Macau IC2 Association is boosting its Earth Day activities with a series of talks, following up on last year’s successes when the NGO planted trees and staged student performances.
Earth Day is a global event which has been held every 22 April since 1970. This year’s theme is “Invest In Our Planet”.
Ada Lo, the association’s event-organising course instructor, said that she is training her students – all with intellectual disabilities – to enable them to organise events for companies in Macao.
“I connect people,” said Lo. “I connect people who believe in [my students] so that they can [organise] their events for others. And maybe donations can be made to them [for organising events]. They can organise events for [local] companies. “We haven’t done it yet, but that’s the plan.”
“[Individually] the students may not be able to do five things altogether but they [each] can do one thing well; then you put [the five people with] the five different tasks together. This coordination is teamwork. They know that without a team they will not be successful. Of course, this coordination is what I’m still working on very hard,” she added.
Lo pointed out that it is important for society to include people with intellectual disabilities.
As part of IC2’s Earth Day activities, a talk was held yesterday, and on 22 April it will hold a “green walk” – promoting less carbon emission by skipping private cars, motorcycles and public transportation – from Macau Tower to the Artyzen Grand Lapa Macau hotel.
The association will then hold another environmental talk-cum-seminar outdoors, touching the subjects of climate change and carbon emission, on the hotel’s lawn, followed by tree planting and students’ music performances. There will also be an exhibition of recycled bicycles and e-motorbikes.
The association – IC2 stands for “I Can Too” – was established six years ago to promote the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and help them to develop their skills and strengths. It has 165 members, all 16 years or older. The group currently has 20 volunteers teaching life essentials as well as skills like cooking, baking and arts.
Yesterday’s talk taught Lo’s students and their parents about food waste management, with the speaker, Ruby O, founding chairperson of Society of Food & Environmental Health (Macao), stressing that some food remains do not necessarily become waste right away and can be reused.
“Some food waste may not really be waste. For example, when you cut bread crusts to make sandwiches, you can turn these bread sides into cinnamon rolls, as Macau IC2 Association has been doing at its café,” she said.
The association operates a café from 8.30-11.30 am every Monday to Friday at Sun Tou Tong church, on Avenida Horta e Costa – which is run by the association’s students and members.
“They turn some things that are seen as waste by others into something good, not only for food, but also financially, as this practice can be a source of funds for social enterprises,” said O, who gave various food-related environmental-friendly tips during her talk, such as “doing first-in, first out when storing your food in the fridge so you won’t waste any food”.
She added: “You need to know the difference between expiry date and best-before date, which is there to ensure the food quality and taste, but if the food has already passed the best-before date, it can still be consumed – it’s not like I will get sick if I eat it after the best-before date. This knowledge is food literacy.”