about zero waste i made a quick mental survey of all of my stuff and habits and assessed how these generate waste. I realized that, from my food and personal care to my work and studies, my lifestyle does generate a lot of waste. As such, i am constantly looking for alternatives and solutions, as well as changing my habits, in order to reduce or avoid trash.

      One thing i can’t entirely remove from my system, tho, is printing. As a graduate student, i tend to do a lot of reading and writing, as well as printing. I know that a lot of the materials i need are available online and that i can actually opt to read papers digitally. But reading from an electronic device (phone, tab, or laptop) for a long time hurts my eyes (and sometimes even gives me vertigo 😔😒), making printouts necessary.

      While i’ve conceded to the fact that i can’t do away with printing, i’m bothered by the waste ink cartridges make. Ink cartridges from major brands (like Hewlett-Packard or simply HP) are usually designed for single use. In addition, they come in layers of packaging and millions end up in landfills every year.

      I initally thought my only option was to send all my spent cartridges to recycling centers (where the cartridges will most likely be collected for reselling). But then i realized i can also have them refilled at shops like Ink All-You-Can, which provide continuous ink supply system (CISS) technologies. And so a couple of weeks ago, instead of buying new and original HP ink cartridges, i had my spent HP cartridges refilled at Ink All-You-Can. Sadly, i didn’t like the print quality: the color was really bad and it was messy. In addition, the ink stuck up within a week. I thought this was a waste of money. (But this was just my experience with Ink All-You-Can and HP ink cartridges. Some people were luckier.) Hence, i had no other choice but to buy original HP ink cartridges again.

      Dissatisfied with having to resort to buying original ink cartridges every time, i wondered if HP happens to have a closed-loop system by which they take back their products and do something about reducing their impact. I googled and found out that HP in fact has a closed-loop recycling system for their ink and toner cartridges! What’s more surprising is that the program has been going on in the Philippines since 2011!

      To confirm if HP Philippines does comply to this, i visited the HP store in SM Fairview and inquired if i can drop off my spent cartridges. I was so thrilled when i heard that, yes, i can in fact drop all of my used cartridges off at the store as HP collects them for its closed-loop ink cartridge recycling program. 

      Saved from landfills. I dropped all of these off at an HP store just before writing this blog post. 

      I’m so happy about this that i’m a new HP fan now. Not only for the reason that we’ve had our HP printer for a long time now (and it’s still working well), but also for the fact that HP is bent on reducing its environmental footprint. I am still hoping, tho, that HP tries better solutions, like making its ink cartridges refill-friendly and having ink refill stations at its stores. After all, reusing ink cartridges conserves a lot more resources and energy than recycling.

      HP ink cartridges, i was told at Ink All-You-Can, supposedly can be refilled at least 10 times. So i’m still interested in refills and will give it a another chance next time, probably with a different refilling brand. I want to be able to maximize the life of an ink cartridge before sending it back to HP for recycling. Nevertheless, when things fail again, i’m glad there’s HP’s closed-loop recycling program.

      Trash talk: Composting

      Trash talk: Composting

      There are a lot of articles and blogs about how to start zero waste. I’ve noticed that most of them list the following as the first baby steps to go zero waste:

      1. Refuse plastic straws.
      2. Bring your own reusable water bottle.
      3. Bring your own reusable grocery bags.
      4. Shop package-free, in bulk, and/or second-hand.
      5. DIY your own products.

        While i find these as indeed easy steps to start lessening one’s waste, i think that to go zero waste one must begin with composting in mind.

        For me, the first two ways to begin zero waste are: 1) use a menstrual cup and 2) compost. (So obviously, at least for me, if you don’t menstruate, you can skip no. 1.)

        I know Bea Johnson said that zero waste must follow the 5 Rs–refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot (and in that order!). But when i first learned about zero waste through Lauren Singer, i made a quick mental survey about all the trash that i generate and realized that the two things that i needed to address right away were disposable pads/tampons and food waste. These two can’t go to landfills!

        So when i decided to go zero waste, i knew i needed a composting site. Luckily, we have a space in the garden where i can dump our organic trash.

