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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Uh-oh, will the water crisis lead to an increased use of disposable products?

Earlier this week, water services company Manila Water released a public advisory detailing the schedule of water interruptions among selected barangays in Rizal and Metro Manila. The scheme, devised to manage the effects of El Niño, is expected to last for the next three months or until the rainy season sets in.

 

While many voiced out their personal concerns on the discomforts of having limited water supply, non-governmental organization EcoWaste Coalition saw the bigger picture and expressed another pressing concern involving the ongoing water interruptions. On Wednesday, March 14, the waste and pollution watch group took to Facebook to remind everyone to avoid resorting to the use of disposable products and packaging as a way of coping with the ongoing water crisis.

 

Also Read: Kilo of Plastic for Kilo of Rice

 

“With taps running dry, we fear that more people and businesses will be encouraged to buy and use more single-use plastic disposables during the waterless period,” Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator for EcoWaste Coalition, said in a press release.

 

As such, the organization encourages households and establishments to be cautious in their water use and to apply water saving measures to help prevent the effects of El Niño in the country from worsening. To help with the cause, the EcoWaste Coalition listed down useful water conservation tips for every Filipino household. See some of them below:

 

When using the bathroom:

  • Fix dripping tanks, pipes, faucets, showerheads, and hoses to prevent water loss.
  • Take shorter showers with a pail and dipper and use just enough water.
  • Reuse towels a few times before putting them on the laundry basket.
  • Collect grey water from bathing and washing and reuse it to wash the car, clean the garage, maintain sidewalks or flush the toilet.
  • Place a brick or water-filled bottle inside the toilet tank to reduce water used in every flush and flush less.
  • Collect water dripping from air conditioners and use the collected water for washing mops and rugs, flushing the toilet or watering the plants.

 

When taking care of the plants:

  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn as this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
  • Spread a layer of mulch around plants and trees to retain water and reduce evaporation.
  • Water the plants early in the morning or in the evening when temperature is cooler.

 

When doing chores in the kitchen:

  • Save the rice wash for washing the dishes or watering plants.
  • Steam vegetables instead of boiling to conserve water as well as preserve their nutrients.
  • Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not under running water.
  • Use fewer cooking and dining utensils and dishes to reduce water need for washing.
  • Choose the proper pan and pot size for cooking as bigger ones may need more cooking water than required.
  • Soak dirty pans and pots before washing instead of scraping them clean under running water.

 

Lastly, while a limited water supply can be a real discomfort especially for those who are running service businesses like restaurants and eateries, caring for the environment should still be everyone’s priority. As Pope Francis said, “We must never forget that the natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone.”

 

——–

Text by Aizel Dolom.

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