Our planet is in trouble and we, our children included, need to do everything we can to change the status quo.
We need to educate our communities about generating less waste, improve the way we manage the waste we produce, and recycle when- and wherever possible.
Waste management through segregation and recycling is not something that we can leave to garbage collection services or recycling centers.
It begins at home, and our children need to learn about the importance of proper waste segregation as soon as possible.
This will make your children not only grow up to be responsible citizens but it will instill in them a sensitive approach towards the environment.
With this in mind, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Ilocos launched on March 24 its Regional Solid Waste Management Advocacy Campaign to spur behavioral change towards the environment and mobilize the public, especially children and young people, on the proper handling and disposal of solid waste.
To spread awareness and encourage public support to the campaign, the DENR introduced a mascot named Pinas the Basura Buster (PBB) and a Basura Buster mobile gaming app designed to be more focused on the youth who would later serve as environmental champions.
In an interview, Environmental Management Bureau Ilocos regional director Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe said that PBB will be the image of solid waste management program of the DENR which will enlist the support of the youth.
“PBB is for the children to see a physical symbol of our advocacy campaign on ecological solid waste management,” she said.
To further strengthen awareness on solid waste management in this digital age, Hipe said the DENR also developed the Basura Buster, a free, web-based game application for children ages 5 to 8 years old.
“They would be able to play with the guidance of their parents. It is both instructional and educational for them to imbibe segregation. For them to learn how to segregate properly,” she said.
The application, which can be downloaded on Android devices through the Google Play Store, allows players to earn points by properly segregating different kinds of trash in an educational and entertaining way.
She added they plan to team up with the local government units and the Department of Education this year to further promote their advocacy.
DENR Ilocos regional executive director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo enjoined parents and the young ones to download the Basura Buster game application to their smartphones and tablets.
“This informative and user-friendly game application is developed to build the young generations’ firm foundation on managing solid waste while they are still young and to start educating them about helping mother nature,” Barcelo said.
He added, “We hope to spread awareness, change behavior and train the youth on environmental protection so that they can practice at home or anywhere else through this application.”
Both the PBB mascot and the mobile game are DENR’s trailblazing strategies to strengthen the implementation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Waste management is not just the government’s business. It belongs to us all. Therefore it is necessary to inculcate it as an important routine in our daily lives. This should begin with our children as well. What they see is what they will believe ultimately. (JCR/AMB/PIA Pangasinan)