Sustainability, as they say, ‘is key’—and in this community, it’s a reality
Sustainability is an initiative no industry can escape. It is not a theme nor a trend, but a movement that everyone should take part in as it is for a cause bigger than anything in the world now. But having a less carbon footprint is proving to be a challenge to many—well, except for a community in Negros Occidental.
PeacePond, five-hectare space in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, which proves that accountable living—the kind that drastically reduces carbon emission—is possible if not simple.
Established in 2004 by Jet Orbida and Checcs Osmeña-Orbida, PeacePond addresses concerns about unsegregated, unmanaged garbage. Years later, it has become more than just a huge materials recovery facility. Today, it is a microcosm of an ideal clean world, where a living, breathing neighborhood exists, generating waste, but responsibly managing that waste. The 24 farmers residing here, comprising the PeacePond Farmers Association, are not too shabby about it. They bagged the Gold Prize at The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines Awards in 2018.
Up until the lockdowns of this pandemic, over 8,000 visitors have joined its Eco Tour program, from small groups to entire schools. Everyone got a chance to discover how waste materials are repurposed, as its Blastik Project teaches communities to upcycle plastic waste into various household products. Meanwhile, the plow system using a bicycle instead of fuel never fails to amaze visitors.
The Negros Season of Culture (NSC) believes that a clean environment must be part of Negrense heritage, a gift to pass on to the next generation. In September and October this year, the NSC will pursue an environmental issue featuring five efforts that have started palpable change in environmental conservation and protection in Negros Occidental. The series includes Danjugan Island, Sagay Marine Reserve, Negros Forest Park, Wala Usik Economy, and PeacePond.
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