Education is key. This belief drives Nestlé PH as it highlighted its efforts on Earth Day to teach proper solid waste management (SWM) to young students in public schools across the country.
These efforts are a component of Nestlé Wellness Campus (NWC), the company’s flagship advocacy program in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), that aims to uplift the lives of Filipino families through nutrition, health and wellness, as well as environmental education. Under NWC, Nestlé PH is helping students to learn and apply seven healthy habits: choosing nutritious and varied options; managing food portions; choosing to drink water and milk; enjoying meals together as a family; playing actively; keeping good hygiene; and caring for the planet.
Christine Ponce-Garcia, Assistant Vice President and Sustainability Lead at Nestlé PH, said modules on SWM, developed in collaboration with the National Solid Waste Management Commission, were designed to teach Grade 1-10 students to practice the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. “As we celebrate Earth Day, we reaffirm our commitment to raise happy, healthy and environmentally responsible children. They are the future stewards of our planet. We need to educate them as early as possible to be more mindful of the waste we generate and to become more aware of ways to properly segregate and manage waste in school, at home and in their communities.”
Nationwide reach, overall impact
Kevin Carpio, NWC Program Lead, said all of the program’s modules are available and easily downloadable by any public school through the DepEd Commons portal. “The Solid Waste Management modules were rolled out as part of the NWC for the first time this school year 2021-2022. We are grateful to the DepEd for providing us a platform that can reach millions of students, helping to shape their understanding of health and wellness while instilling the importance of caring for our environment.”
Teacher Sheena Lyn Briones of Naga Central School II said the SWM modules have inspired their students to make eco-bricks from segregated waste. “It’s one thing to be able to teach our students the value of proper waste disposal. But what brings me more pride and joy is the fact that they were eager to create something useful out of the plastic waste and other trash collected in our school. Nakakaproud na makita ‘yung end-products na upuan at iba pang kagamitan na pinaghirapan ng aming mga estudyante.”
At home, Mommy Maricel Marimat’s bonding with daughter Crishel now includes learning and practicing the 3Rs. “Dahil sa modules ng Nestlé Wellness Campus, natutunan namin bilang isang pamilya ang reduce, reuse and recycle practices. Sa tulong nito, mas naging malinis at nabawasan ang mga insekto sa ang aming kapaligiran.”
As this school year’s NWC Champion, Pinagbuhatan Elementary School shared best practices in promoting the seven healthy habits. School Principal Dr. Wilma P. Soriano described how their initiatives have spread outside the classroom. “The true measure of our program’s success is seeing our students lead the change in their own homes and barangays. We have seen this in our Gulayan sa Paaralan Hanggang sa Tahanan as well as in their active participation in the search for the cleanest streets in their own neighborhoods,” she said.
According to Ms. Ponce-Garcia, the commitment of Nestlé PH to be a Kasambuhay sa Kalikasan goes beyond classroom walls as it strives to create a real impact in the lives of Filipinos. The company has expanded the development of SWM modules for use by local government units to educate their constituents. “We at Nestlé Philippines recognize the importance of coming together and working closely to achieve a waste-free future for our kids, our families and our communities,” she said, calling for a collective approach to benefit the environment and the planet.