Going plastic bag-free

My mother and I went on a quick trip to Antipolo City the other day to buy the usual goodies: suman, kalamay, and cashew nuts. To our surprise, the seller wrapped our purchases in old newspaper pages. It looks like the city really is taking its plastic bag ban seriously, so well done, Antipolo.


Earlier today, I headed over to Santis Deli for some cheese and phyllo. It’s been about a couple of months since I was last there, so I was happy to see that they’ve done away with their plastic bags and are using paper bags instead, although they encourage people to bring their own bags.

I think it’s pretty amazing how more and more supermarkets here are encouraging people to bring their own shopping bags, when just a few years ago, the idea wasn’t very popular. Some places are charging for plastic bags as well, and many are selling their own branded reusable bags. Now if only more people would actually start using reusable bags.

Bottle House in El Salvador

Recycled bottles can create a dream home

In El Salvador, a couple, Prudencio Amaya, 102, and Maria Ponce, 78, decided that not having enough money to build a home won’t stop them from having their dream house. Their home, called “La Casita Encantada” or “The Enchanted Cottage,” has drawn attention for its clever use of recycled bottles as building material. Prudencio and Maria are reaping the benefits of their innovation as well–tourists have been stopping by to see the house and leaving donations for the couple.


I had an Odwalla bar the other day and found out that if you collect the wrappers, you can raise money for a charity of your choice. You can send hard-to-recycle waste materials, like candy wrappers or chip bags to Terracycle, where they will be converted to new products. For each unit of waste, the company donates $0.02 to your favorite charity.

Sign up for their Brigades and start collecting!


Want to give your plush toys a second home? You can donate them to SAFE, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies. They’ll distribute them to hospitals, homeless shelters, and for paramedics to give out to injured or traumatized children during their calls. The organization also accepts books, blankets, and other toys. So do your part and help make kids feel a little safer.