Mondelez Philippines and Robinsons Easymart build recycled play area

Before the Enhanced Community Quarantine was implemented, Balumbato Elementary School in Quezon City welcomed a new play area for its students. This is no ordinary play area, however, as its structure was made using recycled plastic. 

Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental issues of late and various organizations have been stepping up to somehow address the problem in their own ways. This recently constructed play area shows that when properly disposed and recycled, plastic waste has further purpose and can be given new life. 

What’s more, the play area was built in partnership with Robinsons Supermarket. In the latter part of 2019, Mondelez Philippines partnered with Robinsons Easymart for a social marketing campaign. For every purchase of selected Mondelez Philippines snack products, a portion went to the construction of the play area.

Says Robinsons Supermarket’s Daisy Lyn Go-Sy, Merchandising Director-Food 2 & 3, “Robinsons Supermarket is pleased to partner with Mondelez Philippines in reaching out to communities by way of this play area, which the children of Balumbato Elementary School can fully enjoy once they are able to go back to school. We hope that they will help create many beautiful moments of friendship, laughter and physical activity for them. This project is also in keeping with our partner’s mission to give joy through snack products and ours of health and wellness.” 

Mindful Snacking and Sustainable Snacking 

The Joy Schools is Mondelez Philippines’ flagship community program which started in 2011, focused on helping improve the nutrition of students through a 9-month feeding program. The program is one way Mondelez Philippines stays true to its purpose of empowering people to snack right, with the right snack, for the right moment, and made the right way.

For the past 9 years the Joy Schools program has been helping improve the nutrition of adopted students through a daily lunch feeding program. This, as Mondelez Philippines calls it, is their contribution to promoting Mindful Snacking–which translates to working with communities to promote nutrition education, access to fresh food and active play.

Their purpose of ‘snacking made right’ also includes encouraging Sustainable Snacking. “Sustainable Snacking for us means creating a future where people and planet thrive by creating resilient ingredient supply chains, reducing our environmental impact, and developing zero-net waste packaging,” shares Toff Rada, CGA Country Manager of Mondelez Philippines.

“With this dual purpose of Mindful and Sustainable Snacking, we decided to expand our Joy Schools program with the recycled play areas project. In this way we are able to contribute to students’ knowledge and practice on nutrition and encourage them to be part of protecting our environment.” 

4th Joy Schools Recycled Play Area 

Launched in August 2019, the Recycled Play Areas are slides, benches and sheds which have been built using ecobricks. These are plastic bottles stuffed full of used and shredded plastic bags or packaging. In the schools where they have been built, students have been encouraged to make their own ecobricks, and see their contributions serve a purpose with the recycled play areas.

Employees of Mondelez Philippines also contributed to the collection of ecobricks, with the four play areas able to recycle some 990 kilos of plastic. The three other schools are located in Paranaque City and another in Quezon City.

Moving forward, the Company aims to contribute more towards recycling plastic. At a time when most people stay at home, and conscious consumption is most prevalent, the idea of making ecobricks – or something new out of old materials – seems as fitting as ever.

While everyone’s at home, it’s also a great time to segregate waste so that recyclers will be able to utilize reusable packaging rather than having them end up in landfills.  Did you know that plastic that’s been contaminated with food and dirt cannot be recycled anymore? That’s why it’s important to segregate.  

“Reducing the environmental impact of our packaging and tackling plastic waste are urgent priorities for us,” adds Rada. “Globally we have committed to make all our packaging recyclable and provide recycling information for consumers by 2025. Locally we have also signed a pledge, aiming that by 2030 we will have achieved zero net waste as a community, where plastic does not end up in nature. But this is not something we can do alone. We would like to encourage everyone to take this time to recycle, repurpose and segregate their waste. We should all come together for this particular issue, which is also important for our world.” 

While the recycled plastic play area awaits the return of children, it stands as inspiration for the many wonderful things that can happen if groups work together to recycle and manage waste. 