        Here are the things we throw away for composting:

        • vegetable and fruit scraps
        • crushed egg shells
        • dried leaves and twigs
        • nail clippings and hair
        • shredded brown paper bags
        • guinea pig poop and fur
        • hay
        Lenny, one of my guinea pigs who help me compost by donating their poop and hay to my compost pit :3

        There are many ways to compost in the city. In fact, i do two different methods of composting.

        The first one is the compost pit method. We have an unused garden bed, which i now use as a compost pit. I simply dump daily food scraps into the pit and cover them with soil, dried leaves, guinea pig poop, and hay to prevent it from becoming smelly and attracting flies. Earthworms and millipedes (of which we already have a plenty in the garden) aid in the decomposition and i have observed that this method works even if i have a continuous or steady stream of new materials to compost. The down side of this method is that i can’t harvest the compost as the compost is constantly mixed with new materials and soil. I’m still figuring out when to stop filling the pit and wait for all the materials to finish breaking down so we can use the “soil + compost” mix for gardening and, hopefully, growing.

        My compost pit. It’s not an ugly sight (or a smelly pit) as long as you have lots of dried leaves around.

        After more than two months of composting using the compost pit method, i thought i wanted to set it aside for a while to give it time to finish breaking down. And so i decided to do another method. This one’s easier to manage for those who don’t have a garden bed. It uses a clay pot (or any container with a hole for draining water) as a composting bin. In this method, i simply dump in our organic waste, covering every layer of greens (nitrogen-rich matter) with a thicker layer of browns (carbon-rich matter). EcoWaste Coalition has made a simple instructional video on how to do this method. I think this method is a slower process than the other, but adding in a bit of soil and/or compost activators can speed it up. This method also works like Daily Dump’s khamba composting: once the pot is full, it can be set aside for a few weeks while another pot is being filled.

        My compost pot. I’ve read that the water that drains out of it is “liquid gold.” I’ll put a container underneath the pot soon to collect the water.

        Composting is so easy and fun to do that i easily got hooked to it. I love returning to Earth what nourished us and it has made me appreciate the concept of ecosystem in a deeper, beyond-textbook level.

        As a beginner, though, there are times when i feel like i’m doing it the wrong way (as sometimes plants sprout out of my compost pit), so i find myself always googling how to troubleshoot composting problems. I’ve realized that composting is a learning process. 

        Now as for leftovers and cooked food waste, well, we let animals–i.e., stray cats–do the job for now. But i’m also planning to start bokashi composting soon in order to manage other food wastes such as meat and fish bones (my family is omnivore while i’ve been pescetarian for more than a year now).

        If you want to start composting at home but live in Metro Manila or have no space for a pit, you might want to inquire with your barangay if it has a community composting project. (I did this and found out that our barangay used to have one but discontinued it. Sad.) If there’s none, your best options are the pot composting that i mentioned, bokashi composting, and/or vermicomposting. 

        Composting is simple and easy. I think everyone must give it a try! 

        Achievements & challenges

        So far, i think i’m doing good with zero wasting. But there are still challenges.

        Achievements so far

        1. I don’t make any waste at all whenever i go out.

        And this is because i now always bring with me my zero waste essentials: reusable water bottle, spoon and fork, reusable bags, reusable baunan (food container) for take-outs, and handkerchief (bye, tissue paper!). I now don’t and can’t leave the house without these with me. They’re as essential as my wallet and umbrella.

        2. I compost our raw kitchen waste.

        I love composting. I’ve never realized before that composting is such a therapeutic activity. Crushing egg shells, cutting fruit and vegetable scraps into smaller pieces, picking up dried leaves and sprinkling them all over the compost pit feel so good to the body and mind. The activity is meditative. I love reconnecting to Earth, returning to Earth what nourished us. I’m still learning my way through it and the learning process itself is fun. I will write about how we deal with our raw and cooked kitchen wastes in a future post.

        Challenges

        I’m afraid challenges are more overwhelming than my achievements so far. But they’re challenges, right? Not setbacks. And i can and will always work on these things.

