They say, charity begins at home, and for environmental advocate mom Sherry Gocheco, the same goes for managing wastes.
Sherry, a single mother of two and an ardent champion of environmental causes, has been practicing household composting for over two decades now. She recently shared her expertise during the Haribon Meets U! (HMU), a monthly, intimate gathering of Haribon members to learn about the environment and biodiversity.
Sherry cited a DENR report where it revealed that 54% of the total solid waste collected and dumped in landfills are biodegradable household wastes. This number, according to Sherry, can be reduced significantly if more people turned to composting.
“It was mostly trial and error at the beginning, until I got better through practice and then I did some research and that’s when I started exploring other composting methods.”
Currently, she keeps a small portion of their backyard as her composting area, where she has tried various ways of composting – from the traditional aerobic method (mixture of soil and kitchen wastes) and vermiculture (composting with the help of worms) to the more unconventional ones, like ‘black soldier fly’ composting and ‘Bokashi’.
Aside from composting, Sherry later realized she could further reduce her wastes by minimizing the commercial products she buys. Instead, she learned to make her own. Her homemade shampoo is something that she particularly swears by.
“I just use baking soda and water for my hair. It doesn’t foam like commercial shampoo, but it cleans just as well,” says Sherry, even hand-combing her hair to prove just how well her homemade shampoo works.
“I have also started making my own vinegar. Did you know that vinegar can actually substitute as a fabric conditioner?” Sherry muses.
Out of organic, readily-available materials, Sherry is able to concoct her own shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, fabric conditioner and all-around cleanser.
“I used to spend over PHP 3,000 on groceries alone, but since I started making my own, I rarely go shopping anymore. I help save the environment, while saving money as well! It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Apart from the obvious financial benefits, Sherry says her ultimate motivation is her faith and love for the environment.
“We were given jurisdiction over this earth, hence, we need to be good stewards of God’s creation.”
It feels good to know that I am contributing very little, or none at all, to the landfill. This is a way of life that I am now passing on to my children, with the hopes that the next generation will follow suit.”
Be a Haribon member like Sherry and be a champion for a cleaner, greener environment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.