International Volunteers at WYD 2019 have started the recycling initiative at the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá to bring the Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si to life.
Analisa Ramsahai is a Laudato Si Volunteer with the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) at the WYD 2019. She represents The Franciscan Institute in Trinidad – a ministry under the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother.
After arriving in Panama yesterday (January 15), Ramsahai shared with Catholic News what her Day 2 was like as a WYD volunteer.
The environmental initiative starts with volunteers, she said, as they prepare to assist the pilgrims next week (WYD begins officially on January 25).
“One example is once we finish eating from a Styrofoam box, we dispose of it in a separate recycling box while plastics are washed and reused for the next day. Water bottles are also reused.”
She continued, “Even though the weather in Panama is similar to the Caribbean many persons from different parts of the world are struggling to adapt to the hot conditions and the commute as a volunteer requires a lot of walking, running and the attending to sessions. We try to keep these bottles to refill water or we will dispose of it in a separate plastic water bottle bin.”
She also noted there is a lot of food wastage and scraps are gathered after meals then disposed in food waste collectible bins. The same goes for any paper, including paper cups. The volunteers lamented that even though they would love to eliminate the use of plastics altogether, it is unavoidable in this case with so many persons staying at the university therefore catering and clean up after is an ongoing challenge.
Their solution was to make recycling bins accessible to all around the campus.