Green living is the new trend! It's everyone's responsibility to learn to do better to our Earth. Except sharing resources to your community, daily life decisions can be made to cut off unnecessary waste. Here, we share some down-to-earth practices to make everyday life greener, and hear stories from green warriors who have already put their green-conscious ideas into action.
Do you know the more meat we consume, the more greenhouse gases are added? Let's start your low-carbon living from your diet. A vegetarian diet definitely put less stress on the environment. We know it's challenging for meat lovers but giving up meat for just one day a week (e.g. on Monday), can also help reduce the carbon emission significantly.
Photo from Green Monday
If you think a plant-based diet is tasteless and dull, then you're wrong. Green Monday, a Hong Kong founded social enterprise promoting low-carbon and sustainable living, has shared tons of simple and innovative vegetarian recipes through 'Green it Yourself (GIY)' programme. Try out the recipes and you'll find plant-based home cooking is easier than you imagined!
Hong Kong is the world's eighth largest seafood consumer. Hong Kong people are obsessed with seafood. However, our seafood resources are declining fast due to excessive and destructive fishing practices. To ensure we can all enjoy seafood in the future, it's our duty do choose sustainable seafood which is captured or farmed in a way that minimizes harm to the marine environment.
Photo from Choose Right Today
If you have no idea what type of seafood is right to choose, here is a Seafood Guide by WWF. Ask 3 questions before you buy seafood: 1) What species is it? 2) Where is it from? and 3) How was it caught, or was it farmed? Seafood in line with 'Green' category is recommended, while those in 'Red' should be avoided.
Photo from WWF Hong Kong
Hong Kong Chef Steph Kudus has already put the idea of sustainable seafood in her restaurant. Also as a consumer, she believes that everyone needs to be responsible eater by choosing right. Therefore, she found sustainable tuna supplier for her restaurant to ensure all consumers can enjoy poké that is made with sustainable tuna.
Photo from Choose Right Today
BYOB3 - Bring Your Own Bag/ Bottle/ Box
Plastic waste is a perpetual problem in Hong Kong. Among 10,000 tonnes of daily solid waste, more than 20% of it is plastic waste. This equates 90 double-decker buses! You may ask, why don’t we recycle plastics? Yes, we do; yet not every type of plastic can be recycled. Even they can, recycling costs cannot be counterbalanced because of the diminishing values of plastics. Consequently, the total amount of plastic waste is less likely reduced and they all end up in landfills.
Plastics normally require 400-500 years to break down. Due to the resilient nature of plastic for disposal, people should take baby steps to reduce the use of plastics. Where to begin? Start with BYOB3! That is 'Bring Your Own Bag, Bottle, and Box (lunchbox)'!
Bring your own BAG
Have you ever thought of drawing and painting your own tote bag? Plastic shopping bags are indeed convenient but bringing your own uniquely-designed shopping bag is even more stylish and chic!
Photo from Pinterest
Bring your own BOTTLE
It seems inconvenient to carry your bottle around, but do you know your bottle saves one of the 8.3 million bottles that enters the landfills daily. Bring a bottle along with you. Whenever you need water, just search nearby water fountains via Free For Water's app to get free drinking water instead of buying bottled water.
Photo from Friends of the Earth (HK)
Bring your own BOX
Use your own set of lunchbox and cutlery for buying takeaway food instead of using disposable utensils. Cut off the use of plastic as much as possible starting from your lunch habit.
Photo from The Independent
Buying second-hand furniture seems like an act of recycling. False. It is actually upcycling, a process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful! You can simply add some pieces of wood and replace some other wood of a broken chair. There you go, you have created a new wooden shelf! Use your imagination and create new household items! Give the old items a chance before they turn to landfills! Your furniture maker journey begins with buying second-hand furniture.
Where to buy second-hand furniture in Hong Kong? Here are four common platforms:
1) GoGreenShop: Provides upcycled and green household items including couches, bed frames and even outdoor products, etc.
Photo from Go Green Shop
2) AsiaXpat: Sells all kinds of second-hand home furnishings and appliances. Some rare treasures such as unwanted Tom Dixon dining table and an Orla Kiely coffee table were found in the past! Try your luck there!
3) 2nd Chance: Hong Kong’s largest second-hand furniture store offering exquisite remade furniture pieces at reasonable prices. Various house products from Indigo, TREE, Tequila Kola and more are available in their huge warehouse in Tuen Mun. 2nd Chance is no regular thrift shop!
4) HAPPYSHOP: Aims at de-stigmatize the public perceptions of second-hand goods. They sell pieces and offer various services, including but not limited to, delivery, assembly and restoration.
By supporting second-hand furniture, you can help to influence Hong Kong people to reuse local resources and reduce waste.
Cycling & Bike Sharing
Cycling has never been a popular practice in Hong Kong due to the topography, climate and narrow streets of this little city. And yet, hundreds of thousands of people still get to bike around Hong Kong every day for both leisure and transportation.
Getting a bike is now easier than ever since six bike sharing companies launched in Hong Kong last year. You can easily rent a bike through a mobile app by scanning a QR code, hop on it and ride it to your destination for just approximately HKD$3 per half hour.
Bike sharing is convenient for Hong Kong commuters travelling short distance. Instead of taking a 10-minute bus to your workplace, you are encouraged to use a bicycle. In this way, we can reduce carbon emission and encourage bike-riding in daily life. Although cycling areas are still limited in Hong Kong, you can at least make a change day by day by biking at areas of New Territories!
We hope these ideas can help you to kick-start a green life and get inspired to develop a more innovative eco-friendly lifestyle.