• A team that inspires change

    Getting public high school students to care for the environment is the driving force behind ‘Inspire’

    Getting public high school students to care for the environment is the driving force behind ‘Inspire’

    For the young and dynamic team of inspired Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees, performing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in education, community and social innovation, calamity response, and biodiversity conservation is more than just moral obligation. The team regularly organizes and participates in various outreach projects through their overall corporate social responsibility program called “Inspire.”

    With education and environment as their pillars of inspiration, Inspire volunteers took on the challenge of raising the awareness of high school students on the garbage problem, particularly of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of marine debris particles in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that has exceptionally high relative concentrations of plastics, chemical sludge and other debris. It is four times the size of the Philippines and is as tall as a three-storey building. This garbage patch is a glaring global reality of human’s excessive waste and oblivion to the ecological and economic impacts garbage causes.

    The problem of plastics and other accumulated trash has infiltrated bodies of waters, including beaches and oceans all over the world. A study on “Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean” by Jenna Jambeck et al (2015) published in the journal Science reported that the Philippines ranked 3rd in mass of mismanaged plastic waste contributing to plastic marine debris.

    Despite this alarming result, there seems to be low awareness on waste production and management and how it impacts all life forms, including humans, to this problem too. For instance, fish accidentally ingests microplastics that can poison and kill them, resulting to low fish catch and reduction of food source. Photo evidences of birds and marine animals show ingestion of plastics, which are often mistaken as planktons or other marine food source. Plastics can also release contaminants to our soil and water sources.

    To sound the alarm and convince the youth to action, Haribon’s Biodiversity on Wheels (BOW) and Inspire volunteers taught solid waste management to 20 public high schools in four cities in Metro Manila, particularly in Taguig, Quezon, Makati, and Pasay. They conducted room-to-room campaigns, pledge artwork, and interactive discussions that instilled the importance of waste reduction, waste segregation, and their role as future leaders that will manage waste and protect our environment.

    Through the inspiring work of 217 employee-volunteers, the BOW program was able to educate 12,751 students on solid waste management. Inspire was also able to gather youth pledges that ensured the program’s sustainability in the minds and hearts of the participants. One student from Pasay East High School said, “Binigay ng Diyos ang mundo sa tao kaya dapat pangalagaan natin ito.” Another student from Makati Science High School shared, “Natutunan ko ang kahalagahan ng waste segregation.”

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    Help bring the Biodiversity on Wheels (BOW) program to more children in our public and private schools in urban areas. To donate, call: 434-4696 and/or email: bow@haribon.org.ph today!


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