Environmental pundits have been warning us for years that time is running out. From climate change to out-of-control plastic waste – it’s no secret that we need to show our planet some love. Whether it’s eating local foods, recycling your coffee cup or switching to a chemical-free deodorant, you don’t have to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle. In fact, it’s the little things you do that can reduce our environmental impact.
Living a sustainable life is fun and incredibly rewarding. Here are five simple yet effective ways to green your life.
1. TEAM WORKOUT
Are you a man of action who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty? Sign up for the Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge. An annual community exercise held over six weeks from September 21 to November 1, the event rallies together eco-friendly individuals to clear rubbish from various parts of the city. All you need is a team of three or more. “Whether you’re cleaning up a beach, a hiking trail or an urban area – it’s a great outdoor workout and a good place to meet amazing women,” says Lisa Christensen, the founder and CEO of Ecovision, organiser of the event.
Hong Kong accumulates six million tonnes of waste per year – and our landfills are close to overflowing. Last year, almost 40,000 volunteers helped remove more than 100,000 kg of garbage ranging from disposable cups to cigarette butts. Hands- on participation not only protects our rural areas and marine life, but it’s also a real eye-opener to the city’s pollution problem. Hong Kong Cleanup will give you a detailed run-through prior to your team’s challenge. It also holds a big party at the end of the challenge period to announce results and award-winners, and congratulate the community on their collective effort.
2. FARM TO TABLE
Perhaps it’s time to think twice about what makes the weekly shopping list. As much as we heart our imported gourmet food,the reality is that it’s bad for the planet. Buying groceries from the local market can make a big difference. “Eating locally encourages accountability, helps protect the environment, ensures tastier, more nutritious food and reduces our carbon footprint,” says Todd Darling, co-founder of Homegrown Foods, a home delivery service that supplies local produce.
The company, which delivers organic food to Hong Kongers’ doorsteps, aims to reverse the current fast-food trend. “We want to connect local producers and local consumers to encourage local agriculture,” he explains. “It makes eating more sustainably convenient.”
Darling is also the CEO of the company that runs Posto Pubblico and Stone Nullah Tavern, restaurants that take a farm-to-table approach. The chefs from both outlets visit local farmers, mostly located in the New Territories, weekly to see what is being harvested – and then decide what goes on the menu.