Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today called on all Filipinos to observe a “green undas” as most of the nation’s populace once again troop to the cemeteries to pay homage to their departed relatives.

“This coming four-day weekend is one opportunity that majority of us will definitely take advantage of to be with our loved ones whether living, departed or both. However we choose to celebrate the long weekend, let us also be mindful of the impact of our activities on our environment,” he said.

Noting that the country generates 30,000 tons of trash on a regular day, with 8,000 tons produced in Metro Manila alone, Paje appealed to the public to “also think of the living when we commemorate our dead.”

“Perhaps it is no longer necessary to enumerate the adverse impact of garbage not only on our health but also on the environment. The trashslides that occurred in Baguio City and in Payatas should serve as a reminder to all us on why we should all actively participate in the proper management of our garbage,” he stressed.

The DENR chief also reminded cemetery administrators and local government officials to provide waste receptacles that would encourage the public to dispose of and segregate their garbage properly.

For the general public, Paje gave the following pointers on ensuring a green celebration of All Saints and All Souls Days:


Practice the three R’s in solid waste management: Reuse, reduce and recycle by using reusable utensils, food containers and bags.
Bring only a sufficient amount of food. Take home any leftovers and feed to your pets or use as compost.
Place candles in reusable glass containers. Keep watch of lighted candles to avoid accidental fires.
Collect melted candle wax to make new candles or sell to traders.
Use fresh flowers without plastic wrapping, or potted plants to help purify the air.
Get rid of stagnant water that could be a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
For those making a long drive to their destinations, car owners should ensure that their vehicles are well-maintained. Paje also proposed car pooling or the use of public transport to lessen vehicle emissions that contribute to air pollution.