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Eco-friendly practices in collecting and re-using among Filipinos

Filipinos are known to be creative individuals, and that’s why, even in coming up with eco-friendly and practical items, we can think of many ways to use the resources we have and re-purpose them into something useful. You’ve probably seen your mom keep ice cream tubs, carton boxes, plastic bags, and many other items after using them — who knows, you might have probably done it yourself!

Here are some of the eco-friendly practices that Filipinos have:

Re-using ice cream tubs and turning them into fish or meat containers

In a Filipino household, ice cream tubs are not immediately thrown away. Instead, they are used as storage containers for meat and fish. You might have fallen for it, too! You opened the refrigerator, saw an ice cream tub, and thought there was ice cream inside, but when you opened it, it was fish or meat!

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Folding plastic bags into triangles to be re-used in a later time

Some Filipinos have actually mastered the art of folding plastic bags into neat triangles. These plastic bags are then kept somewhere safe to be re-used in a later time. Sometimes these plastic bags are re-used as a storage bag for various items, for packing takeaways after a party, or simply as an alternative trash bag.

folding triangles


Hand-me downs! Gamit ni ate, gamit ko rin

Generosity runs deep in Filipino families, especially when it comes to clothing and household items. Instead of throwing away old clothes, they are passed down to the younger generation who might benefit from them. Once the older sibling has newer stuff, most of their old items are given to the younger sibling.

hand me down

Turning balikbayan boxes or cartons into a storage box for clothes, sheets, and blankets

After receiving balikbayan boxes, these handy cartons become storage boxes for clothes, sheets, and blankets, as well as organizers for books, toys, and kitchen essentials. It’s not just sustainable but also makes everything seem tidy.


Turning cookie tins into a makeshift sewing kit

After finishing the sweet cookies, the tins are then re-used as sewing kits. This is not just within Filipino households but might be a universal experience. Just like with the ice cream tubs, you might have also been tricked into thinking that what’s inside are cookies, but you opened it and found out that it’s your mother’s or grandmother’s sewing kit.

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Re-using the biscuit bucket into a storage for rice

Let’s not forget the sturdy bucket of assorted biscuits which are turned into a storage for rice, keeping it fresh and easily accessible in Filipino households and beyond. This bucket can also be used as an alternative “timba” for transporting water or using it for taking a bath.

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These practices aren’t just eco-friendly; they also showcase the creative and resourceful spirit of Filipinos. It’s not just about being funny but also about being sustainable, making a positive impact in simple yet meaningful ways.

Kate Sudiacal

Kate is a Junior Writer at The Filipino Times, where she actively covers a wide range of stories, with a special focus on the Philippines, UAE, and MENA. Her thorough daily summaries of the most significant events appear in The Filipino Times, the Middle East's leading newspaper serving Filipinos. With The Filipino Times' digital platform boasting over 4 million monthly views and nearly half a million followers across various social media channels, Kate's work reaches a wide and engaged audience. Do you have a story to share? Contact Kate at [email protected].

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