Blog Post: Sustainability in the Philippines.

Last summer, I did some volunteer work with Makati City, the central business district in Metro Manila, Philippines. Here are some insights I gained from that experience.

Fast food. Some fast food places in the Philippines now have a "dine-in-on-a-plate" option to decrease the use of styrofoam and cardboard packages.

Grocery shopping. Plastic bags are everywhere! I worked with the Environmental Services Department, and in one of the meetings, we talked about how to reduce the usage of plastic bags for shopping. They considered the same practice that we have here in Vancouver -- econcouraging re-usable bags for grocery shopping, but are not sure about how successful this will be. I just found out from my mum that they've implemented this 'green bag' concept, but the extra cost of having to buy the bag is discouraging shoppers. It is also interesting that they cannot implement the practice of not needing to place purchased items in plastic bags, to avoid suspicions of theft and such.

Fashionable tetrapaks and tarpaulins. Tetrapak juice cartons, which cost too much to recycle, are sewn into sturdy bags instead. Huge tarpaulin banners from billboard adverts are also cut up and sewn into these products. It reduces garbage and creates jobs, which is awesome.

Electric jeepneys. A jeepney is a form of public transit in the Philippines similar to a multi-cab vehicle, and they now have an electric version of it! I wonder if we will see a complete shift to e-jeeps in the future.... I found this to be the coolest innovation, so search 'electronic jeepney' to find out more!

If anyone wants to learn about the Philippines, feel free to write back.