SU sets up eco-friendly Christmas tree
Silliman University (SU) has set up a 34-foot-tall Christmas tree made of coco geonet and empty wine bottles in the East Quadrangle. Ceremonial lighting of the tree was done by SU Pres. Betty Cernol-McCann on December 17.
The tree is the first University Christmas Tree made of biodegradable, reused, and reusable materials. It underscores Silliman’s commitment to the environment under its new Environmental Policy. About two thousand empty wine bottles were donated by alumni and collected from the community. Alumni and External Affairs Office Director Ruben Bokingo said the ad hoc committee assigned to plan and make the tree went around Dumaguete City to collect empty wine bottles from establishments such as hotels and restaurants.
Meanwhile, the coco geonet used for the tree was bought from the Bacong Small Coconut Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative in Bacong, Negros Oriental. Coco geonet is a reusable and biodegradable net made of coco coir/fiber, a material from coconut husk. Coco geonet can be used for erosion control, slope protection, and shoreline rehabilitation. It has been used in industries such as mining and construction, among others.
During the evening, the eco-friendly Christmas tree is lighted by multi-colored LED Par lights from inside the tree. Bokingo said LED Par lights use less energy than other types of electric lights. LED Par lights also are being used to light up the acacia trees lining the East and West Quadrangles.
Bokingo said that when the Christmas tree is disassembled after the holidays, SU will keep the empty wine bottles and the coco geonet for other uses in the future.