How to stay “water rich” this summer

We all know the great importance of water in our lives. We drink it, we cook with it, and we wash ourselves and our things with it. It keeps all other living things alive, it’s used by different industries for various purposes, and its presence keeps the planet stable and balanced.

As Summer 2020 looms, many of us worry about our water supply. We’ve been feeling the impacts of water scarcity since last year when water service providers were forced to implement daily water interruptions after the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) reduced raw water allocation from Angat Dam. We can only expect the situation to be even tighter this season.

Of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NWRB had to increase raw water allocation again last March 12. From the previous allocation of only 42 cubic meters per second (cms), the NWRB brought it up to 46 cms. While still short of the normal 48 cms given for water consumers of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, it is enough for Maynilad to suspend the daily service interruptions within its West Zone concession area, or else limit it to off-peak hours in some areas.

But we’re not out of the woods yet. With the increase in allocation, the water level in Angat Dam has been going down and is expected to reach critical levels by April or May 2020. We don’t expect any rains soon, so there is no way to replenish it.

Thankfully, the folks at Maynilad are not stopping from finding ways to alleviate the problem. They are currently working on several measures to make sure that the impact of a reduced raw water allocation from Angat Dam can be mitigated so that the water supply won’t run out for their customers.

Still, this means that we should be more mindful of how we use water at home. Here are some tips on how to conserve those precious drops.

Invest in water receptacles for your home

Depending on your budget and floor space, you can invest in different receptacles to make collecting water easier.

If you have the budget, go ahead and invest in a water tank that can be filled up with water from the pipelines and used whenever you need it. Otherwise, you can buy water drums or giant buckets from supermarkets or home supplies stores. These usually come with a cover to keep the water you collected clean for at least a few days.

Recycle wastewater

The water supplied by providers like Maynilad is potable, which means they are safe to drink straight from the tap, assuming your internal plumbing is well maintained. So if you’re using the same water to flush your toilet, don’t you think that is such a waste?

Save potable water by collecting the water you used for bathing or washing the dishes. You can use the collected wastewater for purposes that don’t necessarily need water to be potable, like flushing the toilet, watering plants, or washing the floors of your bathroom or garage.

Use the ever reliable tabo

Forego using showerheads during bath time and go old school instead with a tabo. This way, you can make sure that you only use enough water to get yourself cleaned up.

Get a spray nozzle for your garden hose

If you still choose to use your garden hose for watering your garden or washing your car, make sure to attach a spray nozzle to control water output. This way, you don’t have to run back and forth just to toggle the faucet and end up losing water in the process.

Use rice washing as a soup base or plant fertilizer

Rice is a staple in every Filipino meal, so if you usually wash your rice two to three times before cooking, then you’re wasting at least three liters of potable water per meal. Here are a couple of secrets I learned from my mom:

  1. Use the first and second rice washing to water your potted plants, particularly the flowering plants and herbs. The sediments from the rice act as a natural fertilizer, too, so you can also save yourself from buying chemical-based products.
  2. The third rice washing makes a great soup base for dishes like sinigang, nilagang karne, or pochero. The rice powder that is left mixed with the water helps make your soup more flavorful and a bit thicker.

Use your tumblers even at home

Water tumblers are not just made for your baon, it can also help your family save drinking water at home.

Pouring into glasses or cups during meals can sometimes leave you with excess water that you just end up throwing after eating. By using tumblers, you can make sure to drink up all the water you put in it. Using one tumbler a day will also help you reduce the water you use when washing several cups.

Got other cool and clever ideas to save water? Share them in the comments section!

Sustainable “wet” cleaning is now possible through Reviva

We all know too well to send special garments like gowns, suits, and barong, and even home fittings made with delicate fabric to the dry cleaner. This is to ensure that the items are thoroughly cleaned without harming the integrity of the fabric.

