Friday, January 29, 2010

Retailers give green drive another boost

Retailers give green drive another boost
By Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
January 29, 2010

The Philippine Retailers Association-Cebu Chapter has lined up more activities to support its green initiative, which was launched last December.

The activities include a fundraising dinner and planned billboards to support the association's "Every Bag Counts" program.

The group hopes to gather around 350 people on Feb. 20 at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel for a post Valentine Dinner called "Be My Green Valentine."

Melanie Ng, chapter president, said that for a donation as low as P800, one can already enjoy a sumptuous meal and be entertained by Cebu's own Natasha Kang.

Ng said that the funds raised through the event will be used for their "Every Bag Counts" campaign activities. A part of it will be given to the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) for their reforestation program.

"The PBSP will be our beneficiary because we believe that their program is also related to our green initiative."

The PRA Cebu hopes to reforest at least a hectare of the 30-hectare reforestation project of the PBSP.

Ng said that as of Jan. 26, many people had committed to join the event and donate.

Chester Lim, appointed committee chairman, said they have another event in March which hopes to highlight members who have already implemented green initiatives at their level. These activities are not limited to reducing the use of plastic bags.

"All the initiatives they have in their level that helps protect Mother Earth will be featured in our March event," said Lim.

Lim said that the committee for the "Every Bag Counts" campaign will convene in February. At least 10 members were invited to join the steering group or committee.

"The reason few members are invited in the committee is because with a big group it will be difficult to mobilize our plans. And so we want to keep a lean but mean group," he said.

In June, the Regional Retailers Conference will also be held in Cebu.

Ng said they also would like to present their campaign to all regional members.

Robert Go, PRA Cebu board of director, said they would continue to hold fund raising events since one event would not be enough to generate sufficient funds for a "big" project.

"Now everyone wants plastic bags and if you don't provide them one, they get angry with you and send complaint letters, but we want to reverse this and to do that we need continuous campaigning which will need funding," Go said.

Ng said that as of now, they are using their organization's funds, which will not be sufficient.

She said they would mobilize activities such as the fundraising program so they would not have to ask for donations every time they have events or activities for the green campaign.

"We want to put up a billboard with our copyrighted logo in it so that people can see it. And eventually, the message will always be on top of their mind for them and will serve as a reminder that they have to help in their little ways by reducing the use of plastic bags," Ng said.