        The number 1 challenge i encounter in zero wasting is gift giving. Sounds weird, huh? Well, when i learned about zero waste, i realized that my trash is a direct outcome of my choices and habits. I realized that if i don’t want to generate trash, i must refuse and reduce. Refusing plastics and single-use items is easy. Reducing stuff i buy is easy, too, since i was never into shopping anyway. But you know what’s hard to refuse and/or reduce? Gifts! And it’s not even because i love receiving gifts! In the Philippines, people love giving gifts and it’s considered rude to refuse them. I think the same is true in some Asian cultures.

        In the month of January alone, i received many pasalubong from friends who traveled or went home to their provinces during the holidays. Pasalubong are souvenirs Filipinos give as gifts for family and friends back home. Of course, these gifts often come in plastic packaging!

        In January, too, our family received a padala or package from family and relatives in Hawaii. When i was a kid, i loved opening packages filled with candies, chocolates, and junk food. But now, when we opened the box, i thought “oh god, that is a lot of trash.” Of course, i was referring to all the packaging. Almost everything was packaged or wrapped in plastic!

        While i appreciate the generosity of family and friends, i can’t help but be critical of our gift-giving culture. It’s a symptom of our materialist and consumerist culture. And since we’re talking here about a culture, it is going to be hard to change this. But change can happen. After all, not giving gifts is never really an issue to anyone (well, from my experience, no one gives a damn if i don’t give gifts); it’s the refusal to accept gifts from well-meaning family and friends that’s tricky.

        Another challenge i encounter in zero wasting is getting family and friends to join me. This means that my family (my parents, especially) still buys packaged food from grocery. So what i do to change that is avoid or refuse eating grocery food. Hopefully, that’ll start the shift to stop buying packaged food. As with friends, well, I’ve gotten praises from them for yet another “advocacy.” And that’s it. Not that i go about aggressively persuading them to do zero waste with me and immediately. Because i don’t. Well, ok, except for the menstrual cup. I’m pretty serious about it that i think i sometimes look like a menstrual cup spokesperson now. But it’s only because the menstrual cup has been so life-changing and i only want my friends to experience it too! In addition, the amount of waste unwasted by menstrual cup use is huge! Anyway, i’ve raved about menstrual cups to friends but the idea of inserting a cup inside the vagina (or even the idea of using washable pads instead) has always been met with weird looks and i find that a bit frustrating at least for my environmental advocacy.

        As i go on in this journey, i’ve observed that the idea of zero waste seems too challenging for many people. It’s the word “zero” that makes it seem impossible. Or maybe people just don’t see waste as an urgent problem yet. Or if they do, they don’t see it as a mostly direct outcome of their activities. And that’s why i decided to do this blog, too. I hope through this blog i can show others that the waste problem in the country is real and serious and that zero waste is the solution to it. I hope through my actions and this blog, i can show that simply refusing plastic straws and single-use items (like disposable pads or tampons) make a huge difference. 

        *****

        Zero wasting has been challenging and sometimes stressful now that i am conscious of my trash, but i find it even more stressful–and actually, morally burdensome–to not even try.

        In future posts, i’ll try to focus more on giving zero waste tips. Maybe that way it’ll be easier to show that zero waste is achievable rather than challenging. 

        Trash talk: Problems and solutions

        Trash talk: Problems and solutions

        As someone who cares for the environment, i hate it when i see trash in the oceans, in the mountains, and even in the streets of Metro Manila. And so because i hate trash, i do not litter. Instead, i throw all of my trash in its “proper” place: the trash can. Not in the oceans. Not in the mountains. Not in the streets. But the trash can. All nonbiodegradable go into one trash can and all biodegradable go into another. That’s how i deal with my trash: properly. Because I care for the environment.

        Or so i thought.