But unknown to many, most dry cleaners use a chemical called Perchloroethylene, commonly called Perc, which can be harmful to our family’s health. Sometimes, traces of Perc are left on your garments and they go home with you, evaporating into the air, irritating our skin, and worst of all, the waste from dry cleaning could end up polluting our rivers.

With this looming health and environment concerns, fashion designers, stylists, and enthusiasts have realized it is time to take a step forward towards sustainability in fashion and garment care.

Reviva Luxury Garment Care is wet cleaning service that takes on even the most sensitive dry-clean-only fabrics. It uses only water and biodegradable cleaners to delicately protect your special clothes while also saving the environment. Reviva brings Wet Cleaning Technology, invented by Kreussler Textile Care of Germany, to the Philippines and was officially launched during the event dubbed as “The Clean Launch” on January 28, 2020 in The Podium, Ortigas.

Over the years, studies have shown evidence of hazards brought by Perc-driven dry cleaning. Perc leads to health risks such as dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, loss of consciousness, limited memory loss, skin blistering, and visual and coordination issues. Prolonged exposure also increases the risk of cancer. Improper disposal of Perc also poses environmental risks. While USA and Europe has seen the dangers of using Perc, in the Philippines, most dry cleaners still use it.

Reviva’s wet cleaning technology uses water and a cleaning agent called Lanadol to bring life to every fiber of the garment. Unlike laundry, wet cleaning uses special equipment that precisely controls the process.

Reviva allows processing all kinds of fabrics with different construction and trimmings so the most delicate and elaborate garments are taken care of. This includes haute couture, bespoke suits and tuxedos, dresses and baby garments, evening wear, bridal and ball gowns, wool, cashmere and garments with linings, beadwork and sequins. And yes, it cleans even leather and silk.

The fashion industry now shifts towards sustainability without sacrificing creativity and quality. In the Philippines, Reviva helps the industry and you to be at the frontline of this movement.

“We are proud to make wet cleaning technology available to the Philippines and combine it with the Filipino’s renowned gentleness and care. Reviva’s commitment to customer satisfaction is uncompromising. We offer our 16 years of expertise in laundry and clothing care, ” Charmaine Ang, Reviva’s managing director said.

“We believe that it’s not enough that your garment looks clean. In Reviva, we check everything to make sure you get a garment that is safe from harmful chemicals and feels better when worn. Reviva gives you back your special garments making sure you would love to see, smell and touch and wear them again,” she added.

Some of the notable fashion designers that have been served by Reviva since it’s soft launch were Francis Libiran, Happy Andrada, Renee Salud, Hannah Kong, and Ryan Uson-Ablaza, as well as RTW shops like Suit It Up.

Reviva’s services are available in its three strategically located shops in Venice Luxury Residences, McKinley; Aspire and Dream Tower, Eastwood; and The Podium, Ortigas. Customers can also book online to avail pick up and deliver services. Visit www.reviva.com.ph or like and follow their Facebook and Instagram @revivaph.

Lamudi addresses sustainability and resiliency concerns in home and city building

Lamudi

Building a home is not only about attaining the level of comfort and satisfaction you want for your family. It should also meet certain standards that would benefit our communities and the environment in general. Especially with climate change threatening life as we know it, we must all aim to build our homes and properties in the most resilient and sustainable fashion possible.

Lamudi CEO Bhavna Suresh calls climate change “inevitable” at a media roundtable held last September 27. The event was made in partnership with Holcim Philippines and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) and seeks to encourage homeowners, builders, and property developers to push for a revamp in building practices—be it a big industrial effort to small household changes. Did you know that even the paint color you choose for your roof can make a huge impact?

Lamudi reinforced its support for building resilient and sustainable cities with the first panel discussion Sustainability Efforts for the Philippines of NGOs and Private Organizations. NGOs, private organizations, and green developers were represented in the discussion, which tackled the roadblocks to green development in the Philippines and determined the efforts already in place to steer the country into a greener future.

