I’ve always believed that the earlier you teach your children about good manners and habits, they will grow up as good citizens and won’t exert much effort in doing great things simply because they’ve been doing them since they were little. There is a saying that old habits die hard, if it’s a good one, then your child will have a better future. As per Dole Philippines, good habits are ones that are formed early in life and make a lasting impact on an individual’s core values. This is also the center of their Sunshine Heroes campaign. It’s a CSR and sustainability drive centered on engaging the schoolchildren and instilling within them the passion to embrace sustainability, through recycling, as a lifestyle and a progressive movement.
Recycling is one of the easiest habits you can start teaching your kids especially if you make it an engaging and enjoyable one. For example, a big plastic bottle can be turned into a coin bank or a flower vase. The paper tissue core has so many functions like a pen stand or as a décor in your table.
Dole Philippines’ aim is to empower the youth to influence their respective households to change behaviors, both as consumers and as sustainability advocates. “We chose to engage the youth because of their role in helping change mindsets about recycling and proper waste management,” explains Subramanyam.
“Recycling is a habit that needs to form early. We need to teach kids that all the trash they see laying around our streets and clogging our waterways is because we need more recycling and less trash,” says Ashvin Subramanyam, Vice President for Marketing and Innovations for Dole Asia.
A program spearheaded in partnership with Gone Adventurin’ and Mother Earth Foundation, Dole Philippines’ Sunshine Heroes campaign involves putting up material recovery facilities (MRFs) in selected schools in Metro Manila. Students will be requested to bring household recyclable wastes to the facility. The trash will then be sold to local recyclers once it reaches a certain amount. Money generated from this program will go directly to the school to help fund other school activities.
Making every Filipino a recycling hero
With its long-standing commitment to spreading the sunshine for generations to come, Dole Philippines’ Sunshine Heroes campaign is reigniting the idea of household recycling by educating the youth and shaping them into future environmental leaders.
The challenge behind the campaign stems from the fact that the current generation of young adults and household decision-makers were not raised in a recycling culture. Changing these habits, based on global experience, takes at least a generation.
“Every time you throw away a plastic bottle, a soda can, a tetra pack of fruit juice, or a to-go meal pack from your favorite fast-food restaurant, you need to realize that you are actually losing a lot more than just a handful of trash,” Subramanyam adds. “Through this campaign, we are equipping the youth better to understand the importance of making recycling a life-long habit and advocacy.”
Part of Dole Philippines’ sustainability drive involves conducting a series of recycling workshops and forums aimed at educating kids about the importance of recycling.
(L-R) Environment and sustainability advocate, Amor Maclang of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc.; Noel Casanova, General Manager, Dole ASEAN Cluster; Ashvin Subramanyam Vice President for Marketing and Innovations for Dole Asia; Engr. Eligio Ildefonso, Officer-in-Charge of the National Solid Waste Management Commission-Secretariat of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and Ashwin Subramaniam, CEO and Founder of Gone Adventurin’.
Another fun aspect of the Dole Philippines Sunshine Heroes campaign will be the introduction of four (4) recycling characters to promote a more engaging way for Filipinos to understand the idea of recycling and sustainability. Each character—inspired by endemic creatures here in the Philippines like the carabao, the Philippine Eagle, the pawikan, and the tarsier—represents a type of ecosystem that forms the core of Dole Philippines’ waste recycling initiative: trees, air, water, and land.
“Down the road, we hope that other schools will be able to replicate this sustainability model. Making this model a staple in every school can make a lasting impact in terms of advocating for proper waste management nationwide.”
“Public awareness and participation are vital keys to successful waste management measures,” ends Subramanyam. “For us at Dole Philippines, recycling is all about embracing the idea of sustainability as a way of life and a sustained advocacy. By educating and engaging our youth, we hope that can help us champion recycling and, in the long run, build environmentally-responsible Filipino households.”
Learn more about how Dole Philippines is honing tomorrow’s environmental leaders from today’s generation of young Filipinos through its Sunshine Heroes campaign by visiting http://Facebook.com/doleph.