DENR recognizes zero-waste store, coffee shop in Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recognized a recently-opened store-cum-coffee shop in this city for advocating zero waste.

The certificate of recognition was given by the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) -Bago City, headed by Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya, to Wala Usik Tiangge+Kapehan, a social enterprise being run by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI).

“Wala usik” means zero waste or no wastage in Hiligaynon.

Considered as Negros Island’s first zero-waste store, Wala Usik, which opened on January 21, is located at Door 6, Teresa Building on Lacson St. in Barangay Mandalagan.

PRRCFI executive director Dave Albao said on Thursday the response to Wala Usik is positively overwhelming. “I think there is a momentum of awareness on why we need to reduce waste at source,” he said.

Ida Vecino, social enterprise officer of Wala Usik Tiangge+Kapehan, said the concept of zero-waste is new to many Negrenses and there are those who are “amazed” by the idea.

“But there are also those who are willing to learn and embrace the lifestyle,” she added.

Vencino said she hopes that going zero-waste will not just be a trend in Negros.

“We want them to understand why there is a need for zero-waste and reusables. For us, we are also learning how people will embrace or are willing to take effort to pursue this lifestyle,” she added.

Personnel of CENRO-Bago City visited the store and coffee shop on Tuesday as part of their activities for the observance of National Zero Waste Month this January.

Gerangaya handed the certificate of recognition to Vecino, acknowledging the organization’s advocacy in fostering a plastic-free lifestyle in the modern and throw-away society.

Wala Usik has a coffee bar, which allows guests to make coffee of their own choice -- either French press, drip coffee or brewed coffee -- at very affordable prices. It also serves pastries or snacks from consignees.

It offers a discount of PHP5 to customers who bring their own coffee cup or mug.

The store sells household and personal care products made of organic ingredients. They have liquid shampoo, shampoo bars, liquid hand soap, dishwashing liquid, all-purpose cleaner, among others.

Also available are reusable straws, tumblers and cloth pads. (PNA)

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