 

Highlighting Resilience 

“Most of our coastal municipalities want to be cities eventually. How do we push them toward not just sustainability but also push them to also look at measures that will make them resilient as well?” Atty. Angela Ibay, head of the Climate and Energy Program of the World Wide Fund for Nature, posed an important question at the roundtable, steering right into the thick of the important topic of sustainability and climate change.

In a country that is dotted with high-rise mixed-use buildings and humble coastal homes, the effort to save the environment is tightly coupled with the measures developers can take to safeguard the value of their legacy. One solution, something as simple as planting trees, encourages the growth of foliage and relieves some of the urban heat island effects our cities are experiencing right now. However, it is not enough.

“It’s not a question anymore of whether you can control climate change or not. It’s about adapting to the effects of climate change. It’s here. We are experiencing it now,” says Wesley Caballa, Senior Manager for Sustainability of Costa Del Hamilo Inc. According to Caballa, Hamilo is actively pursuing efforts to protect mangrove forests to do their part as a company.

Hamilo is one of many companies that have started making changes in keeping with a more climate-conscious business ethos. Climate change has not spared the Philippines with its onslaught, and with lives at stake, developers cannot sit around and wait.

“We are already in an area of the world that is highly, highly susceptible to all these natural disasters, and climate change made us more vulnerable to that,” adds Justine Santos-Sugay, Director for Resource Development and Communications of Habitat for Humanity.

Lamudi

Addressing Roadblocks to Sustainability

The Philippines has not been remiss when it comes to sustainable efforts. One of the problems developers and real estate experts face, however, is misinformation or lack of dissemination at the grassroots.

“When you ask a common fisherman, ‘What do you know about climate change?’ Sometimes they say it’s synonymous to disaster without knowing why,” adds Caballa. “It’s really important for them to know what is wrong, what climate change is all about.”

Santos-Sugay weighs in: “When you think about it, when you look at the issue of climate change, climate change seems to exaggerate or re-highlight a lot of the already pre-existing social themes.”

One issue all Filipinos will relate to, especially in the Philippine capital, is the water shortage. Despite the typhoons that visit the country and leave damage in low-lying areas, there is water shortage because the rainfall missed the dams that are meant to supply water to the majority of the city. Ferdz dela Cruz, former Chief Executive Officer of Manila Water Company, Inc., emphasizes the urgency of the matter: “It’s up to us to make hard choices for us to be resilient. There are no easy choices at this point. For us to make that, we need to have a constructive dialog and without the misinformation.”

Dela Cruz also mentions the disparity in the supply and demand for water supply. According to him, “There are two issues on water–there’s the supply side and there’s the demand side. On the supply side, there is a roadmap of what needs to be done, but there are delays in the execution of the roadmap. There’s always opposition to a big water project.”

Long-term solutions to water shortage and climate change are further hampered by the lack of initiative at the individual level. According to Dela Cruz, people forget about the problem once they have water, but it quickly resurfaces when another water shortage is felt.

 

Sustainability in the Commercial and Industrial Sectors

Much of the effort real estate developers have put into sustainability can be seen in the commercial buildings they have strategically positioned in key cities. Jaime “JJ” Fernandez, Strategic Management Consultant of Menarco Development Corporation, mentions the savings Menarco Tower is able to pass on to its tenants through its sustainable design. According to Fernandez, “There is an estimate that the tenant will save about 20% in terms of energy consumption because the way the building is built is very efficient.”

Fernandez also highlights the human aspect of thinking sustainable. “Prospective tenants would rather pay a little bit more rent” when they know the building will take care of their employees.

This, paired with Dela Cruz’s observation that people will be more responsible if the problem pinches their bill, makes the case for green developments: rather than lose money in inefficient designs, developers, tenants, and residents can save by prioritizing sustainability.