        Then i stumbled upon an article about Lauren Singer and her three years’ worth of trash that fits in a mason jar. And i realized that all this time i’ve been dealing with my trash the wrong way. I realized i may not be trashing the oceans and mountains, but i’m sending loads of trash to landfills–which discharge toxins into air, water, and land–thereby trashing the planet just the same. And i thought i cared for the environment. I remember having mixed feelings about it. Shock, disbelief, frustration, disgust, and guilt were the initial, quick reactions. But then i also felt strongly inspired, motivated, and hopeful. Right then and there i knew i wanted to do the right thing, to do things properly. Like legit properly.

        Zero waste made me see trash, as well as myself, in a new perspective. I now see my trash not as something that just happens inevitably and out of my control, but rather as something that i actively create, a direct and concrete outcome of my choices, habits, and lifestyle. Therefore, if i want to stop generating trash, i’ll have to start being conscious or mindful of the choices i make.

        The first question i asked after i read about Lauren Singer was: how about periods? I immediately realized that the only trash i can’t keep in a jar (and can’t compost either) are pads and tampons. Good thing, there is such a thing as a menstrual cup and i was good to go. I’m off to zero wasting.

        Since taking little steps to reduce waste last year, though, i’ve found that zero waste can be a bit of a challenge in the Philippines. Package-free stores are not widely available and accessible yet. So far, Ritual is the only totally package-free store in Metro Manila. I haven’t visited it yet because it’s very far from where i live.

        As such, i actively and constantly seek alternatives and solutions. I’ve inquired with farms and local businesses and companies if there is any way i can purchase their products without plastic packaging. While most of their answers are in the negative, i’m glad they are already aware of the need to ditch plastic and are in fact already finding solutions to packaging. In addition, they’ve promised to consider my suggestions.

        But while alternatives and solutions are still in the works, i’ll do the best i can. There are still ways to avoid trash going to the landfills. One is bringing properly segregated recyclable waste to recycling centers or your barangay’s material recovery/recycling facility. Then there’s also The Plastic Solution for nonrecyclable waste. The Plastic Solution is a movement of repurposing plastic bottles by stuffing the bottles with nonbiodegradable waste, transforming trash that would otherwise end up in landfills into ecobricks that will be used for the construction of houses, walls, benches, etc. This simple solution to nonrecyclable trash has been done in different parts of the world, including Sagada, Mountain Province.

        I have been encouraging friends to join me in doing The Plastic Solution’s #StuffItChallenge, but i feel like i have to clarify an important matter. I think The Plastic Solution is a good way to start transitioning to zero waste in the Philippines. However, it is important to note that it is not the same as zero waste. Repurposing trash as ecobricks does solve a huge problem (as does recycling), but it’s not so much of a sustainable and game-changing solution–that is, if we just keep on stuffing instead of working on ways so that there is nothing to stuff anymore. For as long as we say yes to plastic bottles, disposable packaging, plastic straws and eating utensils, styrofoam, etc., then manufacturers of these materials will create more and we will just create more ecobricks out of new trash. That when we still have a lot of landfills to deal with! The same goes with recycling: as Bea Johnson said, zero waste is not recycling more, but less. In fact, zero recycling is a goal.

        Challenge accepted! A note, tho: I don’t have any plastic bottle and i don’t plan to buy one for the #StuffItChallenge. And so i’m stuffing everything here, including trash i pick up from beaches and mountains. The people behind The Plastic Solution said they will still accept this container at their drop-off points so yey! Join the #StuffItChallenge now!

        For me, zero waste is the proper and most logical solution to trash. I believe in it so much. It is a game-changing solution: it aims to change the game by saying no to disposable, nonrecyclable materials, thereby demanding manufacturers to take back their trash and make the necessary solutions to the problem they created. Zero waste is telling these people “i’ve had enough of your shit and i don’t want to deal with it.”

        Anyway, all that said, i think it is clear that the problem of trash is solvable and that zero waste is possible in the Philippines. We all just need to start looking at our trash then ask: where did this all come from and where are they going? Let’s reflect on those questions for a while and once and for all, let’s all deal with our trash properly.

        #CoronIsNotBikiniBottom

        I need to postpone a scheduled post due to a very pressing matter that is really stressing me out.

