Sustainable Living in the Philippines

Recognizing the importance of organic farming in preserving the environment and developing healthier Filipino communities, employees of Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. recently took part in ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) Eco-Academy at the La Mesa Ecopark. There, they learned the environmental benefits of vermicomposting--or farming of earthworms--and the health benefits of growing vegetables at home.

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 More than 60 employees participated in the activity, which was part of Johnson & Johnson Philippines’ employee volunteerism program called “G.I.V.E.,” which stands for Growth and Inspiration through Volunteerism Experiences. The G.I.V.E. program seeks to empower employees to live out the company’s Credo and embrace volunteerism as a way of life. “Adopting a sustainable lifestyle starts at home. The good news is, we don’t need a ‘green thumb’ to help save the environment; by developing green habits--such as waste segregation, recycling, vermicomposting and growing our own vegetable garden--we are already doing our contribution to help preserve the environment and the planet,” said Luchi Maruhom, G.I.V.E. Program Coordinator.

Despite heavy rains brought by recent typhoon Falcon, Johnson & Johnson Philippines employees flocked to La Mesa Ecopark where they learned to create their own earthworm farms, and planted seedlings that they brought home to start 

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 “The Bantay Kalikasan Eco-Academy experience helped raise environmental awareness among Johnson & Johnson employees and inspired us to give back to the community and the environment through sustainable living,” said Mary Grace N. Gervacio, Human Resources and Contributions Director, Johnson & Johnson Philippines. Since 2006, Johnson & Johnson Philippines has been doing its part to help the environment through tree-planting activities at the La Mesa Watershed in collaboration with Bantay Kalikasan.

Mary Grace added: “We at Johnson & Johnson have made it a commitment to lend our time and talents to help ensure that Filipino families are cared for and communities become a healthier and better place to live in. In order to do so, we must start by understanding the environment and knowing how each of us can contribute to the preservation of Mother Nature.” The Bantay Kalikasan Eco-Academy, guided by its learning philosophy of “Let Nature Be Your Teacher,” maximizes the La Mesa Ecopark as a natural venue for conducting structured environmental learning activities, advocating environmental issues and developing an ecological consciousness among its visitors.

Darryn Castillo, La Mesa Senior Resource Mobilization Officer, encouraged other companies to follow in Johnson & Johnson’s footsteps to go green. “We are very thankful to have the support of companies like Johnson & Johnson whose mission is not only to ensure that Filipinos live healthier lives, but also live in a healthier, cleaner environment. We hope that more companies will also step up in encouraging Filipinos to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, and help ensure a healthy environment for the next generation,” she said.

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