The Philippines, which receives ample sunlight because of its equatorial location, can do more to utilize solar energy, one of the most efficient ways to be sustainable. James Buskowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Buskowitz Group, explains that projects harvesting solar energy come in levels: “Residential scale has always been the goal, but not in the beginning. Typically, when a country starts developing solar projects, it always starts with utility, then it goes to commercial-industrial rooftops, then it goes residential.”

“If we combine all the roofs in the entire Metro Manila, we would have enough solar energy to power the entire Philippines,” Buskowitz shares.

 

Lamudi

Trickling to the Residential Developments 

“What color is your roof?”

A simple question sparked discussion in the roundtable’s second panel discussion, Design and Construction Trends in Real Estate to Build Sustainable and Resilient Cities in the Philippines. It is not a pointless question either, as the simple selection of a white roof can already help a household save energy.

“A safe home, a resilient city, a safe community is at the heart of what we have to address to adapt to the changes in the climate,” mentions Santos-Sugay.

To add, Lamudi’s CEO says climate change is not an isolated problem: “All of these inequalities that exist in the world today are getting heightened because of global warming.”

We are not at a standstill when it comes to sustainable solutions, thankfully. Dela Cruz says, “The supply solutions will come many years from now, but everyone could start doing something on the demand side.”

One of the solutions proposed is a mirror of what other countries have already implemented: water tariffs. According to Dela Cruz, “In other countries, what they’ve done quite successfully during periods of water shortage is to actually adjust the price of water–double or triple–during hot summer months basically to curtail the usage.”

Though this price adjustment has been discussed but not yet explored, companies such as Hamilo Coast have already implemented their own guidelines to conserve water and safeguard the environment from climate change. Hamilo Coast, which aims to be a “microcosm of what could be done,” practices a “top-down approach” on implementing sustainable policies. “The only way that we will see individuals actually follow the rules is if you put a system of checks, balances, and penalties.”

To get to the finish line, where a more climate-resilient Philippines awaits, each individual has to make impactful changes, but at the forefront are the bigger organizations that can influence those in their respective industries as well.

With miscommunication proving to be a big roadblock, the discussion needs to be sustained. This is one of the reasons for the creation of the roundtable, as Architect. Amado de Jesus, Vice Chairman of the Philippine Green Building Initiative, mentions, “If you have a bigger role, that’s a bigger responsibility.”

“Lamudi is a giant brand. With all the buildings that are together, the organizations that you have a big influence on, you can create a big impact,” says de Jesus.

This milk subscription service helps you save Mother Earth

Nestlé Ready-To-Drink Baon Subscription

Here’s a new convenient way to make sure your kids have healthy baon every day and, at the same time, help you properly manage waste at home.

Nestlé Philippines recently launched its Nestlé Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Baon Subscription—a 2-in-1 service that promotes health and sustainability. This is the first-ever subscription and delivery service that sends your favorite ready-to-drink beverages at home and then collects your used beverage cartons to be sent for upcycling at Nestlé’s facility.

Nestlé Ready-To-Drink Baon Subscription

This initiative aims to make every household a partner in raising a healthier and more sustainable future for children. By providing kids with healthy and nutritious on-the-go beverages that are perfect for baon, consumers get to return their used beverage cartons for upcycling, thereby extending their useful life.

Nestlé Ready-To-Drink Baon Subscription

Used beverage cartons are turned into new products such as notebooks, trinket boxes, and other accessories.

Nestlé Ready-To-Drink Baon Subscription

Meanwhile, the doorstep delivery service gives moms one less thing to list down and carry back home (ouch!) from the grocery store. Simply log on to GoodFood.ph to order your and your kids’ favorite Nestlé Ready-To-Drink baon brands Chuckie, Milo Ready-To-Drink, Bear Brand Yogu, and Fresh Milk Range (Fresh Milk, Low-Fat Milk, and Non-Fat Milk).

For added convenience, a variety of widely accepted payment options are available, including credit cards and cash on delivery. Best of all, subscribers can look forward to regular freebies, gifts, and deals.