        On January 9, 2017, Nickelodeon announced that it will be partnering with Coral World Park to open the world’s first undersea resort and attraction in Coron, Palawan, Philippines. Viacom International Media Networks, which owns Nickelodeon, said that the 100-hectare Nickelodeon undersea attraction and resort would be part of the 400-hectare Coral World Park and would be “yet another important step in boosting the Nickelodeon entertainment experience as we continue to give our fans, kids and their families, new ways to interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love.” Viacom further said that the development, which would feature Coral World Park’s trademark undersea restaurants and lounges “located about 20 feet below sea level with vivid views of the world beneath the ocean,” would “advocate ocean protection.”

        Bullshit, right? Just utter bullshit.

        “…give our fans…new ways to interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love.” Wow, i just cringe whenever i hear that. As if the marine life in Coron can be turned into a brand like Nickelodeon. As if Viacom owns the marine ecosystem in Coron. As if there is a real Bikini Bottom under the sea and the way to appreciate Nature is through characters like SpongeBob SquarePants. Also, what “ocean protection” are they talking about? Building an undersea attraction and resort will pollute the ocean and disrupt and destroy its marine life. What Nickelodeon and Coral World Park plan to do is not protection, but exploitation.

        I have not yet had the chance to visit Coron, but i have been to El Nido, Palawan. According to people who have visited both, Coron and El Nido are very similar and equally beautiful. And goodness, El Nido is a paradise! It is one of my favorite places in this country. Heck, i’m in love with the whole of Palawan! Palawan is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. The latter is also one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

        Often dubbed as our “last ecological frontier” because of the rich biodiversity in its land and marine ecosystems, Palawan is a natural attraction in itself. So what’s the point of building an attraction or theme park? Again, building a theme park in what is already a natural paradise is not protection, but exploitation.

        Except for greedy corporations, i think everyone finds that fact is easy and simple to understand. That is why not long after Nickelodeon’s announcement, #CoronIsNotBikiniBottom trended on social media and an online petition seeking to block the planned theme park from pushing through quickly gathered support.

        Reacting to the public’s outrage, developer Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc. said on January 11 that there had been a misunderstanding as the planned development will not be underwater but “undersea themed” that is “land-based.” Nickelodeon also clarified that the “undersea-themed attraction…is NOT developed undersea.”

        But, of course, they are lying. As early as 2011, Coral World Park’s plan has always been to build an underwater resort hotel in Palawan. That is why their website banner reads (in French): “An underwater experience.” (UPDATE: Whoa! The “News” tab has been updated. It now contains a thank-you note to “CNN and all the media which have covered the clarification of our development in Palawan.” Now this is awkward since all the news clippings just below that say clearly that Coral World Park is an underwater resort. UPDATE #2, January 14, 2017: Coral World Park’s website is gone. I’m not 100% sure, but before the website went down i think i saw that some of the words “underwater”/”undersea” have been changed to “underwater-themed”/”undersea-themed.” Again, i’m not sure. I hope i had taken some screenshots of the website. But i have a feeling that they took the website down because despite the changes made–if indeed those changes were made–their images, such as the one below, show that the planned Coral World Park features undersea villas, restaurants, and lounges.)

        cwp
        Photo from Coral World Park. Does that look like an underwater-themed resort that is land-based? I don’t think so.

        It is surprising that despite their massive proposal Coral World Park was not able to present a master plan when representatives met with Greenpeace Philippines and Save Philippine Seas. I hope this means they are carefully rethinking their plan. I hope their final decision would be to drop this money-making nonsense. If Nickelodeon and Coral World Park truly advocate ocean protection, they will not push through with the exploitation and instead support existing marine conservation efforts, as well as the communities in the area. Moreover, as a global kids’ brand, Nickelodeon should educate kids to respect marine life and NOT to exploit nature for entertainment and money.

        Photo from Save Philippine Seas

        Let us all remain vigilant regarding this matter. We need to wage a war against corporate greed and make sure this plan never pushes through.

        I believe that at the core of zero waste is caring for the environment. After all, it was my love for Nature that led me to this philosophy. And so if you are zero wasting, please support this cause and sign the petition here.