09 Aug #Beat Plastic Pollution, If You Can’t Reuse It, Refuse It
By: Ms. Mary An Olaveja
The annual celebration of the Environment Week is part of ICA’s continuing efforts to raise the community’s awareness of the present condition of the environment and to instill the value of stewardship among ICAns.
Last July 16 – 20, 2018, the High School Department celebrated the Environment Week following the 2018 World Environment Day theme, “#Beat Plastic Pollution, If You Can’t Reuse It, Refuse It”. The theme challenges us to commit ourselves to a more eco-friendly lifestyle and to turn away from the “throw – away ” mentality of using plastics once, and then disposing them to the environment. Plastics take hundreds of years to undergo physical change, but only to be broken down into microplastics, which pose even more harm to all forms of life especially aquatic organisms, as most of our wastes end up in bodies of water.
The Science Area, in collaboration with the faculty, students and staff of ICA, spearheaded the celebration. A Holy Mass that centered on the value, MAKA KALIKASAN, was celebrated. It was followed by a spoken poetry on the caring for the environment by selected Dramatics Guild members. Ms. Gina Lopez, a known environmentalist and philanthropist, also sent a personal video message to the ICAns. During the week, students were engaged in various activities across the different subject areas. Activities included, a forum on Plastic Pollution, There’s a Solution, film viewing of A Plastic Ocean, classroom discussions and performance tasks linked to environment conservation and preservation.
One of the highlights of the celebration was the ECO FAIR: Alternative Solutions to Plastics, one-day event that introduced students to various alternative products as replacement for single-use plastics. The fair was held last July 19 at the Lin Lin Chung Assembly Hall. Exhibitors who have advocacy on zero-waste living were present. Products such as silicon collapsible cups, metal and bamboo drinking straws, bamboo reusable water container, bamboo toothbrush, shampoo bar, dog shampoo bar, organic soaps, beeswax wraps were put on exhibit and were sold. Sr. Lilia Frondoza, MIC showcased samples of ECO Brick products and conducted a demonstration on ECO Brick making. Informational materials, such as infographics, posters, flyers and brochures from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Commission on Climate Change and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) were also on display to enrich the students’ knowledge on the impact of excessive use of plastics on a global scale.
ICA hopes that through these activities, the students may be further encouraged to respond to the call to reduce their plastic consumption, to develop a new set of habits that are less harmful to nature and to be agents of environmental stewardship.