Last October 30, ARC Refreshments Corporation successfully rolled out the Grow as One campaign to the community through an engagement activity on urban gardening program in Barangay Inarawan in Antipolo.
Sustainability Manager Engr. Mercy Grace Dionisio, who leads the project, created the gardening area for Brgy. Inarawan, and trained the chairmen, alongside Ms. Dothy Bungay (HR-OD and Employee Engagement Manager) who hosted the event emphasized the benefits of urban gardening within urbanized or limited spaces and how it improves the quality of life.
“Urban gardening and farming is beneficial to the society especially in a time of pandemic when food shortage can be a possibility.” Bungay also stressed that it is necessary to apply and practice urban gardening in our daily lives for the consumption of food security, human safety, and health. “The role of community is very crucial in the implementation of urban gardening activities within urbanized areas as the demand for green development increases. We hope that through our Grow as One campaign we can help promote a stronger and sustainable community interdependence” she added.
Building a garden in an urban area is certainly not a walk in the park, let alone keeping plants alive, that is why Bungay encouraged Barangay Inarawan to make it a family activity.
Once that’s all set, instead of buying new pots for the plant babies (seedlings), Bungay encouraged the public for the more environment-friendly route and repurpose their ARC PET bottles. “Make your backyard aesthetically pleasing by lining up an array of coloured bottles and share them on social media. Not only is it Instagram-worthy but it also sets an example to be more sustainable and to grow your own produce to help achieve food security.”
Urban Gardening as One Community
Earlier this year, ARC Refreshments Corporation launched an advocacy program dubbed as “Grow as One”. It is a long-term program that demonstrates the company’s resiliency amidst the new normal. In line with this is the kick-off of the “My Gulay Garden” project, which aims to promote gardening and sustainability by encouraging their consumers to reuse their colourful RC Cola PET bottles as plant containers for the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that they want to grow in their own space.
This advocacy is close to the hearts of ARC Refreshments Corporation employees as they were the ones who initiated it, and the management conducted digital trainings about proper recycling for their urban gardening project. ARC Refreshments Corporation is a company that practices what they preach, so this initiative was expanded to all their plants across the entire Philippines.
Resiliency in uncertain times
As lead of this advocacy campaign and as part of ARC’s community engagement, Engr. Dionisio provided trainings on the methods of composting kitchen waste, yard waste, wastewater treatment sludge and all other biodegradable waste, and also distributed free seedlings to sitio chairmen and representatives so they can start growing mini garden in their respective sitios.
Because of the fast-paced life in the metro, most urbanites tend to dismiss the benefits of having their own produce grown at home. But as life is slowing down this year, many people are beginning to see the appeal of urban gardening and how it can fulfil our need for food, and at the same time feeding the mind and the soul. It isn’t just about picking which plants to grow and making food more accessible, but it also produces aesthetic, spiritual and mental health benefits that extend well beyond the simple growing of plants.
Urban gardening is undoubtedly not an easy feat, but the key is starting small and growing from there. Not only does it help us now, but it is also a big step for a more sustainable future.
The pandemic has definitely challenged the whole world, but programs like ARC Refreshments Corporation’s “Grow as One” continue to empower the community amidst the new normal. Even though everything is uncertain at this point, these initiatives bring hope to the people by educating and encouraging them to do these small projects that will not only help them now but also in the future that’s still ahead.
Karina is not your ordinary supermom. She juggles her time bonding with her three amazing kids while being in the loop on the latest happenings in the tech and lifestyle scene. Follow me on Instagram (@digitalfilipina) regularly visit www.digitalfilipina.com for daily dose of updates not just for moms but for everyone!